Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Goes on Whirlwind Tour of England in Final Bid to Win Brexit Vote; Britain decidesEU Referendum: One Day to Go

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Goes on Whirlwind Tour of England in Final Bid to Win Brexit Vote; Britain decidesEU Referendum: One Day to Go

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil Deputy Political Editor

BORIS JOHNSON today predicted a "big surprise" as he urged the nation to vote for Britain to quit the EU.

The former Mayor of London started a 500-mile whirlwind tour of England, ahead of tomorrow's referendum, with a dawn visit to Billingsgate fish market where he appealed to voters to "believe in our country".

Mr Johnson shook hands and posed for photos and selfies with traders who backed his stance on Brexit, partly in protest at the EU's Common Fisheries Policy. "We are coming to the final 24 hours. This is a crucial time, lots of people will be making up their minds," he said. "It's time to have a totally new relationship with our friends and partners across the Channel.

"It's time to speak up for democracy, and hundreds of millions of people around Europe agree with us. It's time to break away from the failing and dysfunctional EU system."

But Mr Johnson also faced questions over whether the Leave campaign was actually pledging to cut immigration into Britain. His fellow Out campaigner Labour MP Gisela Stuart left that question hanging last night during the showdown debate at Wembley arena. She appeared alongside Mr Johnson and City minister Andrea Leadsom against London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and TUC boss Frances O'Grady.

After being accused by Ms O'Grady of a "big con" by "pretending" that the Leave campaign was going to cut the numbers of migrants, Ms Stuart failed twice to directly answer presenter David Dimbleby's question over whether they were "promising" to reduce the total.

Amid the confusion, Mr Johnson told BBC Breakfast this morning that he "personally would advocate" a cut in the number coming to the UK. Pressed further on whether he was promising a reduction, he replied: "Yes", but stopped short of giving a figure. He believes that the 333,000 figure of net migration to the UK last year is "too high", adding: "I think that 77,000 coming without a job offer at all is also way too high."

He emphasised that if Britain adopted an Australian-style points system it could do away with "a huge and uncontrolled influx of people who didn't have jobs to go to". …

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