David Cameron responds to claims he secretly backs Brexit

The world leaders issued a joint statement warning against a Leave vote on the upcoming EU referendum

Jon Stone@joncstone
Friday 27 May 2016 12:58
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The G7 leaders from Italy, Canada, Germany, Britain, France, the United States, and Japan (Getty Images)
The G7 leaders from Italy, Canada, Germany, Britain, France, the United States, and Japan (Getty Images)

David Cameron has said he is not a "closet Brexiteer" as leaders of the G7 warned the UK’s exit from the EU would pose a ‘serious risk’ to growth.

Speaking at the end of the G7 summit in Japan, the Prime Minister welcomed a communique by the assembled leaders pointing to "economic dangers" of a vote by Britain to leave the EU.

And he flatly denied a claim by his old friend and former adviser Steve Hilton that his natural instinct was to vote for Out.

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"I am not a closet anything. I have pretty much had the same view about Europe ever since I got involved in active politics," Mr Cameron said.

"I have always taken the same view, which is that we are better off in this organisation but we should be aiming to reform this organisation, we should be looking to enhance the special status that Britain has.

"I have never been a closet Brexiteer. I am absolutely passionate about getting the right result, getting this reform in Europe and remaining part of it. It's in Britain's national interest."

Brexit was ranked alongside “escalated geopolitical conflicts, terrorism and refugee flows” as one of the main reasons global growth could be “below potential” at the summit.

“UK exit from the EU would reverse the trend toward greater global trade, investment and the jobs they create and is a further serious risk to growth,” the agreed statement warned.

Britain will vote on whether to leave the EU on 23 June this year after a pledge by Mr Cameron to hold one.

“I have never been a closet Brexiteer. I am absolutely passionate about getting the right result, getting this reform in Europe and remaining part of it. It's in Britain's national interest.”

The G7 joins the International Monetary Fund, the Bank of England, the Treasury, the OECD and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in warning that Brexit would have a negative impact on growth.

The Brexit campaign has previously dismissed such concerns, warnings, and research as scaremongering.

A spokesperson for Vote Leave, the official Brexit campaign, this week described the respected IFS think-tank as the “paid-up propaganda arms of Brussels”.

The Treasury today added to its previous analysis by warning that leaving the EU could reduce the value of the average pension pot by nearly £2,000.

Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith however described that calculation as “utterly outrageous” and a “cynical attempt” to distract from higher immigration figures.

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