Final day of campaigning before EU referendum begins

Prominent politicians from both sides of the EU referendum debate urge voters on the final day of campaigning to cast their vote on Thursday.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JUNE 22, 2016) (UK POOL) – Prime Minister David Cameron and his eurosceptic opponents were crisscrossing Britain on Wednesday (June 22) in a final push for votes on the eve of a close-run referendum on European Union membership.

The vote, which echoes the rise of populism in Europe and the United States, will shape the future of Europe. A victory for “out” could unleash turmoil on financial markets.

Senior Conservative politician and prominent Eurosceptic Boris Johnson visited a fish market in the British capital to highlight the strict regulations on British fishing quotas that many in the industry have said affects their livelihood.

“I’m afraid we didn’t get anything in that deal in February, there was no real change to our border arrangements, no real change to any of the ways in which Brussels runs our lives. Sixty percent of our laws coming from Brussels, our entire fisheries controlled by Brussels. You’ve got the EU commissions sitting instead of us, deciding how our UK fish are going to be parcelled up,” Johnson said.

Elsewhere in London, the leader of the nationalist UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage said the vote was about Britain regaining control of its destiny.

“Tomorrow we can vote to put power back in the hands of people, we can vote to take control of our country back, we can vote to get our borders back, we can vote to get our pride and self-respect as a nation and in who we are as a people back. I want us tomorrow to vote for Britain to become independent,” he said.

Thursday’s vote will take place a week after the murder of ardently pro-EU lawmaker Jo Cox shocked the country, raising questions about the tone of an increasingly bitter campaign.

Much of the debate has boiled down to two issues: the economy and immigration.

Speaking in Bristol, Prime Minister David Cameron said all the challenges that face Britain were best dealt with from within the EU.

“If we want a bigger economy and more jobs, we’re better if we do it together. If we want to fight climate change we’re better if we do it together. If we want to win against the terrorists and keep our country safe, we’re better if we do it together. So please give it everything you’ve got in these last hours to make sure that people go out and vote tomorrow. Go out and vote ‘remain’, go out and vote ‘remain’ for a bigger, better Britain inside a reformed European Union, stronger, safer, better off,” he told a small crowd to applause.

The City of London, the International Monetary Fund and the majority of British business leaders back Cameron and his Remain camp’s stance that to leave the EU would plunge Britain into recession, costing jobs and raising prices.

Opinion polls have painted a contradictory picture of public opinion in a deeply divided nation. But some published since Cox’s murder have suggested a slight lead for Remain, though often within the margin of error.

Polling stations open at 0600 GMT on Thursday June 23 and close at 2100 GMT. The official result is due some time after 0600 GMT on Friday but partial results and turnout figures from 382 counting centres will be announced from about 0100 GMT.

Associated Links

  • Independence referendums
  • Referendums related to the European Union
  • Euroscepticism in the United Kingdom
  • Withdrawal from the European Union
  • European Union
  • Quebec sovereignty movement
  • Campaigning in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum
  • United Kingdom European Union membership referendum