Cameron warns 'leave' leader wants to divide UK

2016-06-20 08:25
(Peter Kneffel, AP)

(Peter Kneffel, AP)

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London - British Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Sunday of the dangers of embracing "leave" campaigner Nigel Farage's vision of Britain ahead of the country's referendum on its European Union membership.

The UK Independence Party leader wants to take Britain "backwards" and divide rather than unite, Cameron said, as both sides in the referendum debate prepared to make a final push before the Thursday vote.

He made the argument in an article in the Sunday Telegraph as the battleground shifted to the news media with large rallies still on hold because of the Thursday slaying of Labour Party lawmaker Jo Cox.

Special session

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, a prominent "leave" campaigner from Cameron's Conservative Party, turned to the influential Sunday newspapers to press his case.

Johnson told the Sun on Sunday newspaper that a British exit, or Brexit, offers voters a "once in a lifetime" chance to change British life for the better. He said it would make a statement that would last through the ages.

Johnson had initially planned a major rally on Sunday, but it was cancelled after the Cox murder. Parliament has been recalled for a special session on Monday to honour her memory.

It is not clear what impact, if any, the shocking killing of Cox will have on the vote.

A 52-year-old man has been charged with murder over the death of the lawmaker, who had publicly backed the "remain" side. When asked his name in court on Saturday, the suspect said "death to traitors, freedom for Britain."

Voters to leave

Newspaper editorial boards also weighed in Sunday. The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph urged voters to leave the EU. The Observer and the Mail on Sunday endorsed staying within the bloc.

The Sun tabloid has earlier said it favours a Brexit.

Both sides are expected to resume full-scale campaigning shortly ahead of the Thursday vote.

Read more on:    david cameron  |  uk  |  brexit

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