Brexit: Final push for votes on last day of campaign (Roundup)

London, June 22 (IANS) British politicians made their final passionate pitch for votes on the last day of campaigning before the vote in the referendum to decide whether Britain remains or leaves the European Union (Brexit).

Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron addressed rallies arguing Britain will be better off and safer with a ‘Remain’ vote in Thursday’s poll, BBC reported.

London Mayor Boris Johnson and UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage with the ex-London mayor appealed to the people to “believe in our country”.

More than 46 million people are eligible to vote in the referendum on June 23 to decide Britain’s fate regarding the union. Britain joined the EU in January 1973.

Britons were asked to choose whether the country should stay in the EU or leave in the first vote on Britain’s links with Europe for more than 40 years.

It has been a campaign which BBC says was too close to call, but changed British politics in a number of ways.

The four-month campaign comes to a close on Wednesday, with campaigners making a last-minute appeal to undecided voters, emphasising their main arguments and encouraging their supporters to turn out to vote.

Cameron who appeared alongside former Prime Minister Sir John Major and former Labour Party leader Harriet Harman in Bristol, said the decision will be irreversible and there will no coming back if Britain votes to leave.

“If I had to sum up this entire campaign in a word, it would be that word ‘together’. I think together we are better able to face the challenges from terrorism and climate change, we are better able to grow our economies, better able to drive good trade deals… and I want us to get the good deals so we give better chances to everyone in our country.”

Cameron said he “did not believe there were any risks from staying” in the EU, saying the eurozone was beginning to recover economically and this would have an effect on levels of migration into Britain after an “abnormal period”.

Characterising Leave supporters as “gravediggers of our prosperity”, Sir John Major said leaving the EU was “no solution” to large-scale population movements around the world and may result in a “broken Britain with less importance and less influence in the world”.

Boris Johnson and other Leave campaigners said only a vote to leave the EU could give Britain the freedom it needs to set its own course, rejecting the economic forecasts suggesting the country would face a downturn following Brexit.

Johnson, the former mayor of London, urged people to “believe in our country” and seize the moment.

“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.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said it had been a “long, lonely road” for him and his party — which has campaigned for EU exit for more than 20 years — and he believed his party’s supporters would “crawl over broken glass” to vote for Brexit.

Corbyn told his supporters that “leaving the EU would hurt our economy — which would mean fewer jobs and less money for our NHS and other vital public services”.

Provisional figures released by the Electoral Commission on Tuesday suggest 46,499,537 people are eligible to vote in the referendum — a record number for Britain-wide poll.

The Guardian in its editorial pitching for staying in the EU said: “A better world means working across borders, not sheltering behind them. Cutting yourself off solves nothing. That, fundamentally, is why Britain should vote to remain in the club that represents the most advanced form of cross-border cooperation that the world has ever seen.”

“Britain was formed and shaped by Europe. And we are — in historical as well as cultural, geographical and trading terms — a European nation… Within the borders of the European Union, there has been no war at all. This has not been an accident. To turn our back on that is unworthy of our traditions,” the editorial said.

At least nine MPs are yet to declare which way they will vote in Thursday’s referendum, — while nearly three-quarters are voting to remain.

Sales of currency since the weekend have surged 74 per cent compared to the same period last year, as those going abroad rush to get cash and lock in exchange rates ahead of the referendum.

Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace was on Wednesday forced to insist that Queen Elizabeth II did not take part in politics after two of Britain’s big selling newspapers brought the monarch into the Brexit discussion.

On the eve of the polling day in the British referendum on EU membership, both the Daily Express and the country’s top selling tabloid, the Sun, said the monarch was quizzing her dinner guests about the benefits of the EU.

The Daily Express carried the headline “Queen issues EU challenge to dinner guests: Give me three ‘good reasons’ to stay in the EU’.”

Meanwhile, more than 1,280 executives, including directors from 51 companies of the FTSE 100, Britain’s benchmark stock market gauge, signed a letter published in the London Times newspaper, backing Britain’s membership of the EU.

The Remain campaign said the letter showed “unprecedented” support from across business and finance.

Most of the polling organisations continued to report that the outcome result of the EU debate was too close to call.

–IANS

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