David Davis responds to the Prime Minister’s comments on trade in the Brexit campaign


As reported in the Daily Telegraph:
Cameron takes to the rooftops to nail six ‘lies’

David Cameron yesterday accused leading Eurosceptics of telling six “total untruths” in hastily arranged press conference after he became angered watching the early evening news.

The Prime Minister accused Michael Gove and Boris Johnson’s campaign to leave the EU of trying to “con” voters about the impact of retaining membership. He singled out for criticism claims that EU membership meant Britain cannot veto an EU army, block Brussels spending increases or protect its rebate.

Mr Cameron also rejected suggestions the UK could have to bail out eurozone countries or accept EU treaties against its will and said claims Brexit would save the country £8 billion were not “credible”.

However critics claimed the intervention showed the pro-EU campaign was in a “blind panic” amid tightening polls and accused Mr Cameron of playing “fast and loose with the truth”.

Calling a press conference on a rooftop in central London with less than two hours’ notice, Mr Cameron said he had decided to speak out after seeing Eurosceptic claims on the news.

After listing the six “false” claims, the Prime Minister said: “Credible experts warning about risks to our economic security on the one side, and a series of assertions that turn out to be completely untrue on the other.

“The Leave campaign is resorting to total untruths to con people into taking a leap in the dark. It is irresponsible. It is wrong. It is time that the Leave campaign was called out on the nonsense that they are peddling.”

Appearing to refer to Mr Gove’s dismissal of economic warnings last week, Mr Cameron said: “And what have we heard from those who want us to leave? Complacency and nonchalance. A casual wave of the hand.

“They say people have had enough of hearing from experts. Had enough of experts. Would you say that if you were building a bridge? Or if you were buying a house? I don’t want an expert opinion on the mortgage, or on the building survey?

“Of course not. Why would you say it about one of the most important and complex decisions that this country will have to take in our lifetime?”

Downing St aides denied Mr Cameron had been “bounced” into making the intervention because of tightening polls and dismissed suggestions he should sack ministers he was effectively accusing of lying to voters.

However Eurosceptic MPs said the comments showed the pro-EU campaign was losing the argument.

Douglas Carswell, the Ukip MP, said: “The In campaign is in a blind panic. David Cameron’s renegotiation was a failure – no one believes he got a deal worth the paper it was written on.

“Now people are rejecting his campaign of fear.”

“David Davis, the former Tory frontbencher who backs leaving the EU, said: “It is simply not acceptable for the Prime Minister to give a press conference claiming that the Leave campaign are being free with the facts, only to then run fast and loose with the truth himself.”

There were also signs of frustration among pro-EU Tories with the way the campaign is being run, with polls suggesting a deadlock with less than three weeks to go. One MP told The Daily Telegraph that the In campaign was too “stage-managed” and should include a wider variety of voices to argue their case.
“The campaign is poor, there is no two ways about it and that is the feeling of a lot of people.

“The same politicians are saying the same things and you need to show it’s a broader message,” the MP said. Mr Cameron is expected to reshape his ministerial team after the referendum in what has been nicknamed a ” reunion reshuffle” in an attempt to bring the Tory party back together. A string of parliamentary votes designed to split Labour are also being lined up for next month, including on whether to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent.