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Pro-Brexit Tories corner Cameron on immigration

LONDON(REUTERS):The British Prime Minister is leading a campaign to persuade voters to keep Britain in the European Union in the June 23 referendum.

British Prime Minister David Cameron. File Photo. AP.

Two leading members of the ruling Conservatives accused British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday of breaking his promise to curb immigration, stepping up hostilities in the party over a battle to win next month’s referendum on remaining in the EU.

In an open letter to Mr. Cameron, his one-time allies Justice Minister Michael Gove and former London Mayor Boris Johnson said “a failure” to curb migration was “corrosive of public trust in politic””.

Mr. Cameron is leading a campaign to persuade voters to keep Britain in the European Union in the June 23 referendum and the ‘Remain’ side said the attempt to move the debate onto immigration showed that ‘Leave’ campaigners had lost the argument on the economy.

Increase in migration
In the letter circulated by the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign, Mr. Gove, Mr. Johnson and Gisela Stuart, a member of the opposition Labour Party and fellow campaigner, said voters had been promised that annual net immigration could be cut to the tens of thousands.

They pointed to official statistics issued last week showing net migration to Britain reached 333,000 in 2015, the second-highest level for a year since records began in 1975.

Of those, a net 184,000 came from the EU, which upholds the principle of free movement.

Earlier on Sunday, a poll suggested that nine out of 10 of Britain’s top economists believed that the economy would be harmed if Britain left the EU. Meanwhile, a Minister in Mr. Cameron’s Cabinet, Priti Patel, wrote an article accusing the ‘Remain’ campaign of being led by people whose wealth protected them from the impact of immigration. — Reuters

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