David Cameron warns Brexit could bring recession for Britain

Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A vote to leave the European Union could tip the British economy back into recession, David Cameron has warned.

The Prime Minister said the country would take an 'immediate and sustained hit' if it votes for Brexit in the referendum on June 23.

'I am absolutely convinced that our economic security will be better if we stay in a reformed European Union and it will be seriously at risk if we were to leave,' he told supporters at a Remain campaign event in his Witney constituency in Oxfordshire.

'If we vote to leave on June 23 we will be voting for higher prices, we will be voting for fewer jobs, we will be voting for lower growth, we will be voting potentially for a recession. That is the last thing our economy needs.'

Earlier, Mr Cameron highlighted the loss of billions of pounds in infrastructure investment which he said the UK would suffer if its membership of the European Investment Bank (EIB) was cancelled as a result of leaving the EU.

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In a statement issued by No 10, he said the EIB had poured £16 billion into projects in the UK over the past three years, helping to finance new trains, motorway extensions and research and development facilities.

'With a smaller economy hit by new trading barriers and job losses, it's unlikely we'd be able to find that money from alternative sources,' he said. 'A Leave vote risks putting the brakes on the infrastructure investment we need and shifting our economy into reverse.'

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His intervention came as Jeremy Corbyn prepared to mount a scathing attack on the Conservatives as he tries to rally support among Labour voters to stay in the EU.

As the battle for votes intensifies, both the Labour leader and the Prime Minister were out on the campaign trail for Remain - but with sharply differing messages.

The Prime Minister was keen to emphasise that the issue of Britain's membership of the EU was 'bigger than party politics'.

However in a rally in London, Mr Corbyn will launch a highly partisan attack on the Conservatives, saying responsibility for many of the country's problems 'lies in 10 Downing Street, not in Brussels'.

His comments are likely to be seen as a response to concerns within the Remain camp that they are encountering significant hostility to the EU on the doorstep in traditional Labour areas.

The Labour leader, who for many years opposed EU membership, will highlight the importance of European regulations in underpinning workers' rights, which would be jeopardised by a Leave vote.

'People in this country face many problems: from insecure jobs, low pay and unaffordable housing to stagnating living standards and environmental degradation, and the responsibility for them lies in 10 Downing Street, not in Brussels,' he will say.

'The Tories and Ukip are on record as saying they would like to cut back our workplace rights and many unscrupulous employers would have our rights at work off us if they had the chance.

'Instead a Labour government will go further and work to raise employment standards throughout Europe to stop the undercutting of wages and strengthen every worker in Europe.'

The official Britain Stronger In Europe campaign said that it is staging 1,000 pro-Remain events across the UK, with Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron and the Greens' Caroline Lucas among those taking to the streets.

On the Leave side, Boris Johnson will be speaking in the South West while the Grassroots Out campaign is mounting a nationwide blitz with events across the country.

They include a rally in Chester addressed by Conservative former cabinet minister Owen Paterson and Ukip migration spokesman Steven Woolfe.

Mr Paterson will say: 'If we vote to remain, we will be consigning ourselves to being a colony of an EU Superstate, with more integration and increasingly diminished British influence.

'If we vote Leave, we will be making the safer choice, and securing the future freedom and prosperity of this region and the UK at large.

Mr Woolfe will say: 'This referendum is not about whether you are on the right of politics or on the left, whether you are Tory, Labour, Ukip or support no party at all.

'This referendum is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take back control of our country. Unlike a general election, every vote matters.'

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