ABU DHABI, 20th February 2016 (WAM) — A historic referendum on whether Britain should stay in the European Union will be held on 23rd June, Prime Minister David Cameron announced Saturday, even as he declared his belief that the U.K. would be “safer and stronger” if it remained in the 28-nation bloc.
In his statement, Mr Cameron warned that leaving the EU would be a “leap in the dark” as he urged voters to back his reform deal.
The British prime minister made his historic announcement in Downing Street after briefing the cabinet.
“The Cabinet agreed that the government’s position will be to recommend that Britain remains in a reformed European Union. The choice is in your hands – but my recommendation is clear. I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off by remaining in a reformed European Union,” Cameron said.
“This choice goes to the heart of the kind of country we want to be. And the future that we want for our children,” he said.
Cameron warned that leaving Europe would threaten the UK’s economic and national security.
“Those who want to leave Europe cannot tell you if British businesses would be able to access Europe’s free trade single market or if working people’s jobs are safe or how much prices would rise,” he said.
He noted that he would be campaigning to remain in a reformed EU – and described the vote as one of the biggest decisions “in our lifetimes”.
Cameron added that individual Cabinet Ministers will have the freedom to campaign in a personal capacity as they wish.