The Strategist

Cameron: Turkey will join the EU after 3000

05/24/2016 - 16:20

David Cameron is trying to shift attention from upcoming ‘Brexit’ referendum to Turkey's problems. In particular, he says that the country will probably not be ready to join the EU "befor the year 3000", given its current pace of the necessary changes.

Ben Fisher/GAVI Alliance
Ben Fisher/GAVI Alliance
Supporters of ‘Vote Leave’ campaign published posters ‘Turkey joins the EU’ accompanied with an image of a British passport, which clearly alludes to the new wave of migration.

The Brexit campaign puts the Turkish question in the limelight trying to excite the public concern about migration.

United Kingdom has long supported Turkey's accession to the EU. However, Cameron said on Sunday that it was "just a decade before there emerged a chance".

Cameron also criticized Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, for supporting ‘Brexit’. On Sunday, she said that Britain has no right of veto Turkey’s accession.

"The campaign ‘Leave’ creates a series of contradictions, Britain and every other country in the EU have the right to veto accession of any country" - said Cameron.

Turkey, which made first step towards joining the former European Economic Community in 1963, has showed a slow progress since then. It falls far short of EU standards in areas such as freedom of expression and the media.

‘Vote Leave’ campaign acknowledged that even if the UK had right to veto Turkey’s accession, the country would not have to use it: during several recent visits to Ankara, Cameron said he supported Turkey's membership in the EU.

The pro-Brexit campaign needs a change since the struggle for the UK's membership in EU has intensified in the last months. According to a survey conducted by the FT, 47% of respondents were in favor to stay in the EU, and 40% voted to leave the union.

So far, all indications are that the UK remains in the EU. At the same time, according to bookmaker Paddy Power, the chances that the British vote for ‘Brexit’ have been reduced from 1/3 to 2/9 three weeks ago. This implies that the UK will remain in the EU with a probability of 82%. 

"A weaker currency implies a more expensive import. This, in turn, means more expensive food and higher costs for the business" - Cameron said.

At the same time, Head of the UK’s National Health Service Simon Stevens argued that such a vote is "extremely dangerous" because the economic downturn would put the health service in even more disastrous financial situation.

Stevens and Cameron presented a united front to confront powerful arguments in favor of ‘Leave’ campaign, during which Britain could leave the EU.

Cameron said the EU referendum is "more important" in comparison with the general elections, because its effects will be reflected on future generations. On the contrary, the government can retire within five years.

The prime minister also tightened the criticism of Donald Trump, saying that the proposal of the US presidential candidate to ban Muslims from entering the US is rather "dangerous."

However, he also noted that he would hold a meeting with Mr. Trump if the latter visits the United Kingdom: "The presidential candidates have a habit to visit Europe and the UK, in particular, and if that happens, I would be very happy."