British Prime Minister David Cameron has come under fire from the senior members of his own party over the government’s failure to reduce migration into the UK
, amid fierce debates over the country’s future in the European Union (EU).
In a scathing open letter published on Sunday, Tory MP Boris Johnson, and Justice Secretary Michael Gove described as “corrosive” the Prime Minister’s failure to keep his promise to bring migration levels down.
Back in 2010, Cameron announced a series of new measures to tackle illegal migration and pledged to reduce net migration into Britain to below 100,000, “no ifs, no buts.”
This week, however, quarterly figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that net migration to the UK, the difference between the number of people entering the European country and leaving it, rose to 333,000 in 2015, rendering ineffective Cameron’s measures six years into their implementation.
In their open letter, Johnson and Gove, two major supporters of the Brexit option, took advantage of Cameron’s failure and defended the push to leave the EU, which is to be decided in a referendum on June 23.
“This promise is plainly not achievable as long as the UK is a member of the EU and the failure to keep it is corrosive of public trust in politics
,” they wrote.
The urged the premier to acknowledge the “fact” that voting to stay will mean that the UK will have to “admit economic migrants from the EU, whether or not they have a job offer.”
In a separate interview on Sunday, Gove took another jab at Cameron, saying his “apocalyptic warnings” against Brexit would test his credibility if they turn out to be false.
He also regarded Cameron’s insistence that Turkey was not set to join the EU as another one of his “lies,” jokingly saying “You are having us on.”
Cameron has warned that leaving the EU would cost Britain billions of pounds and put its security at risk.
Meanwhile, those in favor of a British withdrawal from the EU argue that outside the bloc, London would be better positioned to conduct its own trade negotiations, better able to control immigration and will be free from what they call excessive EU regulations and bureaucracy.