EU referendum: Vote Leave incoherent on Turkey, claims Britain Stronger in Europe

 
James Nickerson
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo
Leave campaigners claim Turkey's membership is imminent (Source: Getty)

Pro-Brexit campaign group Vote Leave has an incoherent message on Turkey's potential accession to the EU, according to Vote Leave.


Today Vote Leave claimed Turkey, as well as other countries, would join the EU in the next four years, leading to more immigration, as well as security concerns.

But Britain Stronger In Europe said this has "been exposed as a lie", with Boris Johnson (a prominent Vote Leave member) having said that Turkey won't join anytime soon.

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Johnson said: "I think the chances of the Turks readily acceding to the European Union are between, you know, nil and 20 per cent… Well, probably lower than that. I mean, it's not going to happen in the… foreseeable future.


"And if it were to happen, what you wouldn't get is anything to do with free movement. I think that is where people are rightly spooked at the moment.

"They think the idea of suddenly 75m Turks having the, you know, and all of those coming in to Turkey notionally having rights of free travel, visa-free travel to the EU, that's just simply not on the cards."

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The statements led Chuka Umunna, former shadow business secretary, to state Vote Leave's central claims are a lie.

"The opportunistic hypocrisy of the leave campaign has reached new depths. Boris Johnson’s own comments expose their central claims as being a lie," Umunna said.

"Vote Leave know there will be no new EU countries in the foreseeable future but are lying because they have lost the economic argument. The truth is, you do not control immigration by damaging the economy and sending Britain back to recession, which experts say would happen if we vote to leave," he added.

A deal between the EU and Turkey to ease the flow of migrants into Europe has sparked speculation that Turkey could join the EU within a matter of years.

However, leading figures including Prime Minister David Cameron - and as we've seen, BoJo - have said that Turkey won't join the EU for decades.