EU referendum: Nick Clegg says Remain has "comprehensively" won the economic argument

James Nickerson
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Nick Clegg's Statement Following Heavy Election Losses For The Liberal Democrats
Clegg agrees there will be economic damage if the UK leaves the EU (Source: Getty)

The economic argument has been "comprehensively" won by the Remain side, former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said.

Speaking ahead of an EU intervention later today, Clegg said: "I think the economic argument, it's fair to say objectively, has been pretty comprehensively won by those who say there will be huge economic damage and uncertainty if we leave".

Read more: With three weeks until the result, can we trust any of the EU referendum polls?

Clegg speaks after Prime Minister David Cameron's mixed performance on Sky last night.

The Prime Minister said he would trigger exit procedures immediately after a Brexit vote but claimed it would take 10 years to reneg­ot­iate trade deals with the European Union.

"Do we want a decade of uncertainty?" he asked.

However, Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers, who is pro-Leave, said that the studio audience's reaction last night shows people are "not being taken in about the scare stories about economic decline" that would be brought about by Brexit.

Read more: Dumbed down Brexit row patronises voters

On BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Clegg also said that leaving the EU will not solve immigration.

"Pulling out of the EU won't end immigration, if you follow Australia points system they have twice the level of immigration per head of population as we do. It's a two way street, what does it mean for the 1.3m Brits in the European Union?"

It comes after the Leave campaign this week suggested a points-based immigration system in the event of Brexit.

Later David Miliband will wade into the Remain campaign. Joining Alan Johnson in Birmingham, he will say the world invests £880 in Britain every second because of the EU.

Clegg also reiterated his claim that Boris Johnson is a version of Donald Trump with a thesaurus. "He speaks with greater panache and elegance than Trump but what he and many populists are doing is appealing to people's fears, but they're not actually providing solutions".

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