EU referendum morning briefing: leaders step up with the birds and the GMBs
The big picture
Today sees both David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn wheeled out for big set pieces: the opposition leader makes a speech this morning on why Labour is “overwhelmingly for staying in” (), while the prime minister hits Sky News this evening for an interview and Q&A.
Cameron will be fresh from a visit to the Rainham Marshes nature reserve in Essex, where he’ll say that . Expect wellies – as essential to any political campaign as a .
Corbyn, in a speech at the Institute of Engineering Technology this morning, will say that would be a “disaster” threatening the rights of British workers, such as paid holiday and maternity leave.
He’ll also reiterate his opposition to sharing a platform with the prime minister (as in Roehampton a few days ago) and other pro-Remain Tories, saying:
Tim Roache, general secretary of the GMB a Corbyn backer, the Labour leader was being “mealy mouthed” about the referendum and needed to be “bolder and braver” on the immigration issue:
Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is the latest European leader to weigh in, hot on the heels of by Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, on Wednesday. Rajoy said Brexit would be
You should also know:
Sky News, hosting tonight’s questioning of Cameron, it has been shown internal polling by Vote Leave and ICM in which:
All of which might be a hint about the line of questioning to expect this evening.
Separately, by YouGov’s Anthony Wells on why there won’t be official exit polls on referendum day – and why those private polls might not be of much use – is an interesting read.
Cameron’s refusal to face his Tory opponents means tonight’s Sky News Q&A isn’t the only stretched-out debate to be coming to our screens. A full 24 hours will separate the prime minister’s appearance tonight from the snappy comebacks of Out campaigner – and Conservative Cabinet minister – Michael Gove.
Nigel Farage will make it on to the same programme as Cameron on 7 June for ITV’s “debate”, but the two men won’t appear on-screen together. And two BBC Question Time specials – again featuring Cameron and Gove – are four days apart.
(Do read Jane Martinson on the .)
It all comes as Boris Johnson – fresh from setting out a post-Brexit immigration policy – he was “not forming an alternative government”, despite the fact the policy was set out by Johnson (along with Gove and Priti Patel) as a pledge rather than merely an option for whoever might find themselves as prime minister after 23 June.
George Eaton argues that some in the Brexit camp certainly view the referendum as a chance to oust Cameron – but also claims a number of MPs “had informed the chief whip that they would resign the Conservative whip if Gove was made deputy prime minister”.
Juliet Samuel asks why the Brexiteers want to copy the :
Latika Bourke, , says the proposals could also make it easier for Australians to move to the UK, according to Conservative MEP and Leave campaigner Daniel Hannan:
(This also contains the interesting nugget that there are approximately 87,000 Australians living in the UK eligible to vote in the referendum.)
Steven Erlanger says the referendum is “becoming as divisive and nasty as the one in Scotland” and talks to Douglas Alexander, the former Labour MP , and now a campaigner for Remain:
On the issue of the nastiness or otherwise of the current debate, is an illuminating guide.
Baffling claim of the day
Google has been “accused of burying results for [a] popular pro-Brexit website” in the little-traversed wilderness of the second page of search results. The site – EUReferendum.com – has been demoted, according to founder Richard North, and now comes behind such little-known sources as the BBC, Telegraph and the Guardian, as well as government information sites, in searches for “EU referendum”.
Celebrity endorsement of the day
A cavalcade of European cultural figures – including novelist Elena Ferrante, actors Julie Delpy, Isabella Rossellini and Stellan Skarsgård, illustrator Axel Scheffler (who also drew the cover art), singers Nana Mouskouri and Björn Ulvaeus, and, um, footballs managers Arsène Wenger and Gérard Houllier – have asking Britain to “please stay”:
The day in a tweet
If today were a song ...
It would be . Sung by the Police. But also by David Cameron to Michael Gove. And Jeremy Corbyn to David Cameron. And pretty much everyone to Nigel Farage.
And another thing
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