David Cameron directly tells Boris Johnson to back him on the EU as gives his first major TV interview since securing his referendum deal at the EU Council.
Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister warned the London Mayor not to share a platform on the EU with the UKIP leader Nigel Farage and former Bradford West MP George Galloway.
Mr Johnson has still not publicly declared if he wants to remain or leave the EU and is considered a highly influential force for either campaign group.
Mr Cameron said: “I would say to Boris what I would say to everybody else which is that we will be safer, stronger, better off inside the EU.
“The prospect of linking arms with Nigel Farage and George Galloway and taking a leap into the dark is the wrong step for our country.
“And if Boris, and if others, really care about being able to get things done in our world then the EU is one of the ways to get things done.”
The British public will be asked to vote on whether they want to stay in the EU or leave on June 23 after the Prime Minister secured a range of reforms at the EU Council this week.
He claims the changes he brokered with EU heads of state would make Britain’s relationship ‘special’, setting it apart from other nations, and will form the basis of his campaign to stay.
However after six cabinet members decided to break-away and campaign to leave, he faces a further hurdle in trying to win over Mr Johnson.
Making a direct play to the Conservative politician, Mr Cameron likened the EU’s value to that of NATO and said having a ‘seat at the table’ is a vital way of protecting the world and maintaining British influence.
He said: “Having that seat at the table in the EU, just as being a member of NATO, is a vital way that we project our values, power and influence in the world.”
Asked whether he felt betrayed by six cabinet members, including his close friend and Justice Secretary Michael Gove, announcing they will campaign to leave the EU, he said yesterday’s cabinet meeting had been ‘civilised’.
Migration It emerged during the interview that vital details on EU migrants claiming in work benefits still need to be worked out by the British Government.
Mr Cameron has negotiated an ‘emergency brake’ on payments when there are exceptional levels of migration, which means people won’t be able to claim full benefits for four years. This deal will remain in place for seven years and would begin in 2020.
However when Andrew Marr asked if after six months of arriving a migrant could still claim 90% of benefits, he said the exact plan on ‘phasing’ was still in progress.
He said: “You get nothing to start with, and you don’t get full access til after four years. Now we have to settle the details, which we will.
“No more something for nothing. Everyone has to pay in before you get out.”
“It’s going to be phased in over four years. We’re going to settle all that later.”
EU heads of state had clashed over Mr Cameron’s plan to pay EU migrants child benefit at the rate of their home nation, but he said it was the right thing to do and easy to roll out, despite criticism that working out rates for 27 other countries would be an administrative burden.
He said: “Yes it’s doable. It’s not a difficult calculation.You just have to work out the relative cost of living in different countries.
“All of this is deliverable or I wouldn’t have agreed to it.”
Mr Cameron said he’s convinced that Britain has strengthened its sovereignty through the negotiation, but there will be a proposal announced in a few days on a way of making that pledge more concrete.
But he denied the country needs a written constitution like other EU nations to give it added protection.
David Cameron: “I’m not making that argument. I don’t think that’s necessary. You’ll have to wait for the proposals.”
Cabinet ministers who will be campaigning to REMAIN
George Osborne, Chancellor
Theresa May, Home Secretary
Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary
Sajid Javid, Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary
Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary
Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary
Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary
Amber Rudd, Energy and Climate Change Secretary
Justine Greening, International Development Secretary
Nicky Morgan, Women and Equalities Secretary
Elizabeth Truss, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary
Stephen Crabb, Secretary of State for Wales
David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland
Oliver Letwin, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Greg Clark, Communities and Local Government Secretary
Cabinet members who will campaign to LEAVE
Michael Gove, Justice Secretary
John Whittingdale, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary
Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary
Chris Grayling, Leader of the House of Commons
Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland