VOTING to stay in the European Union will signal to the world that “Britain is back” and unleash the country’s potential, according to the Prime Minister.
David Cameron claimed settling the question of EU membership, following on from the referendum on Scottish independence, would give the UK a new sense of confidence about its place in the world.
The Prime Minister also defended Labour’s Remain campaign which has faced criticism from within its own ranks.
The question of EU membership is the third referendum called by David Cameron since he entered Downing Street in 2020 following those on voting reform and Scottish independence.
The Prime Minister said: “I think if we can decide that we are a United Kingdom inside a reformed European Union then I think the opportunities for this country are massive because we’ve got so much going for us.”
He continued: “I’m full of confidence that in this complicated globalised world Britain can be a big success story. We’ve dug ourselves out of the problems we were in after the great recession, we are growing, we are creating jobs and I think the opportunities are there.
“And I think settling this issue will sort of unleash a sense of Britain is back, Britain knows what it’s doing, where it’s going and will be the country that everyone wants to partner with.
“So I’m hugely optimistic but we’ve got to settle this issue first.”
Regionally and nationally Mr Cameron will need Labour votes to secure a Remain victory but Jeremy Corbyn has faced criticism from his own party’s supporters for his approach to the campaign.
But Mr Cameron, who has appeared alongside Sadiq Khan and Harriet Harman at campaign events, maintained Labour was pulling its weight..
He said: “I think the Labour In campaign has been very strong. Jermy Corbyn’s made speeches, Alan Johnson has been very strong, Yvette Cooper, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has got a big mandate behind him.
“The extraordinary thing about our campaign is that in Stronger In you’ve got Greens, Liberal Democrats, Labour, the Conservative government, the TUC, universities, very strong voices in business, it is a very very strong campaign.”
The Prime Minister argued the media was in danger of “getting too over-excited” about Conservative in-fighting over Europe and that other Remain voices should not be “crowded out”.
The Prime Minister was speaking to The Yorkshire Post after answering readers’ EU referendum questions at a special event in Leeds and he insisted there were still votes to be won with less than two weeks to go.
Mr Cameron said: “In a general election when people say they are undecided they often mean ‘I don’t want to be rude but I’m not voting for you.
“On this occasion I think people are genuinely undecided. I think there are many people who emotionally have got things about Europe that are annoying them - which i think includes all of us in many ways - but they can see the strength of the arguments about our economy, opportunity and the rest of it.
“I think they are wrestling with those things and I hope they come down on the side of staying in because it will be better for our economy and we can still fight for reform and change from within.”