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David Cameron Appeals For UK To Remain In EU In Tight 'Brexit' Race
Prime Minister David Cameron has made a last-minute plea to British voters not to give up the "best of both worlds" by voting to remain in the 28-nation EU, a day before a crucial 'Brexit' referendum with polls showing a razor-tight race whose outcome could shape Europe's future
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Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday (22 June) made a last-minute plea to British voters not to give up the "best of both worlds" by voting to remain in the 28-nation EU, a day before a crucial 'Brexit' referendum with polls showing a razor-tight race whose outcome could shape Europe's future.
In the biggest backing yet for the "Remain" camp, 1,280 business leaders, which included representatives of 51 FTSE 100 companies, signed a letter warning that Brexit - or Britain's exit from the EU - would mean "economic uncertainty and put jobs at risk".
Their warning came on the last official day of campaigning before polling booths open at 7 am local time tomorrow with the final result expected early on Friday.
Opinion polls have suggested that while big business is broadly in favour of staying in the EU, small firms have been evenly split in what looks like a photo-finish with one poll showing "Remain" at 45 per cent and "Leave" 44 per cent, with 11 per cent undecided.
But the 'Britain Stronger in Europe' (Remain) camp described today's letter as "unprecedented" as it included around 900 small businesses, ranging from a salt maker in Anglesey, dairy farmers in Devon, printers in Antrim and whisky distilleries in the Scottish Highlands.
Their letter reads, "Britain leaving the EU would mean uncertainty for our firms, less trade with Europe and fewer jobs. Britain remaining in the EU would mean the opposite - more certainty, more trade and more jobs. EU membership is good for business and good for British jobs. That's why, on 23 June, we back Britain remaining in the EU".
Cameron welcomed the support as he kicked off the final hours of his campaigning, stressing that the UK enjoyed a "special status" within the EU and the "best of both worlds".
Speaking to the BBC, he said "We are not shackled to a corpse. You can see the European economy's recovery. It's the largest single market in the world.
"The idea you have to choose between being a success in the European single market of 500 million and campaigning to have jobs and wealth created by trading with other economies - you don't have to choose, you should do both.
"We're in that single market, we're driving that single market, there are lots of things that Britain can help Europe to achieve - whether it's tackling terrorism or signing better trade deals in the future - but we have our own special status protected," he said.
Making a personal plea to those who fear greater European control, he described himself as a "deeply patriotic person".
"We have not been invaded for 1,000 years, we've got institutions that have served us well. I don't want to give that up to some sort of 'United Europe' and that's not what we're going to do.