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Core Cities leaders warn of ‘grave threat’ of Brexit

With a week to go to the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union and the polls favouring victory for the Leave campaign, the leaders of the UK’s major cities have repeated their warning that leaving could harm the economy.

Core Cities, a group consisting of mayors and council leaders in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, first came out in favour of remaining in the EU in March.

They have now signed a new letter warning that “leaving would be a grave threat to our local economies, risking people's jobs and livelihoods”.

"If we vote for Brexit, it will be those at the sharp end – working people, not the leaders of the leave campaign, who will pay the price,” they added. “A vote for Remain is a vote for prosperity and progress for Britain's cities.

“A vote to leave is a vote for serious economic danger. It is simply not worth the risk.”

They said EU membership has created 63,000 jobs, protected 16,800 and provided £1.8bn of infrastructure investment.

A report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy also found that 19 out of 20 public sector leaders backed staying in the EU.

The latest Ipsos MORI poll has 53% of voters saying they support leaving the EU.

But Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Vote Leave campaign, accused Core Cities of “recycling” its previous claims and said: “The truth is that the UK's cities have prospered in spite of our EU membership, not because of it.”

He repeated the claim that the NHS and public sector lose £350m a week because of Britain’s contributions to the EU.

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the Health Committee, switched sides from the Leave campaign to Remain after saying that the £350m claim wasn’t true, as reported in PSE’s sister title National Health Executive.

(Image c. Core Cities)

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James Cairns   20/06/2016 at 16:53

It' s funny how changes terrify all politicians! Yet is was these politicians that got us into this mess in the first. Lets join a very expensive club and we'll worry about the consequences later. It started with Heath who lied to the public and the deceit continues to this very day! In common with politicians the EU hate referendums, the idea of its citizens having a say in anything that might affect their lives, is complete anathema to the EU. There are frightening comparisions to the old USSR and we have every right to concerned as the EU doesn't "do democracy" I just hope the voters on the Thursday see the dangers waiting for them down the road and VOTE OUT

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