EU Referendum

EU referendum: Michael Gove says UK can handle risks outside EU

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Media captionMichael Gove: People making decisions should be "emotionally invested" in the UK

The UK can "deal with whatever the world throws at us" if it votes to leave the EU, Michael Gove says.

The pro-Leave justice secretary said there were "risks to our future" whatever the outcome of the poll.

David Cameron and George Osborne say people will be worse off and that there is "no turning back" if the UK leaves.

In his Andrew Marr Show interview, Mr Gove also said he "shuddered" when he saw UKIP's "breaking point" poster showing a queue of asylum seekers.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who launched the poster last week, described it as "a statement about the whole of the European Union".

But Mr Gove said: "I thought it was the wrong thing to do."

'Progressive beacon'

He said he believed in free speech and did not want to "deny anyone a platform", adding that people would only support helping refugees if they felt the government could control migration numbers.

Mr Gove was interviewed as the EU referendum campaign restarted after being suspended following the death of Labour MP Jo Cox.

He said leaving would be an opportunity for the UK to establish itself as a "progressive beacon to the world".

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The Remain campaign has said such an outcome would be a "gamble" but Mr Gove rejected this term.

"Whether we vote to leave or remain there are risks to our future, there are challenges in the global economy," he said.

"My view is that those challenges will be easier to meet, those risks will be less if we vote to leave because we will have control of the economic levers, we will have control over money we send to the European Union, we will have control over our own laws, and as a result we will be able to deal with whatever the world throws at us."

'Clear outline'

Vote Leave has set out a string of policies it wants to see enacted if it wins Thursday's referendum, including extra cash for the NHS and cutting VAT on fuel bills, in what has been seen an alternative manifesto for life outside the EU.

Mr Gove said it was a "clear outline of the things that we could achieve if we leave" and that he would say to David Cameron "now is the time for us to implement these proposals".

He also defended his campaign's claims about Turkish membership of the EU. The Remain campaign says the UK has a veto on whether Turkey is able to join, and David Cameron has said it would be "literally decades" before Turkey was considered ready to join.

But Mr Gove said both the UK government and the EU supported Turkish accession.

He defended Vote Leave's references to the birth rate in Turkey, saying it was important to take into account the number of people that could come to the UK.

And despite being on different sides to David Cameron and George Osborne in the EU debate, he strongly defended both men's record.

The PM, meanwhile, has said the UK faces an "existential choice" in the EU referendum.

"Are we going to choose Nigel Farage's vision - one which takes Britain backwards; divides rather than unites; and questions the motives of anyone who takes a different view," Mr Cameron wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.

"Or will we, instead, choose the tolerant, liberal Britain; a country that doesn't blame its problems on other groups of people; one that doesn't pine for the past, but looks to the future with hope, optimism and confidence? I think the answer will determine what our country feels like for a very long time."

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