EU Referendum

EU referendum: Leave and Remain in final TV clash

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Media captionLeave and Remain campaigners in Wales clash in a final BBC television debate

Leave and Remain campaigners in Wales have clashed in a final BBC television debate, hours before the polls open for Thursday's historic EU referendum.

The BBC Wales EU Referendum Debate considered the economy, immigration and Wales' future, in or out of the EU.

First Minister Carwyn Jones warned a Brexit vote would mean "two years of absolute uncertainty" for business.

UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill said: "I want us to be a free nation where we can make our own laws."

The debate, at Cardiff and Vale College, took place at the end of the final day of campaigning.

Mr Jones and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood represented the Remain campaign while Conservative MP David Davies sat alongside Mr Gill for Vote Leave.

Image caption Carwyn Jones said he wants Wales to have a 'bright confident future' in the EU

Facing questions on the consequences of voting to leave the EU, Mr Jones said: "We leave, it's complete and utter uncertainty and that means that nobody would want to invest in a country where there's that level of uncertainty."

The first minister said Wales' major employers had all agreed that "Brexit is bad".

"And what the Leave campaign is trying to say is that they don't know what they're talking about.

"While I happen to believe that those people who employ thousands of workers in Wales are worth listening to."

Image caption Nathan Gill said without a Brexit vote the UK will be 'stuck in that club for ever'

Mr Gill dismissed what he called "doom and gloom, we're all going to end up living in caves" from the Remain campaign as "absolutely ridiculous".

He said it was wrong to claim, for example, that the pound had been falling in value because of the prospects of the UK leaving the EU.

"It's been going down and down and down for two years," he said.

There were some heated exchanges over immigration, with Monmouth MP Mr Davies saying he was fed up of criticism for raising the issue.

He said, as an EU member, there was "uncontrolled migration of mainly young men" who were coming to the UK "from a variety of countries looking for a better way of life".

"Mainstream politicians should be able to raise the concern that is shared by so many people and I'm fed up, frankly, with being called a racist by people in the Remain campaign for expressing legitimate concerns about it."

Image caption David Davies said he condemned what he called EU 'open door immigration'

Ms Wood rejected Vote Leave's claim that there was an "open door" immigration system but acknowledged people were concerned about it.

"People are very, very angry," she said.

"They are angry because their wages have been depressed, because they've lost many local public services.

"But what I would say to all of those people who have expressed that anger to me is don't blame the people who are already exploited.

"Blame the elite, blame the establishment, blame those people who are causing your problems, not the people who are being exploited as much as you are."

Image caption Leanne Wood said people were wrong to blame immigration for their problems

Summing up the case for Brexit, Mr Gill said the referendum "was the most important vote that you will ever make in your life".

"If we get it wrong, if we vote to remain, then we will be stuck in that club for ever," he said.

Mr Davies described his vision of "an outward looking Wales, an outward looking Britain, trading with the whole world - relationships, good relationships with the whole of the world but answerable to the people of this country".

Ms Wood said Wales could be a "fantastic success", as it was being in the Euro 2016 competition, and it was in the nation's best interest to remain in the European Union.

"Don't take the gamble, don't take the chance, vote Remain tomorrow," she said.

Mr Jones said he wanted the "politics of hope" to "triumph over the politics of hate" in a "bright, confident Britain".

Britain should remain in the EU so that it was "on the pitch playing and not in the crowd shouting", he added.

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