Wales politics

EU referendum: Andrew RT Davies calls for 'positive' debate

Andrew RT Davies

Doomsday predictions of "Armageddon" if Britain leaves the EU should be replaced by an "honest, positive debate", according to the leader of the Welsh Conservatives.

Leave campaigner Andrew RT Davies wants both campaigns to present their visions without "project fear".

He said the 23 June referendum gave a choice between a looser partnership with Europe or greater political union.

Britain Stronger in Europe believes leaving would be "a leap in the dark".

But, writing for the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Mr Davies said: "Frankly, if Armageddon really was waiting just the other side of a vote to leave the EU then it would never have been put to a public vote.

"That's why, in the last few weeks of the campaign it's time for a more positive tone from all sides," Mr Davies said writing for the Institute of Welsh Affairs.

He believes a vote to stay in is a vote for a "United States of Europe" and "a one way road to ever closer political union".

Mr Davies believes the UK should stay true to the principles on which the UK originally joined the EU - to drive economic prosperity and boost trading with neighbours.

"At risk"

But he no longer sees that as being possible and believes the EU is taking on more characteristics of a nation in its own right.

"The logical next step is for the EU to develop tax-raising powers, particularly with the Euro so central to the project," he added.

"For my part, I don't buy into the vision of the EU as my nation."

Campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe pointed to treasury analysis that suggested leaving the world's largest single market would leave "a £36bn black hole in public spending".

It also said that 100,000 EU citizens work in the NHS and these could not easily be replaced.

Remain campaigner and former Labour leader Neil Kinnock said leaving would be "a leap in the dark that would put our NHS at risk".

He added: "What is certain is that leaving the EU's Single Market of 500 million people would devastate our economy and cut people's wages."

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