British minister admits leave campaign wrong to fuel Turkey fears

British minister admits leave campaign wrong to fuel Turkey fears

LONDON
British minister admits leave campaign wrong to fuel Turkey fears

Reuters file photo

Britain’s Environment Secretary Michael Gove has admitted the official leave campaign should not have stoked fears about Turkish immigration during the 2016 Brexit referendum, the Guardian reported on July 16. 

Gove, who was a key figure in the winning Vote Leave campaign, reportedly said in a new book the leave campaign “would have [had] a slightly different feel” if it had been left entirely to him.

During the campaign, Gove claimed Turkey and four other countries could join the European Union as soon as 2020, and their accession could lead to moving to the United Kingdom by 2030 under free movement.

In his new book “Ctrl Alt Delete,” Tom Baldwin, a former communications director for Ed Miliband, asked the Conservative minister whether he had been happy making appeals to “some very low sentiments” in the context of concerns over Turkish immigration.

“I know what you mean, yes. If it had been left entirely to me, the leave campaign would have a slightly different feel,” the minister reportedly replied.

“I would have to go back and look at everything I said and think whether that was the right response at the right time. There is a sense in the back of my mind that we did not get everything absolutely right. It is a difficult one,” he said.

Michael Gove, Brexit, Turkey