LONDON: Days before Britain’s referendum on whether to leave the European Union, former Prime Minister David Cameron made an appeal to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for limits on the free movement of people, British Media reported on Saturday.
Britons voted on June 23 to exit the EU, with the issue of immigration and control of the free movement of people from the bloc a key campaigning issue for the “Leave” camp.
As polls indicated immigration concerns were swaying the public towards supporting Brexit, the BBC said Cameron, who quit after the EU result, telephoned Merkel to ask if she was willing to issue a statement with other EU leaders agreeing to make concessions on free movement if Britain voted to stay.
The idea was eventually shelved and the BBC said Merkel had told Cameron at an EU summit after the vote that there could be no compromise on free movement within the bloc.
Andrew Cooper, an ally of Cameron who was the main pollster for Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, said the “Remain” camp had failed to respond to public fears about immigration.