The British Prime Minister wants world leaders to send him any speeches they plan to make on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) so they can be vetted to make sure they do not undermine his campaign to prevent Brexit.
In a bid to gain control over what the British public hear ahead of June’s referendum, aides to David Cameron have asked that foreign leaders consult them before speaking on Brexit in case they inadvertently boost the “Leave” campaign.
The plan was exposed by one of Mr Cameron’s closest advisors at a lunch last week when he told gathered diplomats from other EU nations they had already made a similar request to the White House.
“The people need to be aware that there’s an impact in the U.K. debate about what they’re saying in their own countries,” Downing Street advisor Daniel Korski said, according to Politico Europe.
“If a leader stands up and says something to their own parliament — it won’t just play in their own domestic media, it will make it to the U.K.”
Also, despite spending months attempting to negotiate a new deal for Britain in the EU, the Prime Minister will barely mention the deal at all during the campaign and instead focus on more general arguments about how the UK is supposedly “stronger, safer and better off” in the EU.
There are already signs that interventions by foreign leaders pleading with Britain to stay in the EU are backfiring. A petition calling on US President Barack Obama to stay out of the debate has now gathered over 15,000 signatures following reports he was planning a “big, public reach-out” to tell Brits to vote against Brexit.
John Kerry had already caused controversy by saying America had a “profound interest” in a “strong UK staying inside a strong European Union”.
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg responded: “The intervention of patronising foreign potentates such as Kerry… can only help the Leave campaign.
“They speak to their national interest not ours so will antagonise the freedom loving British voter.”