Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has implied that Brexit voters are narrow-minded and called for a “united Europe” as she launched a report claiming a ‘Leave’ vote would lead to 500,000 job losses.
Speaking just a day after the tragic killing of Labour Member of Parliament (MP) Jo Cox, Ms. Lagarde said she had always admired Britain’s “openness to other nationalities and cultures” and added it was “hard to believe attitudes had changed in such a short space of time.”
She also said that too many people in Europe “are led to believe things would be better if only Europe returned to closed borders and economic nationalism.”
Ms. Lagarde praised countries such as Germany, Sweden and Austria which have “opened their hearts” to migrants, claiming mass immigration brings economic benefits.
Her comments follow the death of Labour’s Jo Cox MP who was stabbed and shot on the streets of Birstall in Yorkshire. Thomas Mair, 52, has been charged with murder and appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier today.
‘Remain’ campaigners were quick to jump on the killing, insinuating that the attack was motivated by the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.
The Daily Star even went as far as to describe the alleged killer as a “Brexit gunman” on their front page, prompting widespread outrage.
Newspapers across continental Europe also rushed to a similar conclusion, with one Spanish paper even claiming that “Brexit is stained in blood”. Many others highlighted the fact she opposed Brexit, despite it not being known at that point whether it was a relevant fact.
Responding to Ms. Lagarde’s comments, Conservative MP John Redwood told the Daily Mail: “I deeply resent [being described as narrow-minded]. I am a globalist and want us to leave the EU and join the world. I also believe in fair migration for the whole world and better trade.”