Remain faces ‘real prospect’ of defeat in EU referendum, Andy Burnham warns – The Sun

THE Remain campaign is facing the ‘very real prospect’ of defeat in the EU referendum in two weeks’ time, a senior Labour politician has warned.

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham said a vote to leave the European Union on June 23 could lead to social ‘fragmentation’ and the break-up of the United Kingdom.

And he said Labour would be partly to blame because he said the party’s campaigning had failed to reach out to traditional Labour voters amid fears that concerns about immigration are driving them to back Leave.

His comments come as prominent Labour backbenchers Dennis Skinner and John Mann announced they were joining the handful of the party’s MPs who are supporting Leave.

Mr Burnham told BBC’s Newsnight: “We have definitely been far too much Hampstead and not enough Hull in recent times and we need to change that.

“Here we are two weeks away from the very real prospect that Britain will vote for isolation.

“I think it would have a profound effect on our national life – the fragmentation that will come, the fear and the division."

He added: "Those are all the things that the terrorists couldn't create with their bombs and yet we will have a situation where society becomes more divided.

"If this decision is taken, dominoes will start to fall. It won't just be the EU that starts to break up, it will be Britain too."

Writing in The Sun, Mr Mann said that he now favoured withdrawal as the country had "one hand tied behind our back" when it came to controlling immigration in the EU.

And veteran left-winger Mr Skinner told Morning Star he was rebelling against the party line as he believed furthering socialist reform would be easier as an independent country.



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Mr Skinner said: "My opposition from the very beginning has been on the lines that fighting capitalism state-by-state is hard enough.

“It's even harder when you're fighting it on the basis of eight states, 10 states and now 28."

Mr Burnham’s warnings come as Ed Miliband joins the campaign trail for his party to try and inject new momentum into the fight for Remain.

He will attack Boris Johnson and the Leave campaign for committing a ‘fraud’ on the British people.

Former cabinet minister Yvette Cooper will release a report warning of the damage facing Labour heartlands if the "far right of the Conservative Party" gets its way.

And deputy leader Tom Watson will release analysis indicating Brexit could result in £18 billion of welfare cuts and tax hikes as the Tories impose tighter austerity measures.

The attacks by Labour are aimed at rallying the party's supporters behind the Remain cause following criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's efforts in the referendum campaign.

A Vote Leave spokesman said: "As support drains away from the Remain campaign, they are getting ever more desperate and hysterical with their fanciful Leave predictions.

"We need to vote Leave if we want to take back control of our economy, borders and democracy."

A spokesman for Mr Burnham said: "Andy Burnham's comments have been misreported. He was answering a question about Labour in general being 'a coalition between Hampstead and Hull'.

“He repeated his long-standing analysis that Labour in the last two decades has been too London-centric."

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