'Project Fear' to Keep UK in EU Set to Backfire as Brexit Support Grows

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Interventions by US President Obama, former US secretaries of state and defense and security advisers – along with former NATO chiefs warning of Armageddon if Britain quits the EU – may backfire, according to commentators and politicians.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has denied pulling diplomatic strings in an effort to garner as much support from his allies and political heavyweights around the world to warn of dire consequences, if Britain left the EU, in a campaign known as 'Project Fear'.

On Tuesday (May 10), two London newspapers, The Times and The Telegraph published letters by 13 former US secretaries of state and defense and national security advisers who said that Britain's "place and influence in the world would be diminished and Europe would be dangerously weakened," if Britain left the EU, whilst former NATO chiefs said Brexit would be "very troubling".

US President Barrack Obama takes part in a Town Hall meeting at Lindley Hall in London, Britain, April 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
Poll: Obama's EU Comments 'Inappropriate,' Say 53% of Brits
In late April, Obama used what is likely to be his final visit to the UK to warn that Britain would go to "the back of the queue" in any future US-UK trade talks if Britain voted to leave the EU following an In-Out referendum on June 23. The fact that he used the word "queue" instead of the more usual US American "line" was swept on by critics who said it smacked of having been scripted by Downing Street. 

YouGov research reveals that most British people did not welcome Obama's contribution to the debate, however. The majority (53%) say it was inappropriate for the President to express a preference on how Britain should vote.

Writing in the Daily Signal, Nile Gardiner, a leading authority on transatlantic relations, is director of The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, said: "The British do not take kindly to being told how to vote, and there can be little doubt that the Obama intervention will backfire in June."

Scaremongering

Alex Salmond, the former First Minister of Scotland and now a Westminster politician believes the referendum campaign so far on both sides has been dominated by "scaremongering," ranging from "at best puerile and at worst outlandish".

However, Cameron's warning that World War 3 could break out if Britain left the EU triggered a huge backlash among senior Conservative MPs and ministers.

"It's pretty desperate stuff. If a house is on fire, most people would get out and try to douse the flames from there, not stay in and risk being burned," Justice Minister, Dominic Raab said.

Bernard Jenkin MP accused his leader of "parroting propaganda."

The latest survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey showed that business opinion in favor of leaving the EU had — in fact — hardened as the campaign continued. 54.1 percent of businesspeople polled would vote to 'Remain', down from 60 percent in February 2016, and 37 percent would vote to 'Leave' — up from 30 percent on the BCC's previous survey.

"Business opinion is split over the EU, yet this survey shows that businesses are rejecting the remain campaign's main tactic of talking down Britain and its dynamic economy," said John Longworth, Chairman of the Vote Leave Business Council.

"Despite the claims of the pro-EU camp to the contrary, business is not fearful of the referendum or the result. This is because they know it is safer to take back control and spend our money on our priorities."

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