Boris Johnson and Michael Gove challenge Cameron to use veto on Turkey

Posted On: 
16th June 2016

David Cameron has been challenged by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove to veto Turkish accession to the EU.

Boris / Gove Boris Johnson and Michael Gove issued a challenge to David Cameron
PA Images

The two senior Conservatives have written to the Prime Minister to gain assurances that the country will not be able to join, stopping accession talks and preventing Turkish citizens from moving anywhere in the bloc.

The intervention comes after Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU’s migration commissioner said the road was “open” for Turkey to join.

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He said: “The refugee crisis and the implementation of what we agreed is bringing Turkey closer to Europe.

"This crisis is a catalyst for turkey to come closer to Europe."

He added: "Given the contacts I had recently with governmental officials at the highest possible level with Turkey, I can tell you there is a strong will on behalf of Turkey to  cooperate with us to meet all necessary benchmarks, not only in the field of the implementation of EU-Turkey statement, but in general."

The issue of Turkish membership has featured heavily in the referendum campaign, despite Mr Cameron arguing Turkey will not join Europe into the year 3,000.

In a letter to No.10, Mr Gove and Mr Johnson wrote: "Despite the rapidly accelerating pace of accession negotiations, IN campaigners maintain that Turkey ‘is not an issue in this referendum and it shouldn’t be.’

"Others assert that the UK has ‘a veto’ on Turkish accession. This claim is obviously artificial given the Government’s commitment to Turkish accession at the earliest possible opportunity."

"If the Government cannot give this guarantee, the public will draw the reasonable conclusion that the only way to avoid having common borders with Turkey is to Vote Leave and take back control on 23 June."