David Cameron: Turkey will not join EU for decades

Posted On: 
5th May 2016

David Cameron has said Turkey's accession to the European Union will not happen “for decades”.

The Prime Minister said Turkey joining the EU was not "remotely on the cards"
PA Images

The Prime Minister said the possibility was not “remotely on the cards” during a Commons grilling from eurosceptic MPs on the Liaison Committee.

Brexit campaigners have warned a new wave of migrants from Turkey and other countries not currently in the bloc would threaten public services.

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In 2010 Mr Cameron said he supported Turkey's accession, but the Government has been forced to row back to quell eurosceptic anger ahead of the 23 June EU referendum.

Yesterday he stopped short of opposing Turkey's accession but said it was “not an issue” relevant to the impending vote on Britain's ties with Brussels.

“I don’t think the accession of Turkey to the European Union is remotely on the cards. I don’t think it will happen for decades,” he said.

“It requires unanimity of all European members. The French, for instance, have said they would have a referendum on it.

“I would say very clearly to people, if your vote in this referendum is being influenced by considerations about Turkish membership of the EU, don’t think about it. It’s not an issue in this referendum and it shouldn’t be.”

Elsewhere in the grilling, Tory eurosceptic MP Bernard Jenkin threatened Mr Cameron with legal action if the Government refused to take pro-EU campaign material off its website.