Iain Duncan Smith: David Cameron is 'lying to the British people' over Turkey

Posted On: 
22nd June 2016

Iain Duncan Smith has accused David Cameron of "lying to the British people" over his claims that Turkey may not join the European Union until the year 3000.

Iain Duncan Smith has gone to war with David Cameron
PA Images

In a stinging attack, the former Cabinet minister said the Prime Minister was "colluding with the EU" while deceiving voters in order to secure a Remain vote in tomorrow's referendum.

His remarks came after Turkish government minister İlnur Çevik told the BBC' that his country was "flabbergasted" that Mr Cameron was now distancing himself from their bid to join the EU.

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Former Prime Minister Sir John Major - who is campaigning alongside Mr Cameron today - also appeared to contradict his Tory colleague by saying Turkey could join in a decade.

Vote Leave have claimed that Turkish accession would allow the country's 75 million population to move to Britain under EU freedom of movement rules.

Mr Duncan Smith, who resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary in March, said: "David Cameron has repeatedly claimed that Turkey is not going to join the EU despite it being Government policy. Now the Turkish government has confirmed that he is the ‘chief supporter’ of their bid to join the EU.

"Cameron also said that Turkey will not join until the year 3000 but Sir John Major has let the cat out of the bag - Turkey could be in the EU in ten years’ time.

"I’m afraid there is no conclusion you can draw from this, except that David Cameron is colluding with the EU and lying to the British people. Families are suffering the consequences of uncontrolled migration - a direct result of the EU’s obsession with freedom of movement."

On the Andrew Marr Show two weeks ago, Mr Cameron said: "There is no prospect of Turkey joining the EU in decades. You cannot find an expert on this subject - you’ve been quoting lots of experts – you cannot find one, because it’s not going to happen."

But appearing on Newsnight last night, Mr Çevik said: "Turks felt that the British were the driving force behind our EU membership and that they were driving us right to the hilt. The way Mr Cameron put it, we feel really, really taken in.

"The way he’s saying it, 'they were never going to get in anyway, we just said we’ll go along with them', that kind of attitude is deeply hurting the Turks.”