'Brexit campaign is trying to use Turkey to stir up fear over immigration,' says Associate Fellow of Chatham House

'The Brexit campaign is trying to use Turkey to stir up fear over immigration' says Associate Fellow of Chatham House

Many have raised questions about whether Turkey will join the EU

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Many Leave campaigners have been discussing the possibility of Turkey joining the EU, but Associate Fellow of Chatham House Fadi Hakura says it's highly unlikely.

A number of Brexit campaigners have warned that if they join the EU, it will affect immigration levels, while others have said this is not true.

Chatham House is an independent policy institute and Hakura is part of the Europe Programme.

"It is extremely unlikely. The prospects of Turkey joining the European Union is extremely remote, I doubt it will ever happen at least in my lifetime," Hakura told Sam Delaney.

"The impression given by the Brexit campaign was misleading. The impression that was given that Turkey would join the EU was extremely inaccurate.

"I think the Brexit campaign is trying to use Turkey to stir up fear over immigration. They’re trying to create the image that if Turkey joins the EU there will be millions of Turks swarming in to the EU.

"Turkey's political leadership is not interested in membership. If you look at the rhetoric, Turkey's moving further and further away from Europe and closer to the middle east."

When David Cameron appeared on Question Time, he didn't confirm whether he would veto Turkey if they asked to join the EU, instead claiming they wouldn't be joining in the near future, which many have criticised.

"Cameron is absolutely accurate. It is a red herring, the prospect of Turkey joining the European Union is extremely remote.

'He was reluctant to use the word veto because Turkey and Britain have extremely important strategic military, economic and political ties and Prime Minister did not want to damage those ties.

"Both the French public and Austrian public are extremely skeptical of Turkey joining the EU, so just those two countries alone will veto Turkey."