Britain – Politics – EU – Welfare

‘Civil War’ in UK Govt. as Anti-EU Minister Who Quit Speaks Out

‘Civil War’ in UK Govt. as Anti-EU Minister Who Quit Speaks Out
Sun Mar 20, 2016 19:40:53

A top British Eurosceptic minister who quit over welfare cuts launched a damaging attack on Prime Minister David Cameron Sunday, exposing deep tensions within his government ahead of June’s referendum on EU membership.

In his first interview since resigning Friday, Iain Duncan Smith accused Cameron of trying to reduce Britain’s budget deficit through benefit cuts which were unfairly hurting poorer voters while protecting older, often richer ones.

Duncan Smith

Duncan Smith, who last month became one of the most senior of Cameron’s Conservatives to say he would campaign against the premier for Britain to leave the EU on June 23, denied his shock resignation was about Europe.

But the man who led the Conservatives from 2001 to 2003 admitted that Cameron and his finance minister and close ally George Osborne had stopped listening to him.

“This is not some secondary attempt to attack the prime minister or about Europe,” Duncan Smith said in a BBC television interview, adding he quit because he was “losing that ability to influence events from the inside.”

Duncan Smith also said that Cameron’s government was “in danger of drifting in a direction that divides society, not unites it.”

The resignation of Duncan Smith — a former army officer who is often referred to by his three initials, IDS -- is perhaps the biggest blow Cameron has suffered since being re-elected last year.

It comes just three months ahead of the referendum on EU membership on June 23 which Cameron admitted in an interview published Sunday would be close.

“My fear is turnout,” the prime minister told the Independent on Sunday. “For heaven’s sake, get out and vote in, because you might wake up and find you’re out,” AFP reported.

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