Britain says Turkey ‘decades’ away from joining EU
LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron has said it would be decades before Turkey could possibly join the EU, saying that it might happen in the year 3000 on current progress.
Even then, the United Kingdom, like all member states, would have a veto on their entry, Cameron said, with future Turkish accession a key battleground in Britain’s referendum on its own EU membership.
“It is not remotely on the cards that Turkey is going to join the EU at any time soon,” Cameron told in a television interview yesterday.
“They applied in 1987. At the current rate of progress, they’d probably get round to joining in about the year 3000.”
Cameron wants Britain to stay in the EU.
With a month to go to the June 23 referendum, the “Remain” camp is on 55 percent and the “Leave” campaign on 45 percent, according to the What UK Thinks website’s average of the last six opinion polls.
“The Leave campaign are making a very misleading claim about Turkey. Turkey is not going to join,” Cameron said. “They’re basically saying vote to get out of Europe because of this issue of Turkey that we can’t stop joining the EU. That is not true.
“Britain and every other country in the European Union has a veto on another country joining.
“At the current rate of progress, it would be decades, literally decades, before this even had a prospect of happening,” he said of Turkish accession. “Even at that stage, we would be able to say no.”–Agencies