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David Cameron Accuses Brexit Campaigners Of "Telling Complete Untruths"

The prime minister said the Leave campaign is trying to "con people into taking a leap in the dark".

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David Cameron has accused Brexit campaigners of "telling complete untruths" and misleading the British public over the EU referendum.

Speaking at a hastily arranged press conference on Tuesday morning, the prime minister said he wanted to "call out" six claims made by the Leave campaign that he said are "not true".

Cameron said Vote Leave was wrong to claim the UK could be forced to bail out eurozone countries, join an EU army, and contribute more funds to an increased EU budget.

He also said claims the UK will save £8 billion if it votes to leave and that the country's EU rebate and right to veto key EU rules are at stake are false.

Cameron said he was concerned that people may go to the ballot box on 23 June with the wrong information. Journalists were invited to the press conference this morning and Cameron said he had decided to organise it after watching TV news on Monday night.

A huge number of credible economic experts had warned of the dangers of a British vote to exit the EU, Cameron said, and he had decided it was important to show the "true contrast between the two campaigns".

He particularly noted interventions from the chair of the US Federal Reserve, the head of the World Trade Organization, and the chief executive of Hitachi.

"There you have it," the prime minister said. "Credible experts warning about risks to our economic security on the one side, and a series of assertions that turn out to be completely untrue on the other. The Leave campaign resorting to total untruths to con people into taking a leap in the dark."

Several journalists at the hastily organised press conference suggested that the Remain camp was concerned it was losing momentum after a series of polls over the weekend suggested the Leave campaign was slightly ahead.

But, responding to a question about the referendum vote, the prime minister said he was "not at all" worried.

In a statement, Douglas Carswell, the UKIP MP and Vote Leave campaigner, said Cameron's speech showed that the "In campaign is in a blind panic".

He said: "David Cameron’s renegotiation was a failure – no one believes he got a deal worth the paper it was written on.

"Now people are rejecting his campaign of fear. The prime minister says we need a proper debate about the facts but he is too chicken to take on anyone from the Vote Leave campaign head-to-head."

There are suggestions Cameron organised the press conference so he could put forward his economic argument for staying in the EU in advance of an ITV debate on Tuesday night.

Cameron delivered his speech just hours after the Remain camp released a video about Farage that listed controversial remarks he has made in the past.

Here are some of the things Leave Campaigner Nigel Farage has said. Will you vote the same way as him? https://t.co/cYLUVDOQSc

With the deadline to register to vote closing at midnight tonight, Cameron also implored people to register if they have not already done so. “So I say to everyone – especially young people in our country who this will affect most of all – don't sit it out on the sidelines," he said.

“Don't let someone else make this decision for you. Get online and register – it only takes a few minutes."

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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