Tag Archive: Brexit

UK employment falls by most since 2015

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Signs that a Brexit slowdown may be taking a toll on the country

After a strong steady rise in employment in recent years, the number of people in work in Britain fell by the most in more than two years in the three months to September.

Experts have cautioned this may be a sign that a Brexit slowdown may be taking its toll on the economy’s strong run of job creation.

Official data shows the number of people in employment fell by 14,000 while the measure of people not in work and not seeking a job rose by the most in nearly eight years.

“After two years of almost uninterrupted growth, employment has declined slightly on the quarter,” said Matt Hughes of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number of people in work remained higher than a year earlier, however, and statistician Hughes warned that people should not read too much into figures for one quarter.

The last time the number of people in work in Britain fell was in the three months to October last year, although that decline was small.

The biggest fall in employment in the latest figures occurred among people aged between 18 and 24, suggesting some of the weakness might be due to young people giving up work to pursue their studies, although the seasonally adjusted figures should smooth out that effect.

Britain’s economy initially withstood the shock of last year’s decision by voters to leave the European Union but has slowed in 2017 and is growing at half the rate of Germany. Most forecasters expect it to slow further in 2018.

The ONS said the unemployment rate held at a four-decade low of 4.3 percent but that pay growth, which would usually be expected to rise with so many people in work remained much slower than inflation.

The ONS said workers’ total earnings, including bonuses, rose by an annual 2.2 percent in the three months to September. That was weaker than 2.3 percent in the three months to August but a touch stronger than a median forecast of 2.1 percent in a Reuters poll of economists.

Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 2.2 percent year-on-year, the ONS said, in line with expectations.

Data published by the ONS shows British consumer price inflation stood at 3.0 percent in October, maintaining the squeeze on the spending power of households.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised help for households and her chancellor, Philip Hammond, is under pressure to come up with further measures when he announces his budget plan on 22nd November.

Unlocking British Muslim potential is long over-due!

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Qari Asim MBE is the senior Imam at Makkah Mosque in Leeds

Qari Asim MBE is the senior Imam at Makkah Mosque in Leeds


Integration matters to all of us. We all want to live together well in Britain, without stigma or fear of each other. Sharing values and opportunities with fellow Brits - an aspiration that is strongly shared by Muslims and others alike - is of paramount importance post the Brexit vote.

The “Missing Muslims” report, commissioned by Citizens UK and chaired by Dominic Grieve, former Attorney-General, is a timely and valuable addition to the literature about Muslims. It recognises the huge contribution of Muslims, makes useful recommendations to achieve greater integration and avoids the trap of conflating religion and ethnicity. The report follows an 18-month Commission that listened to a wide range of voices politics, business, faith and civic society.

The report makes 18 practical and inexpensive recommendations to unlock the potential of Muslims for the benefit of all. The report does not seem to seek ‘special treatment’ for British Muslims.
There are three recommendations of that stand out for me.

First, the government needs to adopt a workable definition
of anti-Muslim prejudice and legislate against it. Following the atrocities at Manchester Arena and London Bridge, attacks against Muslims went up fivefold, and more recently there have been reports of a number of acid attacks on Muslims.

The 2016 hate-crime action plan, set out by the government, and assurances by the Home Secretary following the Finsbury Park are commendable steps but there is a need to legislate against such hatred.

A working definition of anti-Muslim prejudice could be informed by the definition of anti-semitism adopted by the government in 2016. In addition to legislation, there needs to be a change in civic attitudes towards Muslims so that they are neither treated as suspects nor stigmatised.

Recently, I held a workshop between our mosque and local third sector organisations and we learnt that most people are still either in denial of anti-Muslim hatred or are unaware of the impact it has on young Muslims. Anti-Muslim hatred is a notable obstacle to integration and participation in public life.

Second important recommendation is for the Government to develop an integration strategy. There seems to be significant scepticism across British society about the integration, and even the shared allegiance, of fellow Brits. This has resulted, at times, Muslims not sharing equal status or access to equal opportunities.

A member of my congregation in Leeds applied for the same job - one application filled in with a Muslim name and the other with an English name. He had positive replies from employers on the application with an English name but never heard back on the other application. Similar experiences are shared by many young Muslims across the country.

The government and the business sector must help to identify and break down the barriers to equal opportunity.

Of course, integration cannot solely be achieved by governments' actions. We all need to pay attention to the places where our society looks more fragmented. No community should become segregated or cut-off – whether that’s because of a lack of contact with people from other backgrounds, or not speaking fluent English, or because some people don’t want them to be part of our shared society. The report acknowledges that integration is a two-way street and we all need to find ways of engaging across ethnic lines.

It goes without saying that protection from anti-Muslim prejudice and greater integration requires meaningful engagement between the state and parts of the Muslim community, including those with whom the government may disagree. Both parties need to proactively address the 'broken relationship' to develop a more united, cohesive and stronger nation. The politicians need to reach out beyond community gatekeepers and include women and young in their engagement, and the Muslim communities must also provide access beyond the usual gatekeepers.

Third, the cluster of recommendations made to the British Muslim communities focus on Muslims investing in their mosques and Imams, capacity building and improving the governance of their institutions.

The recommendation for Muslim umbrella bodies to introduce voluntary standards for mosques and Islamic centres is critically important, although enforcement of such standards is going to prove extremely difficult without mosques fully recognising the importance of those standards for the development of the Muslim community.

Stronger safeguards, better governance and more access for women to these institutions is long overdue. If the Muslim community excepts equal opportunities in society, they must provide similar opportunities to young men and women in their own institutions.


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The Government will today take the next step in returning power from Brussels to the UK by introducing the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Known as the Repeal Bill, it is designed to ensure that the UK exits the EU with maximum certainty, continuity and control. As far as possible, the same rules and laws will apply on the day after exit as on the day before.

This will allow the UK to leave the EU while ensuring that our future laws will be made in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.

For businesses, workers and consumers across the UK that means they can have confidence that they will not be subject to unexpected changes on the day we leave the EU. It also delivers on our promise to end the supremacy of EU law in the UK.

The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, said:

"This Bill means that we will be able to exit the European Union with maximum certainty, continuity and control. That is what the British people voted for and it is exactly what we will do – ensure that the decisions that affect our lives are taken here in the UK.  

"It is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through Parliament and is a major milestone in the process of our withdrawal from the European Union.

"By working together, in the national interest, we can ensure we have a fully functioning legal system on the day we leave the European Union.

"The eyes of the country are on us and I will work with anyone to achieve this goal and shape a new future for our country."

The Repeal Bill is a mechanism to achieve three simple aims:

  • Repeal the European Communities Act, remove supremacy of EU law and return control to the UK.
  • Convert EU law into UK law where appropriate, giving businesses continuity to operate in the knowledge that nothing has changed overnight, and providing certainty that rights and obligations will not be subject to sudden change.  
  • Create the necessary temporary powers to correct the laws that no longer operate appropriately so that our legal system continues to function outside the EU.

The Bill sets out how we will prepare our statute book for exit but will not make major changes to policy or legislation beyond what is necessary to ensure the law continues to work properly on day one.

As we exit the EU we want to ensure power sits closer to the people of the UK than ever before. The Bill will ensure that nothing changes for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – they will not lose any of their current decision-making powers.

The Government expects there will be a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration.

As powers are repatriated from the EU, the Government will ensure they are exercised within the UK in a way that ensures no new barriers to living and doing business within the UK are created. This will protect the UK internal market, ensuring we have the ability to strike the best trade deals around the world, protect our common resources, and fulfil our international obligations.

The Government has already made clear that as the Bill affects the powers of the devolved administrations and legislates in devolved areas, we will seek the consent of the devolved legislatures for the Bill. We would like all parts of the UK to come together in support of this legislation, which is crucial to delivering the outcome of the referendum.

The Bill will also provide the Government with a limited power to implement elements of the withdrawal agreement we expect to reach with the EU before we exit.

We are clear we want a smooth and orderly exit and the Bill is integral to that approach.

To ensure we are prepared for the process of withdrawal from the EU, the Government will also introduce a number of Bills over the course of the next two years including a Customs Bill and an Immigration Bill.

The Repeal Bill means we can make corrections to EU law so that it functions as UK law – this could involve changing a reference to a particular piece of EU law or transferring important functions from EU institutions to UK institutions, depending on the outcome of the negotiations.  Allowing corrections to be made quickly will provide certainty for business.

MAY TO STAY: Conservatives will work with DUP to proceed with Brexit

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Mrs May has signalled her intention to carry on in Downing Street, saying the country needs "stability" with the start of Brexit negotiations ten days away

Mrs May has signalled her intention to carry on in Downing Street, saying the country needs "stability" with the start of Brexit negotiations ten days away


After one of the most-watched election campaigns, Theresa May was left clinging onto her role as Prime Minister.

Election ended in hung Parliament: Conservatives with 319 seats and Labour 261. Theresa May, despite losing her Commons majority, now intends to form government with DUP to 'provide certainty' and keep country 'safe'

32 million votes out of a possible out of 46.9 million, had been counted witnessing this general election as the highest turnout of voters in 25 years.

Theresa May's government 'will carry on Brexit negotiations to the existing timetable’, as Jeremy Corbyn hails Labour's 'incredible result' and calls for May to resign.

The Tories are eight seats short of the 326-figure needed to command a majority win, and are 12 seats worse off than before the election.

Combined, the Tories and the DUP’s 10 seats, would have 329 MPs in the Commons.

Meanwhile, Labour has said it is also ready to form a minority government of its own, after far exceeding expectations by picking up 29 seats in England, Wales and Scotland.

This election has been one of the most-contested in recent years. It’s seen record numbers of female MPs elected, as well as the first female Sikh MP Preet Gill - who’s held the Birmingham, Edgbaston seat for Labour with 24,124 votes.

The figures point to a sharp increase in young voters adding their names to the register, with around two-thirds – 453,000 – of the new voters to sign up on deadline day aged between 18 and 34.

The number of voters this year is the highest since 33.6 million voted in 1992, when Conservative leader John Major made it four general election wins in a row for the Tories.

It is the highest level since the 1997 General Election.

May pledges to ‘earn every vote’

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Theresa May has pledged ‘to earn every vote’, and makes a call for old divisions to be put aside, saying that every vote for the Conservatives will demonstrate ‘a unity of purpose’ for the best possible deal for Britain in the Brexit negotiations.

The Prime Minister said: “I am determined to earn every vote I can because that will strengthen my hand in the Brexit negotiations, and enable me to provide the country with the strong and stable leadership it needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.

“We need that strong and stable leadership more than ever before. We face a crucial time in the history of our nation. Our future prosperity, our place in the world, and our standard of living all depend on getting the next five years right.

“Yet as we have seen in recent days, it will not be easy. The negotiations ahead will be tough. Across the table from us sit 27 European member states who are united in their determination to do a deal that works for them. We need that same unity of purpose here at home to ensure we can get a deal that works in Britain’s national interest too.

“Every vote for me and my local team in this election will be a vote to demonstrate that unity of purpose, to strengthen my negotiating position, and to help me secure the best possible deal for families and businesses across this United Kingdom.

“That is why I called this election, and why we need it now. It is a chance to put old divisions behind us and to bring the country together.

“It is why I am determined we should not spend this campaign rerunning old arguments, and why we should move beyond the language of ‘leave’ and ‘remain’. And it is why I am determined not to allow parties like the Liberal Democrats to prosper, because it is in their interests to prop up a Corbyn coalition of chaos so that the Brexit process stalls and they can reopen the battles of the past. Wherever it says Labour or Liberal Democrat on the ballot, it’s a weak, nonsensical Jeremy Corbyn that gets the vote.

“At the last election, voters here in the South-West were the difference between a strong, majority government and a weak, unstable coalition of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP. The opposition parties are lining up to prop up Jeremy Corbyn and disrupt our Brexit negotiations – a recipe for years of drift and division at this crucial time.”

Theresa May warns a coalition of chaos would undermine Brexit negotiations

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The Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Wales on Tuesday to warn that an unstable coalition of divisive nationalists could make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister, and undermine the chances of success in our negotiations to leave the EU. 
After chairing Political Cabinet with her Conservative Team, Theresa May will travel to a range of seats in Wales to speak at a political rally and visit a business. 
She will warn that alliances between Plaid and Labour in the Welsh national assembly could provide a blueprint for similar coalitions in the rest of the UK, saying the Brexit referendum “should have been a wake-up call for a generation of politicians who have taken the people for granted for too long. But instead those same politicians have closed ranks, with Plaid Cymru propping up Labour in a direct example of the kind of collaboration we should expect in Westminster if Jeremy Corbyn and Leanne Wood get their way.”
In an article for Tuesday’s Western Mail the Prime Minister Theresa May writes: 
“This election is not about the kind of tribal politics that has held sway in Wales and elsewhere for many years. It is not about calling in old favours or relying on past allegiance. It is about the future.
“It is an opportunity to provide this United Kingdom with the strong and stable leadership it needs to see us through Brexit and beyond. It is a chance to lock in the economic progress we have made together over the past seven years. And it is your chance to strengthen Britain’s hand as we negotiate with Europe to ensure we get the right deal for ordinary working people everywhere. A deal that will help us build a stronger Wales, as part of a more secure Britain.
“Securing that deal is my priority and we have the plan to do it. A plan to regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders, and to be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.
“Yet our Labour, LibDem and Nationalist opponents – Plaid Cymru here in Wales and Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP in Scotland – are already seeking to disrupt our negotiations, even as 27 other European countries line up to oppose us. That approach can only mean one thing – uncertainty and instability, bringing grave risk to our growing economy with higher taxes, fewer jobs, more waste and more debt. Only this week, Carwyn Jones pledged his support for Labour’s plan to add £500 billion of borrowing to Britain’s debt – undoing all the progress we have made together over the past seven years at a stroke.   
“That is why I will be fighting to earn every vote I can in this election, because every vote I receive will strengthen my hand as I negotiate with the Prime Ministers, Presidents and Chancellors of Europe. Every vote I receive will help me secure the best deal to strengthen our economy. Every vote I receive will be a vote to give me the mandate to deliver for Britain.  
“Ten months after voters across Wales helped to start this journey, Labour in Wales – and their partners in Plaid Cymru – remain determined to disrupt the result.
“So your vote on June 8th really matters to the future of our country. It’s a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest, or Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street at the head of a coalition of chaos. 
“And it is a chance to cast a positive vote for the strong and stable leadership we need to deliver on the democratic will of the British people, to strengthen Britain’s hand in the negotiations to come, and to reject the kind of ‘politics as usual’ that has let people down in Wales for too long.”

1 in 3 BAME people have witnessed or experienced racist abuse since Brexit vote

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“Brexit has given racism a new lease of life.”

Over a third (34%) of Black, Asian or minority ethnic people (BAME) witnessed or experienced racial abuse in the seven months following the Brexit vote in June 2016, a TUC poll has found.

The poll is part of a major TUC project to combat racism in the workplace, which will document the British BAME experience of racism and harassment, and set out ways to tackle it.

The TUC is calling on the government to develop a full race equality strategy, which includes tough action to crack down on harassment and discrimination at work, online and in everyday life.

They’ve also asked for bringing in rules about third-party harassment, which protect workers who deal with the public such as shop workers, street cleaners and bus drivers from abuse at work.

There are calls for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to have enough funding to take more legal cases and make sure the law reflects how contemporary racism plays out; and making private sector companies responsible for promoting equal treatment throughout their activities.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Brexit has given racism a new lease of life. Discrimination has never gone away, but since the referendum racism has been on the rise.

“The scale of abuse is shocking. We have to come together and draw a line in the sand about what is acceptable in modern Britain in 2017 – and the government has to take a lead. It’s unacceptable that shop workers, bus drivers and street cleaners face abuse from members of the public – and their employers don’t have to do anything to protect them.

“Anyone who has been harassed or mistreated at work should talk to their union rep or join a trade union. And we all have a responsibility to call out racist harassment wherever we see it.”

Poll findings

1 in 5 BAME people (19%) have suffered or witnessed racial assault

2 in 5 (41%) have heard racist remarks or opinions

2 in 5 people (39%) have seen racist material online

1 in 4 (27%) have seen racist graffiti, posters or leaflets


Bumbling Boris: Does Brexit really mean ‘Brexit’?

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ACCUSED: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has reportedly told a number of high-ranking diplomats that he supports freedom of movement

ACCUSED: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has reportedly told a number of high-ranking diplomats that he supports freedom of movement

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been accused of telling at least four EU ambassadors that he supports freedom of movement, despite campaigning against the policy during the EU referendum.

The leading ‘Leave’ campaigner had previously written to then Prime Minister, David Cameron, saying: “We are particularly concerned about the impact of free movement in the future on public services.

“Class sizes will rise and waiting lists will lengthen if we don't tackle free movement.”

However, despite the message, the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, has now told a number of high-ranking diplomats that he

Speaking under Chatham House rule, which enables comments to be reported but not directly attributed, one ambassador told reporters: “[Boris Johnson] told us he was personally in favour of it, but he said that Britain had been more affected by free movement of people than other EU member states.”

Another added: “He did say he was personally in favour of free movement, as it corresponds to his own beliefs. But he said it wasn't government policy.”

Following the reports, a spokesman for the Foreign Secretary said there was no evidence that Mr Johnson had made such remarks.

“Boris said what he has said many times before - he is pro-immigration but wants to take back control to limit numbers,” the spokesman said.

“He did not say he supported freedom of movement and challenges anyone to show proof that he ever said that.”

Critics of the Foreign Secretary have highlighted their disapproval of the alleged comments, with Liberal Democrat EU spokesman, Nick Clegg, accusing Mr Johnson of ‘treating the voters like fools’.

The comments are also contradictory to the government’s standpoint following the Brexit vote, with Prime Minister Theresa May saying that controlling immigration is a priority in the EU exit negotiations.

At the Conservative Party Conference in October, she said: “We have voted to leave the European Union and become a fully independent, sovereign country. We will do what independent, sovereign countries do - decide for ourselves how we control immigration.”

The European Parliament describes the freedom of movement in the EU as the ‘cornerstone of Union membership’.

With a deadline set for the end of March 2017 for the triggering of Article 50 – which begins the official Brexit negotiations, the government have vowed to reach a deal which will cap immigration figures into the UK.

‘Give us a real Brexit!’: Paul Nuttall is elected as UKIP leader

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 NEW LEADER: Paul Nuttall has replaced Nigel Farage as leader of the UK Independence Party

NEW LEADER: Paul Nuttall has replaced Nigel Farage as leader of the UK Independence Party

Nigel Farage is no longer the leader of the UK Independence Party, after Paul Nuttall has been elected.

The 39-year-old Member of the European Parliament, who served as UKIP's deputy leader for six years, won 62.6 per cent of support among party members.

He has promised to ‘put the great back into Britain’ and has urged the government to ‘give us a real Brexit’.

The Liverpudlian has vowed to replace the Labour party as ‘the patriotic party of the working people’.

Mr Nuttall’s views are known to be divisive. He is notoriously tough on crime, having said he is open to a referendum on the reintroduction of the death penalty for child killers. 

He has also called for a referendum on whether abortion should be permitted. 

A former university history lecturer, Paul Nuttall won a crushing victory to take over from Nigel Farage – who stood in as interim leader after Ukip came close to implosion in recent months.

It was UKIP's second leadership election this year. Previous winner, Diane James, quit after 18 days in the role. Mr Farage acted as interim leader while the second leadership race took place.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Nuttall, said: “The country needs a strong UKIP more than ever before. If UKIP is to be an electoral force, there will be an impetus on Theresa May and her government to give us a real Brexit.”

He added: “I want to replace the Labour Party and make UKIP the patriotic voice of working people.”

Speaking on BBC Two's Daily Politics, Mr Nuttall said the party would be “speaking the language of ordinary working people... we're going to move into the areas the Labour Party has neglected.”

He then went on to dismiss Labour leader leader Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and Diane Abbott as part of ‘a North London Islington set’.

He said: “We will be focusing on the issues that really matter to working-class people on doorsteps - immigration, crime, defence, foreign aid, ensuring that British people are put to the top of the queue in the job market.”

Brexit… not yet. High Court rule on postponement of EU exit

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IN OR OUT: The Brexit debate has risen once again in the UK

IN OR OUT: The Brexit debate has risen once again in the UK

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she remains determined to carry out the ‘will of the people’ next year and lead Britain out of the European Union, despite a High Court ruling casting doubt on Brexit.

Speaking to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Germany's Angela Merkel she reaffirmed her commitment to triggering Article 50 by March 2017.

A High Court ruled on Thursday 3rd November that the UK government does not have the legal power to begin formal exit negotiations with the EU without the approval of parliament.

Following the news, a government spokesperson said: “The government is disappointed by the Court’s judgment.

“The country voted to leave the European Union in a referendum approved by Act of Parliament. And the government is determined to respect the result of the referendum.

“We will appeal this judgment.”

DISCUSSIONS: May phoned both European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured) and Germany’s Angela Merkel to confirm her stance to follow through with Brexit

DISCUSSIONS: May phoned both European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured) and Germany’s Angela Merkel to confirm her stance to follow through with Brexit

One day later, May contacted both Juncker and Merkel via telephone to confirm the government’s appeal.

Her focus on ensuring government has the right to invoke Article 50 has incensed some lawmakers, with onea member of her ruling Conservative Party - MP Stephen Phillips - resigning over ‘irreconcilable policy differences’ with May.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said: “The focus of the government is on the Supreme Court case, winning that case and proceeding with article 50.

“Clearly we are disappointed by yesterday's decision, we'd rather not be in this position but we are, so ... the key is our commitment to triggering Article 50 no later. The end of March remains the target for the government.”

He added: “What is important here is that we had a referendum, there was an overwhelming result in favour of leaving the European Union and that is what the government must do.”

STANDING STRONG: Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that she will be appealing a High Court ruling which threatens her Brexit plans

STANDING STRONG: Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that she will be appealing a High Court ruling which threatens her Brexit plans

The court ruling has given hope to anti-Brexit supporters, with investors and pro-EU lawmakers urging parliament to put pressure on the Tory government and help ensure a ‘softer Brexit.

In the immediate aftermath of the High Court ruling, the sterling hit a one-week high against the euro, whilst it also rose by one per cent against the US dollar - the biggest increase since August.

Wakefield councillor urges victims to report hate crimes after suffering racist abuse

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cllr nadeem ahmed racism (800x532)

I voted ‘leave’, not ‘racism’

The Conservative leader of Wakefield council, who this week has been targeted by racial slurs, has urged communities to stand together after the nation voted to leave the EU.

Cllr Nadeem Ahmed, of Wakefield South, was told to ‘return home to Pakistan’ during a trip to a local ‘drive-thru’ in what is one of the latest report s of hate crimes since the referendum last month.

A sharp rise in racist incidents has been seen across the country, with police figures showing a fivefold increase for the week following the vote to the weekly average.

Cllr Ahmed, who admits that he now ‘regrets voting to leave the EU’, labelling the ‘out’ campaign as one ‘built on lies’, says he would back a re-referendum.

“I voted to leave and I regret that decision,” he said. “All my friends who voted similarly are the same.

“The immigration issue has been overplayed and the most identifiable group are being targeted because we have darker skin colour.

“What is especially worth noting is that the majority of people being targeted, like me, were actually born in Britain. We were raised here and know no other life.”

Cllr Ahmed, who was with his children at the time of the racist incident, says he was not initially going to report the remark and only did so because he bumped into the Chief Superintendent of West Yorkshire Police in the town hall that same day.

He is now urging others to come forward and report such actions, adding his belief that ‘for every one crime reported, a further 20 go unreported’.

“As a British Pakistani, I feel there is a culture where we just put up with this kind of thing and tolerate it,” he said.

“It’s only because I saw the Chief Superintendent when I was at the town hall that I mentioned it.

“He had earlier told me that he was happy that race hate crime hadn’t increased in Wakefield post-Brexit but the reason it hadn’t increased is because most people won’t report it.”

He added: “The police handled the case really well but they can only direct resources to an issue if it is reported.

“I said that I didn’t consider it serious enough because of the amount of work they have on. They told me that the people often involved with racist crimes are involved in other means of criminal activity as well.”

With accounts of racist abuse increasing across the country, Cllr Ahmed says it is time to stand up against the criminals.

“I think we are at a point now that the trend has been highlighted, we know how prominent these crimes are and now we must look at what action to take.

“The immigration issue was overplayed in Brexit and now people are being targeted.

“The term immigrant is even something that needs addressing. How long does someone stay an immigrant? There are around a million Brits living in Spain, we call them expats.

“There is a negative connotation to the word immigrant now.”

RACISM SHOCK: Has Britain been shown a reflection of it’s ugly fascist-self since Brexit?

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BOMBED: A halal butcher’s shop in the West Midlands was destroyed with a petrol bomb earlier this week. Owner Jamal Hussain stated a 6ft tall white man wearing a blue jacket lit the petrol bomb outside the shop before throwing it in, luckily no one was hurt during the incident.

BOMBED: A halal butcher’s shop in the West Midlands was destroyed with a petrol bomb earlier this week. Owner Jamal Hussain stated a 6ft tall white man wearing a blue jacket lit the petrol bomb outside the shop before throwing it in, luckily no one was hurt during the incident.

In the aftermath of Brexit, much of liberal Britain has come to a stark realisation of how suppressed “in-the-closet” racist attitudes have been with a sharp 57 per cent rise of hate crimes since Friday 24th June.

With some 17 million opting to leave the European Union, it has become shockingly apparent how anti-migrant Great Britain is and this has become a historic indicator of racism and xenophobia in the UK.

Cards have been handed out outside homes and schools saying “No more Polish vermin”, a Muslim schoolgirl was cornered by group who shouted “Get out we voted leave” and a video has emerged of a group of teenagers shouting “get back to Africa” at a US army veteran on a Manchester tram. Reports continue to pour in of fascist behaviour.

racism (800x533)

The rhetoric used of “taking our country back” from “them” by “regaining control of our borders” during the Brexit campaign, has created a climate where targeting vulnerable minority communities has become legitimised.

Yet this collective howl has been a long time coming. Data published from a British Social Attitudes survey in 2014 found that increasing numbers of Brits openly admitted racial prejudice.

Despite not a single country representing the EU (28 in total) being Muslim, British Muslims and Asians of other faiths are suffering an explosive increase of faith-based hatred, with visibly Muslim women being a hot target for abuse.

Recounting the recent instances of abuse, shadow home secretary Andy Burnham speaking in the House of Commons in response to an urgent Ministerial Statement on hate crime said: “Attacks on Muslim women and even reports of women on mobile phones speaking a foreign language being screamed at in the street.

REFERENDUM LEAVE CAMPAIGN: The rhetoric used of “taking our country back” from “them” by “regaining control of our borders” has created a climate where targeting vulnerable minority communities has become legitimised

REFERENDUM LEAVE CAMPAIGN: The rhetoric used of “taking our country back” from “them” by “regaining control of our borders” has created a climate where targeting vulnerable minority communities has become legitimised

“What is happening to the Britain that we have known? This isn’t taking our country back, this is turning Britain into a place we have never, ever been.

“Hate crime, by its very nature, is a rejection of the British values that have always bound us together. Non-British nationals living in Britain today will feel worried about their safety and in need of reassurance.”

Burnham also called for MPs on both sides of the Brexit debate to now unite and tackle race hate.

The term “migrant” has become a catch-all term for ‘other’ people except white British, thanks to politicians and mainstream press. The word might mean refugees, Muslims, Eastern Europeans or Black Africans in Calais, depending on the headline.

refugees not welcome (800x533)

Managing Editor of Asian Express Andleeb Hanif has said; “It’s regrettable but Britain has been shown a reflection of its ugly racist self.

“As a country we have failed - extremist views of white supremacy is in showcase as hate crimes continue to be reported at an unprecedented level.

“This may be a pivotal juncture for this country to address the extremely worrying numbers of far-right attitudes to foreigners.

“Though it’s been reported that anti-Muslim hate crime had increased 200% in 2015, the recent spate of brutally outlandish and harmful behaviour of extreme white British mentality has caused shockwaves and disbelief. This kind of behaviour hasn’t been seen since the days of the National Front – our first generation Asian faced this in the 60s, 70s and 80’s. We thought those days were long gone.

“Since the outcome of the EU referendum, it's become clear that Britain has regressed as a nation - actually no (let me correct myself), the truth about how suppressed racism has been has come to light - it's been seething under the surface all this time and now has reared its ugly fascist head unashamedly and publicly.

“Whether someone voted in or out, it’s apparent that Great Britain Plc has some serious "race" issues which are spewing out after decades of pretentious "good behaviour" by “in-the-closet-racist-attitudes” – it’s imperative that the Government and faith leaders work together to restore calm.”

EXTRA CASH: Following reports of an increase in attacks after voters backed Leave during the EU referendum, Cameron urged all sides to “utterly condemn” them

EXTRA CASH: Following reports of an increase in attacks after voters backed Leave during the EU referendum, Cameron urged all sides to “utterly condemn” them

In the Commons on Monday 27th June, Prime Minister David Cameron described incidents of racism directed at migrants in the wake of the referendum result as “despicable”, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan ordered Scotland Yard to be “extra vigilant”.

Mr Cameron said extra cash for security measures will be available as part of a fresh push to “drive appalling hate crimes” out of Britain, while the Crown Prosecution Service will issue new guidance to prosecutors on racially aggravated crime.

He said: “Whatever we can do we will do to drive these appalling hate crimes out of our country.”

With Boris Johnson out, who will be the next Prime Minister?

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SHOCK AND DRAMA: Michael Gove effectively torpedoed Boris Johnson’s chances for Prime Minister by announcing his own surprise bid for the top job

SHOCK AND DRAMA: Michael Gove effectively torpedoed Boris Johnson’s chances for Prime Minister by announcing his own surprise bid for the top job

Boris Johnson will not be the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after being ‘stabbed in the back’ by long-time ally Michael Gove.

Justice Secretary Mr Gove threw the book at the former London Mayor this week, saying that Mr Johnson was not the right person to lead the country and instead revealed he would run for leader.

In a speech in London, billed as his campaign launch, Mr Johnson admitted that he did not believe he could provide the leadership or unity needed after Gove’s shock announcement.

It was the biggest political surprise since Prime Minister David Cameron quit after losing last week's referendum on British membership of the European Union.

So who’s in the running to be next Prime Minister?

 BOOKIES’ FAVOURITE: Theresa May is the favourite to become the next leader of the country

BOOKIES’ FAVOURITE: Theresa May is the favourite to become the next leader of the country

The bookies' favourite to win the contest is Home Secretary Theresa May.

The 59-year-old has held the Home Office since 2010, and is a former Tory party chairman.

She says she can offer the ‘strong leadership’ and unity the UK needs, and promised a ‘positive vision’ for the country's future. She was one of the Tories who backed staying in the EU but she told a news conference that ‘Brexit means Brexit.’

Mrs May said: “The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door and no second referendum.”

The aforementioned Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, was a key figure in the party’s modernisation that led to its return to power in 2010.  

He was a leading player in the Brexit campaign - which put a strain on his close friendship with David Cameron. He has pitched himself as the candidate that can provide ‘unity and change’.

Forty-three-year-old, Stephen Crabb, is also a rising star of the Tory party after he took over as Works and Pensions Secretary. He has promised to unite the party and country following the referendum result and provide stability.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom was one of the movers and shakers of the Leave campaign. A former district councillor, she became MP for South Northamptonshire in 2010 and - after serving as a junior Treasury minister and as a member of the Treasury select committee - she was made a junior minister in the energy and climate change department in May last year.

Former cabinet minister Liam Fox’s cabinet career was cut short in 2011 when he resigned following a lobbying row. A Brexit campaigner, and on the right of the party, he has said whoever becomes PM must accept ‘the instruction’ of the British people and not ‘try to backslide’ over EU membership.

As the political drama played out, Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned about “heightened uncertainty”, noting the potential for increased unemployment and ripples in the global economy.

He added: “One uncomfortable truth is that there are limits to what the Bank of England can do.”

Halal butchers bombed

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CRIMES HAVE SPIKED: Racist crimes have sky-rocketed since Britain decided to leave the EU

CRIMES HAVE SPIKED: Racist crimes have sky-rocketed since Britain decided to leave the EU

Significant spike in hate crimes since the EU vote

In the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, a number of racist hate crimes have taken place in the UK.

Tell Mama, a charity that supports victims of Islamophobia in the UK, says 30 cases of anti-Muslim acts have been reported to them since the results of the referendum.

DESTROYED: The butchers was obliterated both inside and out, after the petrol bomb left the store badly fire damaged

DESTROYED: The butchers was obliterated both inside and out, after the petrol bomb left the store badly fire damaged

Days after Britain voted in favour of Brexit, a halal butchers was petrol bombed and destroyed.

Kashmir Meat & Poultry in Pleck, Walsall was targeted by a six foot tall white man wearing a blue jacket, police have reported.

He walked into the halal butchers and threw a lit bottle at 5.25pm on Monday 27th June.

A shop worker managed to escape with minor bruising, whilst the store was almost obliterated with its windows blown out.

West Midlands Police say they are keeping an open mind over the motive.

A spokesperson for the force said the incident is being investigated by officers, who are currently making inquiries and examining CCTV footage.

Police were unable to say at this stage whether the incident is being treated as race-related.

Detectives were examining CCTV from the area this past week in the hunt for the suspect and will also be in the community to carry out patrols to reassure people.

Crime site True Vision, which is run by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said they have received 85 hate crime reports last week.
That figure contrasts with 54 reports for the corresponding four days four weeks ago.

Taxes on the up

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WARNING: George Osborne says the country will be poorer after voting to leave the EU

WARNING: George Osborne says the country will be poorer after voting to leave the EU

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has warned the public that taxes will have to be raised and spending cut after the shock Brexit victory last week.

Osborne said the country would ultimately be poorer as a result of the decision to leave the EU – something he campaigned against – and that the country now needed to deal with the economic consequences.

Sterling plunged against the dollar to its lowest since 1985 after the vote, and two ratings agencies downgraded Britain's sovereign credit rating late on Monday.

“We need a plan as a country to get ourselves out of this, whilst respecting the verdict of the British people. That means financial stability, ending economic uncertainty and providing unity in our society,” Osborne said in a BBC radio interview.

Meanwhile, Osborne has also ruled himself out of the prime ministerial race, saying he was the wrong person to unify the Conservative party, adding that another supporter of EU membership possibly could.

“I am not backing any candidate at the moment,” he added. I was full-throttled in arguing for remaining in the EU and because half my party wanted to leave the EU I don't think I can be the person who can bring the party back together at this moment.”

EU –bah –gum! Leeds voters see an almost 50/50 split decision

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GOODBYE BRUSSELS: Hedon Market Place in Hull had firm support in the Leave camp

GOODBYE BRUSSELS: Hedon Market Place in Hull had firm support in the Leave camp

As millions of Brits across the country headed to their local polling stations on Thursday 23rd June, European leaders held their breath to find out the results of the EU referendum.

Ultimately, by a majority of less than four per cent, the UK voted to leave, with over 33 million people turning out to voice their opinions.

Breaking down these figures, we can see how the West Yorkshire public voted, with a mixed message from the electorate across the region.

In Leeds, the city’s residents were split down the middle with 50.31 per cent wanting to stay in the EU and 49.69 per cent wanting to leave.

A total of 387,337 people voted, which represented 71.33 per cent of the 543,037 electorate.

Leeds’s 358 polling stations had closed at 10pm, with the usual last minute rush before the deadline and the start of a regional count at the First Direct Arena.

York and Harrogate also leant towards remaining.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the county, more people voted to leave the EU with majorities in Bradford (8.46 per cent), Kirklees (9.33 per cent) and Calderdale (11.35 per cent).

Wakefield had the biggest majority of Brexiters in Yorkshire, with a resounding 66.36 per cent in favour of leaving – a majority of 32.73 per cent.

Amjad Bashir, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and ‘Leave’ campaigner said people had ‘nothing to be worried about’ from the decision to leave the EU and that it was time to ‘look forward to a bright new future’.

When the results were announced, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “I believe that Britain is better off within the European Union, but the British people have clearly spoken... and their democratic will must now be fulfilled.

“I want to send a clear message to the British people and to businesses and investors around the world this morning - there is no need to panic.”

Mr Khan added: “We all have a responsibility to now seek to heal the divisions that have emerged throughout this campaign - and to focus on that which unites us, rather than that which divides us.”

Sadiq Khan’s sentiments echo what the late, much-loved Batley and Spen Labour MP Jo Cox thought with her now famous words: ‘We have far more in common than that which divides us’.

Her husband, Brendan Cox said the murdered MP - who was pro-EU - would have stayed positive after last night’s vote.

He wrote on Twitter this morning: “Today Jo would have remained optimistic and focused on what she could do to bring our country back together and around our best values.”

According to a YouGov poll, 75 per cent of 18-to-24 year olds voted ‘Remain’ in comparison to only 39 per cent of those aged 65 and over.

There have been calls for another EU referendum with the government asked to implement a rule that says ‘if the Remain or Leave vote is less than 60 per cent, based on a turnout less than 75 per cent there should be another vote’.

UK votes to LEAVE: Cameron resigns as Britain prepares for EU exit

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GONE WITH THE WIND: After over 40 years of membership, Britain has voted to leave the EU

GONE WITH THE WIND: After over 40 years of membership, Britain has voted to leave the EU

The UK will leave the European Union and David Cameron will resign as Prime Minister.

This is the breaking news that Brits woke up to on Friday 24th June as the face of the EU changed forever.

After months of debate, threats from both ends of the political spectrum and some often misleading propaganda, the British public voted in favour of exiting the 28-nation bloc by 17,410,242 (51.9 per cent) to 16,141,241 (48.1 per cent).

It was the highest turnout for a vote in the country for almost 25 years, as 72.2 per cent of the nation’s eligible voters had their say on whether to continue the EU membership. In comparison, last year’s general election witnessed just a 66.1 per cent turnout.

Cameron resigns

The announcement at around 8.30am outside the steps of 10 Downing Street came as little surprise to many in the political world as David Cameron announced his intentions to resign as Prime Minister.

Describing his patriotism for the country, as well as his desire to see the Leave campaign ultimately succeed, he said: “I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.

RESIGNATION: David Cameron will resign as Prime Minister of the UK following the county’s decision to leave the EU

RESIGNATION: David Cameron will resign as Prime Minister of the UK following the county’s decision to leave the EU

“This is not a decision I've taken lightly but I do believe it's in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.

“There is no need for a precise timetable today but in my view we should aim to have a new Prime Minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.”

Cameron will continue in his post momentarily but also confirmed that he believes a new leader in the UK should be in place by October this year.

He added: “I said before that Britain can survive outside the European Union and indeed that we could find a way.

“Now the decision has been made to leave, we need to find the best way and I will do everything I can to help. I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it and I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.”

Pound slumps in global markets

The pound fell more than 10 per cent against the dollar following the confirmation of the victorious ‘Leave’ vote – the biggest one-day fall in history.

Not since 1985 have the pound-to-dollar levels been so low, with Chancellor George Osborne describing the situation as a ‘DIY recession’.

It had earlier been acknowledged by some in the ‘Leave camp’ that a ‘blip’ might be initially seen in the currency markets yet such a fall still came as a surprise.

TEAM LEAVE: Nigel Farage celebrated the decision, labelling it Britain’s ‘Independence Day’

TEAM LEAVE: Nigel Farage celebrated the decision, labelling it Britain’s ‘Independence Day’

The dramatic result also reportedly wiped an estimated £122 billion of the value of the FTSE 100 within minutes.

Bank governor Mark Carney said in a statement on behalf of the Bank of England: “Inevitably, there will be a period of uncertainty and adjustment following this result.

“There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.

“And it will take some time for the United Kingdom to establish new relationships with Europe and the rest of the world.

“Some market and economic volatility can be expected as this process unfolds.”

Europe’s response

There is no denying that the UK’s eventual exit from the EU is the biggest crisis the organisation has had to face in its 59-year history.

Will other nations now hold their own referendums and what will the UK’s working relationship be like with the remaining members? These are the questions we will have to wait to find out the answers for.

HEAD CAMPAIGNER: Boris Johnson said the public had voted to ‘take back control’

HEAD CAMPAIGNER: Boris Johnson said the public had voted to ‘take back control’

In the meantime, reaction from leaders around the world remains mixed. Angela Merkel’s close ally, Manfred Weber - a senior German conservative MEP – said ‘no special treatment’ can be given to the UK.

He said in four tweets: “We respect and regret the decision of the British voters. It causes major damage to both sides.

“This was a British vote, not a European vote. Co-operation within Europe is a question of self-assertion of the continent.

“We want a better and smarter Europe. We have to convince the people and bring Europe back to them.

“Exit negotiations should be concluded within two years at max. There cannot be any special treatment. Leave means leave.”

Elsewhere, the Dutch anti-immigration leader, Geert Wilders, saw the UK’s vote as a catalyst for other nations to hold their own referendums.

“We want be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy,” he said in a statement.

Polls and opinions in Sweden, France and Italy also suggest other nations are worried about a weakened EU due to the Brexit.

How the UK voted

52 per cent of the country voted for an EU exit.

In Scotland, all 32 local authority areas voted in favour of remaining in the EU, with 62 per cent opting against leaving.

Questions will now be raised as to whether another Scottish Independence referendum is needed as the voice of the people north of the border seemingly went unheard.

55 per cent of people in Northern Ireland also voted to remain members of the EU, whilst the Leave voters were victorious in Wales with 51.9 per cent.

When looking at the different regions in England, a clear north-south divide can be seen.

In Yorkshire, the North East, North West, West Midlands and East Midlands, the ‘Leave’ campaign triumphed. Meanwhile, in the metropolitan capital of London, 59.9 per cent voted ‘Remain’.

What happens next?

The UK, in many ways, is heading into unchartered territory.

Only Greenland has ever left the EU previously - in 1985 - yet the UK’s power and presence in the political union is much more substantial.

Firstly, the decision of when to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon has to be made. In Lehman’s terms this means the beginning of the formal and legal process of the UK leaving the EU.

There is a two-year deadline in place meaning the Prime Minister of the day, whoever that may be, has limited time to negotiate new trade deals with the EU before the nation ceases to remain a member.

The UK may revert back to trading with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules, according to some Remain campaigners, which would result in exporters being hit with import taxes and tariffs.

Baroness’ Brexit defection: Warsi flips from Leave to Remain

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WAKING HER MIND UP: Baroness Warsi now thinks the Brexit campaign has been tarred by lies and xenophobic rhetoric

WAKING HER MIND UP: Baroness Warsi now thinks the Brexit campaign has been tarred by lies and xenophobic rhetoric

A former Conservative chairman has switched her support from ‘Leave’ to ‘Remain’ in the EU referendum debate, complaining that moderate voices in the Brexit campaign have been drowned out by ‘lies and xenophobic campaigning’.

Baroness Warsi said her decision to change sides was sparked by an ‘indefensible’ poster released by Ukip leader Nigel Farage showing a long queue of Slovenian migrants as well as ‘lies’ from Michael Gove over the prospect of Turkey joining the EU.

Speaking on BBC radio, Lady Warsi addressed criticism that she had never been part of the Leave campaign.

She said: “I was making the case to leave long before Vote Leave had been established.”

Lady Warsi added said she had a discussion with senior Leave campaigners in which she set out her ‘optimistic’ vision for Britain, which ‘trades freely, open to the brightest and best and rooted in its humanitarian instinct’.

She continued: “Unfortunately, what we are seeing as a vision for Britain are lies and xenophobic campaigning. Why is it people like me, who are instinctively Eurosceptic, are feeling they need to leave ‘Leave’?

“Because day after day, what are we hearing? The refugees are coming, the rapists are coming, the Turks are coming.”

For Lady Warsi, the whole EU referendum has been a ‘difficult personal journey’.

“When I look at the people who are now saying the things they are saying and the people who are supporting that approach, the BNP, Donald Trump, Marine le Pen, Austria's Freedom Party - every day it feels like the far right is coming out to stand by Leave.”

Leading Leave campaigner Boris Johnson issued an appeal for voters to ‘change history’ in the 23rd June vote.

Lady Warsi said: “The vision that me and other Brexiters who have been involved right from the outset, who had a positive outward-looking vision of what a Brexit vote might mean, unfortunately those voices have now been stifled.

Lady Warsi said she had argued for a ‘Hello World’ approach to the Leave campaign, stressing ‘an optimistic vision of where Britain stands in the world, how it trades freely and is open to the brightest and best from around the world and is rooted in its humanitarian instinct’.

The tone of the arguments had become increasingly acerbic until the atmosphere changed last Thursday after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox- a passionate Remain campaigner.

The House of Commons, which was not supposed to be sitting this week, was recalled on Monday for lawmakers from across the political spectrum to pay tribute to Cox, the first MP to be murdered since 1990.

After a three-day pause following Cox's murder, campaigning for the EU referendum resumed.

Three opinion polls showed ‘Remain’ recovering some momentum in the wake of her death, but the overall picture remained one of an evenly split electorate.

Betting odds at Betfair have stated the probability of a ‘Remain’ vote rose to 72 per cent on Monday, up from a range between 60 and 67 per cent on Friday.

Go? Stay? Which way? G7 say Brexit is damaging to growth

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IMPORTANT MEETING: The communiqué said that an exit from the EU would be extremely bad for the UK’s economy

IMPORTANT MEETING: The communiqué said that an exit from the EU would be extremely bad for the UK’s economy

A meeting which brings together the world's leading seven industrialised nations -known as the G7 - discussed Britain’s exit from the EU this past week.

They agreed that should the UK leave the European Union, it would pose a ‘serious threat to global growth’.

The group, who gathered together in Japan, warned in its final statement that a UK exit from the EU would reverse the trend of increased global trade, investment and jobs.

G7 set global growth as a priority for dealing with threats to security and the world's economy.

As Britain prepares for a referendum on 23rd June, the warning about the economic consequences of the UK leaving the EU comes just in time.

A vote to leave would “reverse the trend towards greater global trade and investment, and the jobs they create,” the G7 leaders said.

Prime Minister David Cameron has been campaigning for Britain to stay within the 28-country bloc, with recent polls suggesting a lead for those who support remaining.

President Barack Obama has already urged Britain to remain a member of the EU, warning last month that a decision to leave, known as ‘Brexit’, would put the country ‘at the back of the queue’ for a free trade deal with the US.

The G7 has also released an action plan to tackle terrorism and said they would improve border control and aviation security.