The PM is unwise to threaten us with war

The Prime Minister recently delivered a speech at the British Museum in which he implied that a British exit from the European Union could lead to war in Europe.

 “Can we be so sure that peace and stability on our continent are assured beyond any shadow of doubt? Is that a risk worth taking?

“I would never be so rash as to make that assumption.”

“Britain has a fundamental national interest in maintaining common purpose in Europe to avoid future conflict between European countries.

“And that requires British leadership, and for Britain to remain a member.”

This suggestion is the latest in a series of government warnings against Brexit.

It has been met with incredulity and has been widely dismissed as “hyperbole”, with Boris Johnson suggesting the Prime Minister doesn’t believe it himself:

“I don’t think the prime minister can seriously believe that leaving the EU would trigger war on the European continent given that he was prepared only a few months ago to urge that people should vote leave if they failed to get a substantially reformed European Union.”

Indeed, only a few months ago David Cameron was saying the UK could “thrive” outside the EU.

As previously argued here, if Mr Cameron wants to suggest that Brexit would lead to Britain’s ruination he must show what has changed since then to make him change his mind.

By making fantastical threats which even he doesn’t seem to believe, the Prime Minister is undermining confidence in his own integrity and in the integrity of the Remain Campaign.

The Prime Minister might like to turn “Project Fear” down a notch if he doesn’t want voters to conclude that the Remain Campaign is prepared to say anything to scare voters into backing remain, regardless of whether or not it is true.

A good rule for the Prime Minister would be to look as if he might believe what he is saying.

And an even better rule would be for the Prime Minister to say things that he believes…