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European Commission refuses to campaign in referendum

Published 22/02/2016

The European Commission said it
The European Commission said it "will not take part in this process" ahead of the referendum on June 23

The European Union's executive commission has said it will stay out of the referendum campaign on whether Britain should leave the EU.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker did campaign last July in a Greek referendum on whether to accept an EU-brokered agreement to secure a massive economic bailout.

But chief commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Monday that "we will not take part in this process" ahead of the June 23 poll.

Mr Schinas did not rule out the possibility that EU commissioner Jonathan Hill, who is from Britain, might campaign in a personal capacity.

The British head of the European Union's police cooperation agency warned that the UK could find it harder to protect its citizens against terrorism and organised crime if it leaves the EU.

Europol director Rob Wainwright said that if Britain turns its back on the EU and the police cooperation capabilities it offers, "it would make the UK's job harder, I think, to protect the citizens from terrorism and organised crime".

Speaking at the launch of a new centre to fight migrant smuggling, Mr Wainwright said that the British have aided cooperation among police forces in the 28-nation bloc, "because it's the unanimous opinion of the British police services that they need that level of engagement".

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