David Cameron said Britain was not permanently stuck in the EU if the vote swayed to ‘remain’ and if things changed in 10 to 20 years’ time, the situation could be reviewed.
But he warned a vote to leave would close the door for good.
He said: “If you vote to get out, that’s it, you’re out. If we vote to stay in and in 10 years, 20 years’ time we took a different view, that this organisation is changing now and we don’t want to be part of it, that’s always there.”
Mr Cameron visited the West Sussex County Times offices as part of a sweep across Sussex, Surrey and Oxfordshire on Monday, in a last-ditch attempt to sway undecided voters.
He faced questions from editor-in-chief Gary Shipton, County Times reporters and Spofforths Kreston Reeves accountants – who share an office building with the newspaper.
Topics ranged from democracy of the EU, controlling immigration, Conservative Party ‘personality clashes’ and perceived negativity of the campaign so far.
He said he believed it was possible to drive down net migration to the tens of thousands, described the much-quoted £350million annual membership as ‘nonsense’ and said ‘no’ to the possibility of a European army.
On the tone of the campaign, he said: “The positive case is that we are stronger as a country if we stay in, we are safer from terrorism because we work with others and there’s strength in numbers, and we’re better off because we are part of a market of 500 million customers.
“Those are all very positive reasons, but I think it would be wrong as Prime Minister not to warn of the dangers to our economy, to jobs, to prices, to livelihoods were we to leave.”
Mr Cameron was questioned on his response to last week’s clash between Boris Johnson and Hastings and Rye MP on a TV debate, in light of his pledge the referendum would not become a ‘blue-on-blue fight.
He said Rudd ‘gave a very good account of herself’.
He added: “I’m going to focus on arguments, facts, figures and the personalities will not, hopefully, pass my lips in the remainder of this campaign.”
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