However, he has recently moved to downplay fears over mass migration from Turkey, stating that the country will not join the EU “for decades”.
Last night Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary and Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee and member of Britain Stronger in Europe, said: “This is a totally meaningless poll as Turkish membership of the EU is simply not on the cards.
“In nearly 30 years of negotiation, they have completed just one of the 35 tests they need to fulfil to apply to join.
“At this rate it would take them over 1,000 years to meet these criteria.
“And even then, the British Government has a cast-iron veto on any new country joining, including Turkey.
“If in the very distant future, they did become a member, our Government has the power to introduce rules to restrict immigration from Turkey.”