I’d welcome Turkey into the EU, says PM: Cameron says it remains ‘long-standing goal’ for country to join despite his drive to reduce net migration

Mr Cameron made the comments after a meeting with Turkish PM Ahmet Davotoglu (right)

David Cameron wants Turkey to join the European Union, despite his drive to reduce net migration to tens of thousands.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that it remained a ‘long-standing goal’ for Britain that the nation of 75million people should join the EU, and that the issue was under active discussion.

Speaking in the Turkish capital Ankara after talks with prime minister Ahmet Davotoglu, he said of Turkey’s membership: ‘I very much support that… we discussed that last night.’

The comments are likely to provoke anger from Conservative backbenchers, who want curbs on the free movement of people within the 28-member bloc.

Mr Cameron last visited Turkey four years ago, and said at the time that he was there to ‘make the case for Turkey’s EU membership’ and was its ‘strongest advocate’.

However since then, he has committed to an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU amid rising public concern about levels of immigration.

His ministers have also been forced to admit the government will fail in its target to reduce net migration to ‘tens of thousands’. The latest figures last month revealed it had risen to 260,000…

Turkey is 99% Islamic.  Germany, at about 80,000,000 is the most populous, followed by France and the UK.   Turkey has a population of almost 81,000,000.