Brexit ‘would strengthen Europe’s enemies’, David Miliband warns – The Independent

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No country in history has surrendered as much political power in peacetime as Britain would were it to quit the European Union, David Miliband will warn today.

In his first major intervention in the EU referendum debate, the former Foreign Secretary will say that a vote to leave would weaken the UK and its allies and be tantamount to “political disarmament” and “an act of arson on the international order”.

Arguing that EU membership strengthens Britain’s security and its influence on the wider stage, the one-time Labour leadership hopeful will say in a speech in London today for the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign that Brexit could set off “a domino effect” that would only serve strengthen Europe’s adversaries.

“Simply stated, withdrawal from the EU would mean less power for Britain, not more; less influence, not more; less security, not more. If we want our interests and values to matter in the modern world, the cold facts of life require Britain to be in Europe,” he will say.

“Quitting Europe means giving up on our alliances, forsaking our position at the negotiating table and abandoning our international responsibilities, and risks setting off a domino effect that strengthens our enemies and undermines our allies.”

Mr Miliband, who served as Foreign Secretary for three years under Gordon Brown, will argue that regional collaboration between countries would be required in the years ahead on issues of security, economics and climate change.

“The global commons – the physical, legal, environmental, even moral space that we hold in common – is under threat as never before,” he will say. “The rising powers in China and elsewhere are not ready to take on global leadership, and the traditional powers, whether led from the right, left or centre, are not willing, or sometimes not able, to exercise their traditional role. The result is instability and uncertainty.”

Speaking in a personal capacity, Mr Miliband, who is now president of the aid organisation the International Rescue Committee, will say that Brexit would be “a hard lesson in the demon of hubris” for the UK.

Leave campaigners said voters did not need “lectures” from Mr Miliband, attacking him for his former support for joining the Euro single currency.

Employment minister Priti Patel said: “David Miliband talks of political disarmament, but appears to have conveniently forgotten his leading role in the Blair government that relentlessly surrendered national powers to the EU, gave away billions from the British rebate, campaigned to scrap the pound and failed to retain control over our borders.”

Brexit ‘would strengthen Europe’s enemies’, David Miliband warns – The Independent