David Miliband: Leaving the EU would be an act of unilateral political disarmament

Posted On: 
12th April 2016

David Miliband is to issue a strongly worded attack about the risks of Brexit, saying leaving the EU would be an act of "unilateral political disarmament".

David Miliband to make major intervention on the EU
PA Images

The former Labour foreign secretary will say leaving would be disastrous for the UK and the world.

Mr Miliband, brother of former leader Ed and a one-time leadership contender himself, will speak in a personal capacity as he makes a speech to the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign group.

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"No nation in human peacetime history, never mind Britain, has voluntarily given up as much political power as we are being invited to throw away on 23 June," he will say.

"It is said that the world is increasingly divided between firefighters and arsonists. For centuries, Britain has been a firefighter.

"We have always sought to balance great powers and check the abuse of power. There is no shortage of fires that need to be put out around the world at the moment.

"This is no time for Britain to join the ranks of arsonists, and there should be no doubt that Brexit would be an act of arson on the international order."“A vote to leave would be "a recipe for instability not order, derision not applause, a fall not pride", he will add.

But his remarks have already been criticised by members of Vote Leave, including Employment M Priti Patel.

She said the Labour stalwart was part of a Labour 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".

"Voters will be in no mood for lectures from someone who was wrong then on the EU and is wrong now," she added.