Brexit MP: Risk of EU break-up could be reason to remain

Posted On: 
20th May 2016

An MP who is campaigning for Brexit today accepted the threat of the EU “unravelling” without the UK could be a reason to remain in it. 

Frank Field said there was a risk of the EU unravelling after a vote for Brexit
PA Images

Labour MP Frank Field said the Out campaign had to be clear about the “real danger” a vote to leave could pose to the European Union – and urged care during exit negotiations to prevent the bloc “turning over”.

The Birkenhead MP also doubled down on warnings his party’s pro-EU stance could push Labour voters into the arms of Ukip – forecasting a further one million could be lost by the next election.

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Speaking to the BBC’s Daily Politics, Mr Field said Leave campaigners should be “honest” about what Brexit could “trigger in the rest of Europe”.

“It’s in our interest that we approach the renegotiations in a way that nobody feels the whole place is going to be turned over,” he explained.

“When we negotiate we have got to make sure the European Union doesn’t actually unravel.”

Asked whether his concerns could be a reason for not quitting the EU, Mr Field said: “It could be, and that’s why the negotiations are so important.”

Warning that other countries are already looking at the UK’s referendum with envy, he added: “We want the EU to be successful.”


Elsewhere, Mr Field repeated his concerns that the EU campaign and vote “involves the future of the Labour party”.

Recalling the 2015 general election, he explained: “Almost a million Labour voters who felt we no longer talk on their behalf went and voted Ukip.

“My worry is that with this sort of [pro-EU] campaign that’s being run another million will think next time ‘I am no longer Labour voter’.”

He added that he wanted supporters of his party to be able to go to the polls on 23 June with their “heads high” to “vote for coming out and not feel they are being disloyal”.