Commenting on the Defence Secretary’s speech, Chris Leslie MP, a leading supporter of People’s Vote, said:
“Britain’s defence is too important a matter to be left to political games, but I fear that is what is now happening.
“The idea that our membership of the European Union restricts us is the purest nonsense. You don’t have to know much history to know why Europe is and will remain central to our military posture or that co-operation and peace in Europe is what allows us to invest in global strength.
“In fact the economic damage that Brexit threatens is what will most quickly weaken our forces. The Treasury's own forecast is that Brexit will leave us £100 billion worse off and the experience of recent years is that the Treasury is never slow to pick on defence when it is looking for cuts. In the economic mess that will follow Brexit, hopes of East of Suez could be the first to go.”