Former NATO secretary generals warned on Tuesday that a British exit from the European Union would help enemies of the West while ex-U.S. foreign and defense chiefs cautioned that Britain would have less clout outside the bloc.
The double warning comes as the two campaigns for and against Brexit step up their rhetoric about the impact staying or leaving the EU would have on Britain’s security.
Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that Britain was safer in the EU while former London mayor Boris Johnson, a member of his Conservative Party, accused him of suggesting World War Three would break out should Britons vote to leave in a referendum on June 23.
The five ex-NATO chiefs – Peter Carrington, Javier Solana, George Robertson, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Anders Fogh Rasmussen – said the imposition of EU sanctions against Russia and Iran, a move led by Britain, showed the importance of the bloc.
“Brexit would undoubtedly lead to a loss of British influence, undermine NATO and give succor to the West’s enemies just when we need to stand should-to-shoulder across the Euro-Atlantic community against common threats,” they wrote in a letter to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.