Former Labour Party Leaders Urge Voters to Oppose British Exit From EU

LONDON (Bloomberg News/TNS) -

Six former British Labour Party leaders, including former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Saturday, urged the British to vote in favor of remaining in the European Union in the June 23 referendum.

Britain’s membership in the EU has provided job protection, lower prices and significant benefits for working people, the leaders said in a statement. The six, who also included Neil Kinnock, Margaret Beckett, Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband, spoke as the party began a drive to register people before Tuesday’s deadline.

“Europe protects people at work, stimulates jobs and innovation, keeps prices lower, leads global action against climate change, makes us safer against terrorism, and magnifies Britain’s voice and values,” the leaders said. “We understand our party’s value and its people. Each are strengthened by Britain being in Europe.”

Polls have suggested the battle is tightening ahead of the referendum and that warnings by the government, led by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, about the threat to the economy, aren’t having an effect. While the “remain” side has concentrated on saying jobs will be lost if Britain exits the EU, the “leave” side has focused on immigration.

Labour leaders will appear Sunday at rallies across Britain, with Kinnock headlining an event in London.

“If Labour stays at home, Britain leaves,” the leaders said. “And a vote to leave is a vote for a profound and permanent loss the whole country would feel, whether through lost jobs or lost generations.”