15:43 May. 24, 2016
Upcoming voting is to decide on the overall European security - M. Fallon, UK Defence Minister
Great Britain must stay in Europe to protect it from Russia's aggression. The defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has told the Commons defence committee leaving the E.U. would be an "extraordinarily irresponsible thing to do at a very dangerous moment", reports Guardian.
"A huge amount is hanging on the vote" (not just for the UK) but "for the collective security of Europe and the west", he said. Fallon claimed that there would not have been sanctions against Russia post-Crimea and Ukraine had it not been for the UK being in the E.U. Russia would not have paid a price without the UK in the E.U., he said.
Fallon said UK companies would have lost out to E.U. competitors if the UK was alone in imposing sanctions.
His exchanges were with Julian Lewis, the Tory chair of the committee and a Brexiteer, who clearly did not want the evidence session (on the Russian military threat) to veer onto the E.U.
The national referendum on UK's future in the European Union is to be held on June 23rd. The most recent polls show those favouring the E.U.-membership are prevailing.