FORMER Labour leader Ed Miliband has urged the party’s activists and supporters not to “sit out” the campaign over Britain’s membership of the European Union.
The Doncaster North MP said the June referendum was “too important” to be used as a vote on David Cameron and the Conservative government.
Current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of being reluctant to engage in the referendum campaign despite party policy being to support a ‘remain’ vote.
In a speech today, Mr Miliband said: “We cannot sit it out when this choice is so fundamental to helping build the kind of country we want.”
“We cannot sit it out when the decision of Labour voters will be so crucial to the outcome of this referendum.
“We are united, we can speak with one voice, and we need to do so.”
Mr Miliband argued the major challenges facing the world require more cross-border co-operation.
He said: “We can’t end centre-right austerity across Europe on our own. We can’t tackle climate change on our own. We can’t make companies pay their taxes on our own.
“We can’t solve the refugee crisis on our own. We can’t confront any of the great injustices on our own. Nothing in our values, our history, our beliefs tells us otherwise.”
Mr Miliband said the “real agenda” of those campaigning to leave was “a more unequal, unfair, unjust Britain”.
Opponents of EU membership such as Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith were “united in their vision of a free market, low regulated, race to the bottom offshore Britain”, he said.
Mr Miliband delivered his speech as events unfolded in Brussels.
He told the audience: “All my thoughts are with the victims and their families.
“It is a terrible reminder of the threats we face and the whole of our party will be feeling the deepest solidarity with the people of Belgium.”