WWII veterans warn UK must stay In for stability in EU

In a video released today, four Second World War veterans have warned that Britain should stay in the EU or otherwise risk the stability in Europe that they fought to secure.

Harry Leslie Smith, David Meylan, Patrick Churchill and Field Marshal Lord Bramall all fought in the Second World War and each insists that the future prosperity of the UK is best served by Britain retaining its EU membership.

Patrick Churchill, a former Royal Marine Commando who fought at D-Day and who received the Legion d’Honneur in 2004, says in the video that if Europe “breaks or if we are not in that union then countries will fall apart. The only solution is to bind together, hold together, there we find strength.”

Tom Brake said:

“We have written Europe’s history just as Europe has helped to write ours and this is a powerful reminder by our veterans that the stronger we are in Europe, the stronger we are in the world.”

You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvKiRYlDslQ

Harry Leslie Smith, who served in the RAF, says: “At the age of eighteen I joined the RAF to do my bit for Britain. For me, Britain is stronger in Europe because it reflects the values my generation fought for in Europe during the Second World War.”

David Meylan, who served in the RAF and wrote to Britain Stronger In Europe to offer his support, says: “We sacrificed many, many men in both world wars and this was to establish a peaceful and a prosperous union. We can’t sacrifice that now.”

Field Marshal Lord Bramall, former Chief of the Defence Staff, says: “We would be going backwards not forwards in what we set out to cure after the terrible tragedies of the Second World War.”

The video comes ahead of a speech due to be given today by David Cameron where the Prime Minister will make the patriotic case for staying in the EU.  

In his speech today, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, will say:

“Isolationism has never served this country well. Whenever we turn our back on Europe, sooner or later we come to regret it. We have always had to go back in, and always at much higher cost.

“The serried rows of white headstones in lovingly tended Commonwealth war cemeteries stand as silent testament to the price this country has paid to help restore peace and order in Europe.

“And if things go wrong in Europe, let’s not pretend we can be immune from the consequences.”


The veterans featured in the video (in order of appearance):

  • Harry Leslie Smith:

o    Served in the RAF during WWII and then was part of occupying force in Hamburg

o    Published an autobiography, Harry's Last Stand in 2014

  • David Meylan:

o    Part of the team that sent out reconnaissance planes from Benson on D-Day and then part of photo reconnaissance division of the RAF in Burma

o    Wrote to Britain Stronger In Europe to offer his support

  • Patrick Churchill:

o    Former Royal Marine Commando who fought at D-Day

o    Received Legion d’Honneur at D-Day commemorations in 2004

  • Field Marshal Lord Bramall:

o    Former Chief of the Defence Staff

o    Was one of 12 senior military figures to sign a letter in February saying the EU was good for the UK’s defence

Watch the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvKiRYlDslQ