LEEDS Central MP Hilary Benn will argue the case for Britain being in the European Union is “stronger than ever” in a major speech today.
Mr Benn, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, will insist being part of the EU is the best way for Britain to deal with major challenges such as the refugee crisis.
A referendum on Britain’s EU membership is expected to be held in June Mr Benn will also explain why he will be voting to stay when he voted to leave the last time the issue was put to the British people 40 years ago.
The Leeds MP will say: “I have changed my view on Europe since 1975.
“I have been on a journey, not least because Britain has been on a journey too.
“We live in a changing world and if you look at the future challenges we face I believe the case for Europe is stronger now than ever.”
Mr Benn is credited with convincing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to commit the party to campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU despite his previously Eurosceptic views.
In his speech today at the Chatham House foreign affairs thinktank, Mr Benn will say working with other countries is “the best means we have of dealing with the problems we face”.
“The story of Britain over the last century is one of a nation at the heart of world affairs.
“It is the story of a country that has been at its best when we have been outward looking and confident.
“In the 20th century we helped build the institutions that have given us the chance to make progress: the UN, EU, NATO.
“In the 21st Century we cannot afford to reduce our influence or to isolate ourselves or shut the curtains and close the doors and wish that the rest of the world would go away,” he will say.