Highlights of Gordon Brown's speech

Brown: Make positive, principled and patriotic case for Britain in Europe and deliver it with passion

  • Britain should be ‘leading Europe not leaving it’ says Gordon Brown
  • He reveals poll which shows, by 2 to 1, British people believe co-operation in Europe helps us to be safer and more secure 

In a Centre for European Reform speech at the Royal Society in London tonight (Thursday) Gordon Brown demanded a positive, principled, patriotic case “with all the passion we can bring to bear” to show the future benefits membership of the EU can bring to our children and grandchildren.

The former Prime Minister said he has agreed to give a series of speeches over the next two months when he will deliver positive arguments and put the case for the benefits of co-operation for jobs, fairness in tax and security to counter terrorism.

He also revealed details of a recent poll which showed, by two to one, people believe that European Union co-operation against terrorism and illegal immigration actually makes Britain safer and MORE secure.

Mr Brown said: “I intend to make the positive, principled, patriotic case with all the passion I can for Britain being part of the European Union.

“This is particularly important to win over the Labour and non-Conservative vote who are unhappy with the status quo.


“While it is, of course, our duty to point out the risks from leaving, voters need positive reasons showing how Europe can improve their livelihoods, their environment and their children's future prospects.”

He cited the Hope Not Hate poll of 4,015 people which found 44 per cent agreed and only 27 per cent disagreed that: Leaving the EU would be a risk because we would lose the ability to co-operate on security and counter-terrorism issues."

In the same poll, 46 per cent of people agreed and only 19 per cent were against the statement: In an unstable world, European countries will be more secure by sticking together and promoting shared values.

Mr Brown added:  “Co-operation in Europe makes us safer and more secure. This positive argument For can convince doubters, even sceptics.  


“I believe people want to hear the case, put from first principles, that when it comes to creating jobs and dealing with migration, terrorism, defence and security, as well as our energy needs, the proper approach for Britain in Europe is  to get the balance right between the autonomy we desire and the co-operation we need.


“And I will put the patriotic case because the Britain I know and love has made the biggest impact for good on the world, not when we have stood aloof and walked away but when we have been outward looking, internationalist and totally engaged with our neighbours.

“This is the Britain I know and love – this is the Britain that on economic energy and environmental reforms, on dealing with tax avoidance and on improving security, should be LEADING Europe, not leaving it.”