MILITARY leaders and veterans today delivered hard-hitting arguments on why Britain should leave the EU.
Around 100 people attended the public debate at Tiger Tiger at Gunwharf Quays.
On the panel were Rear-Admiral Roger Lane-Nott, former chief of the submarine fleet, NATO Eastern Atlantic, Armed Forces Minister and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, Major-General Julian Thompson, commander of land forces in the Falklands Conflict, and Julian Brazier, defence minister.
The meeting heard that the future of our defence and democracy - not the economy - were the most important issues facing voters in the referendum.
Rear Admiral Roger Lane-Nott warned that the end outcome of staying in the EU would be an EU army, navy and air force.
He said: ‘We simply can no longer say that control of the UK forces is by democratic will of the UK people.’
Rear Admiral Lane-Nott said the ‘chain of command’ of UK forces was already coming under question.
And he said: ‘Erroneously they will say the EU has kept the peace and our security is better.
‘NATO is what has kept the peace since World War Two - not the EU.’
He warned there was a ‘distinct danger’ to the stability of Europe by having a EU federal army, navy and air force.
He showed up the flag of the Royal Navy and the EU and asked: ‘You tell me - which flag would you like to see on Royal Navy ships?’
There were cries pointing towards the British flag from the audience.
Penny Mordaunt was cheered as she took to the podium and said that ‘change takes courage’.
She said that peace in Europe was based on ‘common humanity’, not being part of the EU.
She said it it was ‘rubbish’ that the UK could NOT stand alone outside the EU.
Picture (l-r): Penny Mordaunt MP, Julian Brazier MP, Rear-Admiral Roger Lane-Nott and Maj-Gen Julian Thompson