EU referendum: David Miliband warns Brexit would be "tragic miscalculation". Vote Leave says voters will be in "no mood for lectures" from former Labour MP

 
William Turvill
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David Miliband lost the 2010 Labour leadership race to his brother, Ed (Source: Getty)

Quiet everybody - David Miliband has come out of hiding and wants to say something about Brexit. Pipe down at the back, there.

The former politician, who lost the Labour leadership race with his brother Ed in 2010 and quit as an MP in 2013, has warned: "No nation in human peacetime history has voluntarily given up as much political power as we are being invited to throw away on 23 June."

But pro-Brexit Tory MP Priti Patel hit back, saying voters "will be in no mood for lectures" from Miliband.

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"It would be an act of economic, political and diplomatic self-harm - a tragic miscalculation which weakens us, our friends and the international order on which we depend," Miliband, a former foreign secretary, wrote in the Guardian.

"This is not Project Fear, it is quitting Europe which is Project Fantasy."

He also suggested it is "utterly fantastical" for Leave campaigners to claim "economic, security and diplomatic advantages of EU membership can be replicated, let alone improved upon, outside".

Miliband was writing ahead of a speech he is due to give in Westminster today.

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Responding to the comments he is expected to make, Patel said: "David Miliband talks of political disarmament but appears to have conveniently forgotten his leading role in the Blair government that relentlessly surrendered national powers to the EU, gave away billions from the British rebate, campaigned to scrap the pound and failed to retain control over our borders.

"As foreign secretary he signed us up to the Lisbon Treaty that sacrificed important EU vetoes and misled the public about the power of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

"Voters will be in no mood for lectures from someone who was wrong then on the EU and is wrong now."