Brexit: Russian president Putin 'will be very pleased' if Britain leaves the EU, claims shadow home secretary

'It's quite clear to me Putin will be very pleased' if we leave the EU, claims Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham

Friday, May 20, 2016

Labour MP Andy Burnham has claimed that Britain leaving the European Union would play right into the hands of Russian president Vladimir Putin. 

The shadow home secretary believes that opting to exit the EU in the referendum, which takes place on 23rd June, will place the country at greater risk. 

"Britain will be more exposed on our own. We know Putin likes to provoke us by flying in to our airspace," he told Paul Ross. "That's going to happen more, I would guess, if we were outside the European Union. From a defence and security point of view we will be less secure.

"It's quite clear to me Putin will be very pleased. He'll immediately have a weaker Europe on his doorstep if Britain leaves."

Burnham also disagrees that opting out of the Union is the 'patriotic' choice, pointing out that Conservative prime minister Winston Churchill spoke after World War II of the need to create a 'kind of United States of Europe'.

"We're looking at a decade of uncertainty if we leave. Immediately there will be a cloud over what is going to happen," Burnham added. "I don't think anyone in Europe will be rushing forward to do us any favours.

"For those who say it's the patriotic thing to come out - no. That's a denial of Britain's history and past."