David Cameron's brinkmanship is taking Britain to the edge of exiting the EU, threating the UK's influence and position as a global leader, Labour MEPs warned today.
MEPs debated the upcoming European Council summit, starting Thursday, at which Europe's leaders will hold the first substantive political discussion on the UK government's proposals for EU reform ahead of the referendum on membership.
The fight against terrorism, the refugee crisis, economic and monetary union and the single market will also be on the agenda.
Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour's Leader in the European Parliament, told MEPs:
"It will not surprise anyone that I have long been a critic of David Cameron’s reckless approach to the EU.
"And I still find it hard to believe that Britain, as a proud nation, respected for its skills in diplomacy, and influence throughout the world finds itself in a situation where its position as a global leader could be under threat.
"But there are signs that the prime minister may be beginning to understand that his strategy of taking our country to the brink of exit may not have been a wise one.
"I desperately hope that sanity prevails and a sensible deal will be reached. But regardless of what happens in the negotiations, Britain is better off in the EU and the EU is better off with Britain as a member.
"So I am proud the Labour Party will be campaigning hard to make sure Britain remains in the EU. Labour will fight to safeguard jobs. Labour will fight for security. Labour will fight to protect working rights.
"For British people, British families and British workers, Labour will fight to keep Britain's rightful place at the heart of the EU."