More than 100 veterans sign letter warning Brexit could impact peace in Europe
PUBLISHED: 19:25 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 19:25 06 June 2019
One hundred and twenty-two UK veterans, including one from Somerset, have written an open letter warning the impact Brexit could have on peace in Europe, calling for a fresh referendum.
Their initiative comes as world leaders, members of the Royal Family and the armed forces gathered to mark the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings.
More than 150,000 allied soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, in what was the largest combined land, air and naval operation in history.
By the end of the day thousands had been killed or injured in a bid to secure a foothold along the coast of Nazi occupied France and begin the task of liberating Europe.
Signatories of the letter include those who served in the Army, Navy and Air Force, during World War Two through to modern day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They include Brigadier Stephen Goodall who saw action in Burma during World War Two, as well as the co-founders of Veterans for Europe; Stuart Thomson, (RAF), Duncaan Hodgkins (Army) and Steve Gavin (Navy).
Those from Somerset signed the letter, include Roger Bishop, from Highbridge, who served as a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy.
In the letter, the veterans said: "As former members of the armed forces and veterans of more recent conflicts, we have served alongside soldiers from other European nations, supporting each other while under fire or facing danger.
"We have learnt that war stinks, that peace is the natural goal for civilisation, and that Europeans are our brothers in arms. But that peace and friendship is now threatened by Brexit.
"NATO does not keep the peace in Europe - it keeps peace FOR Europe. It is the EU that keeps peace IN Europe, because when you trade, you do not fight."
The letter comes after The Brexit party won the majority of seats throughout England and Wales in the recent European Elections.