The European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has warned that Britain could spark World War Three if it votes to leave the European Union.
In an astonishing outburst the leadereven warned voters not to repeat the “enormous stupidity” of two world wars. He accused Brexit voters of forgetting the role that the EU had played in the years since the Second World War and even suggested that eurosceptics visit war graves to try and avoid a breakdown in peace between nations.
The former prime minister of Luxembourg said: “Whoever does not believe in Europe, whoever doubts Europe, whoever despairs of Europe, should visit the war cemeteries in Europe.”
Referring to the refugee crisis and conflict in the Ukraine, he said: “Peace is never a sure thing. Anyone who thinks that peace is set in eternity is fundamentally wrong. And there is war again in Europe.”
His comments provoked outrage from ‘Out’ campaigners.
Former soldier and UKIP defencespokesman Mike Hookem described the statement as “stomach churning”.
He said: “It’s certainly an insight into Mr Juncker’s mindset that he thinks fighting monsters like Hitler and the tyranny of fascism was ‘enormously stupid’ when in fact those men and women were enormously brave and their fight was enormously important.
“And as we celebrate centenaries of the First World War, including the Battle of the Somme this year, we should be loudly giving thanks to all those who fought for our liberty and freedom against a German Empire.
“This is all part of a protracted effort to scare people into voting to stay in the EU because they know their ‘economic’ arguments are valueless.”
Dr Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, added: “The military cemeteries of Europe are testament to the failure of the continent to control extremism in the twentieth century.
“Had Britain not been a free and independent nation, we would have been unable to intervene to protect Europe from the result of its own folly.
“Before we are lectured by the European Commission, we should take a look at the rise of extremism across the continent and ask whether they are helping or hurting.”
The Vote Leave group branded Mr Juncker’s comments “crass and an insult to the sacrifice those cemeteries represent”.