Following exclusive revelations by the Daily Express over how the Lisbon Treaty obliges Britain to join an EU military, they also warned that an EU army is “inevitable” and “will be fast tracked” if Britain votes to remain.
In a broadside on the Government’s scare tactics over the prospect of a Brexit, Maj Gen Cross called for “a positive campaign” from both sides in the last weeks of the referendum.
He said: “The Prime Minister and others who constantly tell me to be afraid, frankly, speaking soldierly about it, they can bugger off. I will not lead my life dominated by fear.”
The event was overshadowed by the sudden withdrawal of retired Vice Admiral Jeremy Blackham from a list of ten top military figures backing Brexit.
Sources suggested that he and others have been put under pressure to remain silent, although Maj Gen Cross, Maj Gen Julian Thompson and Colonel Richard Kemp told the press conference they were “unaware” of any pressure being put on individuals.
However, they claimed that current serving personnel are in favour of Brexit but feel they are unable to speak out.
Maj Gen Cross questioned whether Brussels was capable of running a single foreign and defence policy
Maj Gen Thompson said that many of the signatories to a Government letter supporting Remain by former senior officers were not “regretting” it.
He said: “What happened, was somebody from the cabinet office rang up and said would you support staying in without actually, I believe, quoting the letter in some cases.
“And some of the people who signed are now regretting it, in some cases, because they thought views expressed were wrong, or think it is bad letter, childishly written and they’ve said ‘I wouldn’t put my name on this sort of letter’.”