May 9, 2016 / 6:52 PM / 2 years ago

Britain leaving the EU would be a worry for NATO: Vershbow

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The possible withdrawal of Britain from the European Union after a referendum on June 23 is a worry for NATO, the defense alliance’s Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on Monday.

Naval ships of various NATO countries are moored in the Canary Wharf business district in London November 22, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

“From a NATO point of view having a strong, unified European Union that is a capable partner is perhaps more important today than it has been for many years,” he said.

“Anything that would disrupt the unity of the European Union would be of concern to NATO. The United Kingdom is a very important military and political player within NATO and I hope that will remain so in the future,” he said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday set out the security case for remaining in the European Union, saying Britain needed the EU to fight Islamic State and rebuff a “newly belligerent” Russia.

Both the “In” and “Out” campaigns in Britain are trying to find arguments that resonate with voters who are evenly split over which way to vote in the referendum, according to opinion polls.

Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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