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Former US Secretaries of State & Defence and NSA advisers back Remain

In a letter to The Times today, former US Secretaries of Defense, State and NSA advisers are clear that we need to remain part of a "strong and united Europe".

Full letter follows:

Sir,

The United Kingdom and the United States have a special relationship and long standing friendship. Having worked closely with the UK government in our different capacities, we are loyal friends of the United Kingdom. While fully respecting that this is a decision for the British people, we feel it is our duty to articulate our views as to some of the likely consequences of a Brexit vote.

The world needs a strong and united Europe to work with the United States to address the many geopolitical and economic challenges we face. The strong bonds between the United States and Europe are rooted in shared values, shared interests, and common history. The United Kingdom has played a key role in strengthening the transatlantic alliance. But we are concerned that should the UK choose to leave the European Union, the UK’s place and influence in the world would be diminished and Europe would be dangerously weakened.

In our globalised environment it is critical to have size and weight in order to be heard. The special relationship between our countries would not compensate for the loss of influence and clout that the UK would suffer if it was no longer part of the EU, a union of 28 nations with 500 million inhabitants which is the largest economic bloc in the world. This would be true in foreign policy, defense policy, and international trade matters and other areas where the EU is indeed a significant voice.

The decision UK citizens will make on June 23rd is of critical importance. All involved must weigh carefully the consequences of the decision not solely from the perspective of domestic economic interests, but also from the broader perspective of the impact on the European and international geopolitical landscape."

1. Zbigniew Brzezinski served as a counsellor to President Lyndon B. Johnson and was President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor from 1977–81.
2. Brent Scowcroft KBE is a retired United States Air Force Lieutenant General and former National Security Advisor under U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush
3. George Shultz​served as Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan
4. Richard V. Allen was National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, having been Reagan's chief foreign policy advisor from 1977.
5. Frank Carlucci​served as Secretary of Defensefrom 1987 to 1989 and National Security Advisor under President Ronald Reagan
6. Robert M. Gates served as Director of Central Intelligence under President George H. W. Bush and the Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011 under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama.
7. William S. Cohen served as both a member of the United States House of Representatives and Senate, and as Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton.
8. Madeleine Albright served as Permanent Representative to the UN and Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, being the first woman to run the State Department.
9. William Perry​was the Secretary of Defenseunder President Bill Clinton.
10. Stephen J. Hadley was the former National Security Advisor to President Obama President George W. Bush.
11. James Jones, Jr. is a retired United States Marine Corps general and the former National Security Advisor to President Obama
12. Thomas E. Donilon served as National Security Advisor in President Obama administration.
13. Leon Panetta served in the Obama administration as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and as Secretary of Defense