Ministers ‘neglect’ EU implications

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Ministers have been accused of ignoring the “strategic and security uncertainties” created by David Cameron’s plan to stage an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

A committee of MPs and peers questioned why the issue had not been referred to the National Security Council (NSC) – chaired by the Prime Minister – which looks at long-term strategic issues.

The joint committee on national security strategy said the referendum plan was one of a number of “very uncomfortable questions” which the NSC appeared to have “neglected”.

Other issues included the impact of the eurozone crisis, the referendum on Scottish independence and the United States strategic “pivot” towards the Asia-Pacific region.

The committee also said it had seen no evidence that the NSC had considered the implications for wider security strategy of MoD plans to restructure the army and cut troop numbers.