Yesterday (25 May) I was honoured to welcome my friend and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the European Parliament to speak alongside European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
His message to the large audience was simple: the UK should be at the forefront of progressive European efforts to fight tax evasion, tackle climate change, combat terrorism, deliver full employment and push for peace in the Middle East.
And to the Eurosceptics he had this to say: "There are some who argue that we should say goodbye to Europe and open ourselves to the world. But if we listen to the rest of the world it is clear that none of our partners want us to leave ... in fact the only person out there who does seem to want us to leave is Donald Trump!"
Speaking earlier President Schulz set out why he believes both the UK and the EU are stronger when they are together. He compared the UK / EU relationship to that of two good friends: “It is of course the British public's decision to make, but a good friend gives advice and guidance”.
When Gordon had addressed the room, packed to the rafters, he spoke with such passion and humour on the positive case for British membership of the EU that even the UKIP members present had to begrudgingly appreciate his intervention.