Labour will take its EU campaign to pubs, hairdressers and shops

File photo dated 27/09/14 of Alan Johnson as the former home secretary will lead Labour's campaign t

File photo dated 27/09/14 of Alan Johnson as the former home secretary will lead Labour's campaign to stay in the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 19, 2015. Mr Johnson was appointed by acting Labour leader Harriet Harman to make a "persuasive" argument for the UK to retain ties with Brussels in the in/out referendum. See PA story POLITICS Labour. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Labour activists in East Anglia will be taking the campaign to remain in the European Union to pubs, hairdressers and local supermarkets, veteran MP Alan Johnson has said.

The former cabinet minister said the referendum was the 'most profound political decision' the UK would make as he prepared to launch Labour's campaign to stay in the European Union in Birmingham today.

The Labour Party voted to run its own campaign to stay in the European Union at its conference in Brighton in September.

The move came after the Scottish Labour Party was almost wiped out in Westminster after it teamed up with the Conservatives to campaign for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom last year.

He said he would not be holding 'in conversation' events around the country, but every constituency would have a champion which would get conversations going in the pub, the hairdresser and the local supermarket about why it is best to stay in Europe.

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'We wish the Stronger in Europe group [led by businessman Stuart Rose] well, but we are not part of that.

'Labour in for Britain is focused on our values, our principles, our political solidarity and peaceful coexistence.

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'We need to do it a different way and I hope that by the end of it even the East of England will be, if not an enthusiastic European, certainly realising that we are better off remaining where we are than pulling out.

'The danger and the risk of leaving are huge for this country,' he warned.

He claimed that money and time would have to be spent through a period of uncertainty to get back what the UK had when it voted to leave.

He said there was no way of escaping free movement and that the UK's ability to opt out of the European open border agreement Shengen and the agreement which ensures migrants registered in the country where they arrived was the 'best possible position'.

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