Former Labour MP Alistair Darling speaks as the official campaigns both for and against Britain's continued membership of the European Union kicks off.
Mr Darling was one of the leading campaigners for Scotland to stay in the UK ahead of its independence referendum in 2014.
The EU referendum will be held on June 23.
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Barack Obama will use his visit to the UK next week to offer his view "as a friend" that Britain is better off remaining within the EU.
US officials suggested the US President would "make it clear it is a matter for British people to decide" in the referendum on June 23, but said the US believes the UK economy would suffer if the vote is cast to leave.
The UK has "exercised influence in the world for centuries and has helped shape the modern era", they said.
"We want that influence to continue - we think this is best practised in groups, and it is easier to do that if the UK remains part of the EU." Brexit would risk "damaging EU stability", they added.
While the president will offer his view if asked, he is not expected to "make a point to stand and discuss it".
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Lloyds Banking Group has warned that the UK leaving the European Union would cause 'economic uncertainty' in the short term.
The banking giant said a vote for Britain to exit the EU would be "potentially volatile", but it was unclear how it would impact the UK economy in the long term.
It added: "The board is mindful that the future of the UK's relationship with the EU is a matter for the UK electorate, and that for many the debate is about more than just economics."
ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston gives his view on David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn's "contradictory visions of what the EU should be".
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn outlines why he believes Britain should remain in the European Union in his first major intervention in the referendum campaign.
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Jeremy Corbyn urges supporters to back the EU "warts and all" as he made his first major intervention in the referendum campaign.Read the full story ›
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