Iain Duncan Smith: Brexit can advance social justice across Europe

Iain Duncan Smith has argued Brexit could advance social justice across Europe

Brexit could advance social justice across Europe, the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has argued.

The former work and pensions secretary, who quit the cabinet in March, used a speech to explain why he thought a vote to leave the EU in the coming referendum would be a force for good for the poorest in society.

Earlier he accused the David Cameron of allowing Angela Merkel to veto a key demand in the prime minister's negotiations to change the UK's relationship with Brussels - a cap on foreign workers coming to the UK.

Calling the EU a "force for social injustice", he argued EU membership increases the cost of living, lowers wages and restricts jobs.

Leaving the EU, he said, was a "vital opportunity for us to be able to develop policies that will protect the people that often find themselves at the sharp end of global economic forces and of technological change."

He said a vote to leave "could advance social justice across the whole continent", adding it might be "the shock to the EU system that is so desperately needed".

He said the euro has favoured wealthy Germany at expense of Southern Europe, led to unemployment in many countires, and created political extremism across Europe.

Arguing against the EU's open borders, he said there would be continued downward pressure on wages which would "only get worse".

"Outside of the EU we can change our destiny and dare to believe in the greatness of our citizens", he added.