UK will be 'Billy no-mates' if it votes for Brexit
Britain should stay in the EU because the French and Germans cannot be trusted to run it alone, a Tory MP has said.
Oliver Colvile insisted the UK's job in Europe is to maintain the balance of power and warned that it could be undermined if voters backed Brexit.
History shows that when Britain retreats from the continent it tends to be dragged back in to fight wars, he added.
During an Opposition day debate on the EU, the Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport MP said: "The reason I will be voting to remain in is because frankly I don't trust the Germans and the French to run Europe without us being there at that table keeping them at close heel."
He went on: "To my mind our job in Europe is to maintain the balance of power and that is utterly crucial.
"Because when we have walked away from Europe we have found ourselves having to pay for that with an enormous amount of blood and an enormous amount of treasure."
Mr Colvile also warned that Britain will be "Billy no mates" if it pulled out of the EU because the United States is reorientating towards the Pacific and does not see Russia as a threat.
He said: "And indeed the other day I was receiving a briefing from one of the more renowned journalists in this country who told us that the issue which is happening is that America now is seeking to turn its way from actually looking at Europe.
"It sees Russia as a regional issue rather than as a world issue and they are much more interested in what happens in the Pacific.
"And that to my mind - if we come out of Europe I think we're going to be Billy no mates and I don't want that to end up happening either."