A Wharfedale MP has warned that leaving the European Union would put British jobs and security at risk.

MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West), pictured right, made the claim following the Prime Minister's announcement that the Conservatives, should they win the next election, would hold a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

That move by David Cameron, viewed by analysts as an attempt to appease Conservative backbenchers while heading off an electoral threat from UKIP, has been criticised by the Lib Dems and Labour.

Mr Mulholland said: “It is in our national interest to campaign for a strong Britain in a strong Europe – 50 per cent of our trade is with the EU and much of our global trade depends on EU free-trade agreements, creating 3.5 million jobs and attracting hundreds of billions of pounds of investment in the UK.

“The coalition Government has committed to holding a referendum over any future treaty that transfers powers from the UK to the EU.

“The priority at present, however, is to build a stronger economy in a fairer society.

“That job is made harder if we have years of uncertainty because of an ill-defined, protracted re-negotiation of Britain’s status within the EU.

“Europe is not perfect and is in need of reform, and I will continue to make that case.

“But pulling out would risk millions of jobs, leave us vulnerable to crime and terrorism, and weaken our voice in global affairs.

“It would put our jobs, our safety and our future at risk.”