He said: “Europhiles might usefully address themselves not to the question why we should stay in the EU, but why we should ever want to be a member of it at all when the institution is corrupt and so riddled with fraud that the auditors have felt unable to sign off its accounts for nigh on 20 years.
“It is dedicated to exactly what we do not want – ever closer union. It has already wrecked much of Europe’s economy, though not the UK’s, with its single currency, and has generated politically dangerous levels of unemployment in its southern states.”
The UK will vote to stay in or leave the EU by the end of 2017 Photo: Alamy
Sir Bernard also said the EU was useless when it came to international action and pretended to have a foreign service.
“The present EU model is a discredited mess and everyone knows we cannot go on like this”, he said.
Accusing the EU of amassing powers at the expense of the member states, he warned of the damaging consequences for Western democracy.
He said: “What is so frightening about standing on our own two feet in a developing world, trading with whom we like? What are our tycoons afraid of?
“What is so alarming about the British Government, monitored by the Westminster Parliament, recovering its power to govern the British people?”
It comes European leaders have said they will hold urgent talks about the migration crisis at an EU summit next month in a move that threatens to overshadow David Cameron’s bid to secure EU reforms.