Speaking during a debate sponsored by CARE on Tuesday night, Mr Ford stressed ‘the serious damage’ facing the economy, his belief the Common Travel Area would be under threat and pressures facing the justice system in the event of a Brexit win.
David Ford MLA said: “Alliance fully supports the UK remaining in the EU. We are ambitious and positive for the role the EU can play in Northern Ireland and are extremely concerned over the negative rhetoric coming from the leave camp.
“The scope of the debate needs to widen, with voters being fully informed of all the potential outcomes in the event of the leave camp being successful.
“When it comes to the economy, the Bank of England, the Treasury, the IMF and World Bank have all be clear – the UK economy would be seriously damaged by leaving the EU.
“They are backed up by business organisations, with organised labour and trade union representatives seeing the benefits that the EU has brought through employment legislation.
“We also cannot sleep walk into an exit that leaves the Common Travel Area at risk. Freedom of movement is by no means certain, with the potential for customs posts between the UK and EU – in particular on the Irish border.
“As Justice Minister, I saw first-hand the way in which justice co-operation was largely based on European legislation and we can’t underestimate the effect on the European Arrest Warrant.
“Rather than playing on the fears of the electorate, the breadth of relevant issues must form the mainstream debate for the benefit of all our citizens.”