The Royal College of Midwives has come out in favour of Britain staying in the European Union, arguing that a Remain vote in the June 23 referendum would be "better for women and better for midwives".

The EU "protects and supports important safeguards both for the midwifery profession and for the public", and has a "vital role to play in ensuring decent and safe working conditions" as well as supporting the vibrant economy which allows the Government to invest in the NHS, said the College in a statement.

More than 33,000 nurses and midwives from other member states work in the NHS, and EU rules mean that they must have training and skills equal to UK-trained staff, the RCM said.

RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick said: "We are laying out to our members why we think it is important that we remain part of the EU. I believe midwifery in the UK is stronger for it, I believe patient care is safer because of it and I believe working conditions are better as a result of it.

"To me, the benefits of staying in and the risks of leaving are both crystal clear. Staying in is better for the NHS, it is better for women, and it is better for midwives. We are better off in."