GAY rights could be at threat if the UK leaves the European Union, Labour campaigners have warned.

European law has made discrimination of sexual orientation at work illegal, and the EU high court ruled civil partnership rights are equal to straight marriage anywhere in any member country.

Labour campaigners urging people to vote remain in the referendum on June 23 also claimed LGBT hate crimes will be more accurately recorded under new EU laws with more than 320 million euros are spent on tackling discrimination.

MP Angela Eagle, one of the most senior lesbian politicians in the Labour Party and the first female MP to enter into a civil partnership in 2008, was in Brighton on the campaign trail on Sunday and visited Doctor Brighton's, a seafront bar run by a gay couple.

Speaking to The Argus, the shadow first secretary of state and shadow secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said: "Sometimes people take for granted how much the changes we have got in equality law from being part of the EU underpin our society.

"LGBT rights are actually at risk. Equal rights are already in EU law so that you can go and work abroad and be respected."

She also warned businesses and the economy could be detrimentally affected if people voted for Brexit.

Craig Royle, 39, co-owner of Doctor Brighton's in Little East Street, said: "Ultimately I think being part of a bigger community is a lot more accepting.

"I am voting to remain because I think if we leave we will lose a lot of rights which people don't know are as a result of the EU. Being able to go to another country in Europe and having your civil partnership recognised happens now and that is a big thing."

The Labour battle bus also visited The Love Café in St Leonards and hosted a rally on Brighton seafront during the day, before campaigning in North Road and handing out leaflets to shoppers.