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Euro-scepticism spreading in the British political system

Thursday, November 1st 2012 - 23:33 UTC
Full article 33 comments
Deputy PM Clegg fears EU debate could lead to marginalization of the UK Deputy PM Clegg fears EU debate could lead to marginalization of the UK

Britain faces a crisis that could end with the world's sixth largest economy leaving the European Union, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned ahead of a showdown over budget spending with other states in the 27-member bloc.

A day after Prime Minister David Cameron was defeated in parliament for not demanding a cut to the EU budget Clegg said on Thursday that the behaviour of the rebel lawmakers could leave Britain isolated in the EU or outside it altogether.

”You will never achieve (anything) by stamping your foot and saying, 'Well we want to be part of this club, we want to unilaterally rewrite the rules of the games, and we want to pick and choose unilaterally what we sign up to,'“ said Clegg, the leader of the pro-European Liberal Democrats, the junior party in Cameron's coalition government.

”My worry is that it is a much shorter leap from that to an outright crisis which would leave the United Kingdom fully marginalised or even out of the European Union than people seem to imagine,“ Clegg said.

In a sign of the infighting over Europe at the top of the government, Clegg spoke an hour after Finance Minister George Osborne warned that Britain would veto any deal on the budget that would be bad for the UK taxpayer.

The EU 1 trillion Euro long-term spending plan has become the focus of a wider debate in Britain about the benefits of membership of the union, just as the subset of members in the single currency zone attempts to fight its long-running debt crisis with closer integration.

”People are outraged when they see money being wasted in Europe,“ Osborne, the 41-year-old Cameron ally, told the BBC. ”Britain has become more Euro-sceptic over my lifetime.”

Cameron, who wants the EU long-term budget to rise only in line with inflation, has tried to appease the hardliner Euro-sceptics in his party by saying he will seek a new settlement on ties with the EU and then put it to voters in a referendum.

The 46-year-old leader says Britain should stay a member of its biggest trading partner, but some bankers and investors have warned that the referendum gamble could backfire, given the public's distrust of the European agenda.

The rebellion within the Conservative Party will also revive uncomfortable memories for Cameron of the part European divisions played in the downfall of the party's last two prime ministers, Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

The opposition Labour Party's decision to vote with the rebels could lock Britain's two main parties into a spiral of Euro-scepticism ahead of the next general election, due in May 2015.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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  • briton

    just to show argies we are fair,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Nick Clegg is a twit and a bloody euro donky,
    he loves the euro,
    and hates his own people, but dont tell him that, he gets upset and cries,

    he talks of saving money,
    yet wasted 100 million pounds on his little pet priject, only to lose,
    he does not want the people to have a referendum,
    the sooner this twit gets lost the better.

    Nov 02nd, 2012 - 12:38 am 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Clegg is the most pathetic politician in Britain. To see his picture right above that of the glorious Cristina in the list of articles...yuk!

    Nov 02nd, 2012 - 01:01 am 0
  • Teaboy2

    Loved it how he said those wanting an EU budget cut and repatriation of powers to the UK are the same people that want out of the EU, then repatration of powers would be a disater for the UK and we would still have to adhere to EU laws if we left the EU.

    He clearly knows nothing of history as we did quite well on our own with our own laws between 1066 and 1970's, and EU laws can not overule UK Laws when we would be an indepedendant soveriegn state outside of EU legal jurisdiction when we leave. Saying we would still have to adhere to EU laws is like saying Russia would have to adhere to EU laws, but i don't see Russia doing that.

    All Clegg is doing is scaremongering in a vein attempt to persuade people into sharing his pro Euro view. This guys is so out of touch with the public he even beats cameron and osbourne. The majority of us Brits want out of the EU. And when we do have a referendum they better not allow European immigrants the immigrated here under the EU, to vote on it either.

    Nov 02nd, 2012 - 03:03 am 0
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