LDVideo: Clegg – “Overwhelming priority of the British people is jobs, growth and a strong economy”

Caron Lindsay reported here earlier today Nick Clegg’s initial reaction to David Camern’s announcement there will be an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. Here’s what he told the BBC:

And here’s the transcript of his interview with Sky News:

Gary Honeyford, Sky News: Deputy Prime Minister, we’re in pretty straitened economic times. Is this crusade of the Prime Minister’s not simply a major distraction?

Nick Clegg: The biggest challenge which is facing our country is that we have a fragile economy which is taking time to recover. That’s why my priority, certainly the priority of the Liberal Democrats, is to build a stronger economy in a fairer society. Now, that job is made all the harder if we have years of grinding uncertainty because of an ill-defined, protracted renegotiation of Britain’s status within the European Union. That in my view will hit growth and it will hit jobs and that’s why in my view it’s not in the national interest.

GH: Can you clarify for us what the Prime Minister means? Does he actually mean that there will be nothing happening for two years and then subsequent to another election we all of a sudden get this renegotiation and then a referendum?

NC: On the issue of a referendum, of course there is a right time and there is a right place for a referendum. In fact it is this Coalition Government, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, who have legislated, who have put in law for the first time a guarantee to the British people of the circumstances under which a referendum will take place. But we should always be governed by what’s in the national interest, and my view is that years and years of uncertainty because of a protracted, ill-defined renegotiated of our place in Europe is not in the national interest because it hits growth and jobs.

GH: But you’ve got another two years in partnership with a man who says he wants this to happen. Can the Government be cast in anything but limbo during that period?

NC: It’s entirely for the Prime Minister as leader of the Conservative Party to set out what he wants to put in the Conservative Party manifesto and what he wants to do if there was a Conservative majority government. My priority remains, and will always remain: yes, reform in Europe; yes, a referendum where the circumstances are right, as we’ve set out in law; but above and beyond anything else, promoting growth and jobs and building a stronger economy in a fairer society.

GH: The Prime Minister says support in the country for the EU is wafer thin at this moment. Do you believe that? You’re a pro-European – are you deeply unhappy today?

NC: I think my view is that the overwhelming priority of the British people is jobs, is growth, is a strong economy and my view is that that is made all the more difficult, achieving that ambition, if you have years and years of uncertainty because of an ill-defined and protracted renegotiation of Britain’s status within the European Union.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in YouTube.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/32822 for Twitter and emails.

3 Comments

  • In that video Clegg comes dangerously close to repeating Miliband’s infamous “These strikes are wrong” interview.

  • Julian Tisi 24th Jan '13 - 8:30am

    Very well put, Nick.

    He has learnt very well that the likelihood in an interview is that only the juiciest 10 seconds will make it onto the BBC news (as they did) which is why he kept repeating “…years of uncertainty because of an ill-defined and protracted renegotiation of Britain’s status within the European Union”

    Class!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRob Parsons 2nd Aug - 12:50am
    Mark, part of the problem is that there is so little big print to read. As GF notes it took stern action to get even...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 2nd Aug - 12:47am
    I support Eddie's motion for a group hug. Let's not turn it into a confirmation bias session though, as I think I said once before....
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 2nd Aug - 12:47am
    Richard, that's a bit better. Anyway.
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 2nd Aug - 12:45am
    Let's get Jenny's group hug out. Come on, we can do it! Richard, you have to be nicer! No one is perfect, but I think...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 2nd Aug - 12:42am
    @Mark. I disagree with your opinion. There is absolutely no evidence in this thread that I am prejudiced against women or that my comments verge...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 2nd Aug - 12:37am
    @ Richard, Fair enough. I think that your behaviour towards Caron displays a prejudice against women and verges on abuse. I therefore believe that you...