LibLink: Tim Farron: Cameron and Corbyn stance on Brexit “downright pathetic”

Tim Farron has put up a stonking case for Britain to remain in the EU over on Politics Home and denounced the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition for their stance on the issue:

On my mantelpiece there is an old black and white photo. It’s of my Uncle Morris at 14, the same age as my daughter is today.
It was taken in 1934 and in six years, he was dead, shot down over Beachy Head.

A generation ago there were nuclear weapons pointed at Britain on the soil of countries that today are our partners in the EU. Now we are sitting round a table together.

If these were the only reasons for staying in the EU they would pretty much clinch it for me.

What is the European Union? I’ll tell you – it is the most successful peace process in world history.

As such events show we toy with European disunity at our peril. Being a supporter of the European Union is not always easy. Some of the institutional structures and decision-making are hard to defend – indeed in many cases I wouldn’t want to.

But the case for Europe isn’t about institutions. It’s about partnership with our neighbours. It’s about a vision of how we address the great challenges of the 21st century: economic globalisation and protectionism, resource depletion and climate change, terrorism, crime and war.

After making the case that this is no world for isolationism to be a good idea, he then criticises David Cameron for effectively putting party before country:

Is this a world in which to seek more isolation, less international influence, less access to the levers of power?

Or is this a world in which the only sensible choice must be to work with others to shape a compelling international response to international threats, as the only way, ultimately to protect Britain’s long-term prosperity, security and values?

The Prime Minister knows this and yet rather than lead and make the case for continuing Britain’s EU membership, he has chosen to take us on a ridiculous dance around the capitals of Europe in the pretence that he is wringing concessions in return for Britain acting in its own best interests.

And for whom is this dance?

Not the British people but his own backbenchers: a teasing fantasy to seduce them back into his camp, to protect not the interests of our country but his party.

For I have no doubt that ultimately – miracle of miracles – the Prime Minister will emerge ‘triumphant’ (sic) from his negotiations and declare that he has at last made it safe for Britain to remain in Europe. Yet every day he engages in this absurd charade he lends credence to those that argue there is a future for Britain tucked away in a mid-Atlantic fortress in glorious isolation at the heart of… nowhere.

And he finds Jeremy Corbyn wanting too:

Yet just like the Prime Minister he does not dare tell us what he really thinks for fear that he will split his party.

So he hides behind ambiguous language and partial promises, hoping that no one will call him on it. This is the champion of new politics, of honest speaking – and on the greatest political issue of our generation he will not even say what he really thinks!
Two leaders who refuse to lead. United by prevarication, in the name of party management.

Well that is not what Britain needs. Britain needs leadership.

So I challenge both David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn to join me in saying once and for all they will stand up for Britain’s interests in Europe, they will join me in the IN campaign, and they will give Britain the leadership it needs.

Any other response is not only inadequate – it’s downright pathetic.

He invites all those who want to see the UK stay in the EU to join him.

You can read the whole article here.

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10 Comments

  • Dave Orbison 14th Oct '15 - 1:33pm

    Ah well I think that’s that re Farron. I had hoped he would offer a new style but no just yah-boo stuff. Corbyn gave a clear and unequivocal positive response re Europe on BBC North and the reasons he supported a continued membership why fairly raising some concerns. That is a fact. It’s one Farron choose to ignore a few days later in his Conference speech and again here. It may play well to die hard LibDem supporters but will not be effective. Worse it risks antagonising those of us who only just are minded to stay in EU. By the way when it comes to a LibDem leader chastising others about honesty and integrity just one word… COALITION.

  • Mick Taylor 14th Oct '15 - 1:53pm

    I suppose the question to Mr Orbison must be when will he acknowledge the good things done by Lib Dems in coalition instead of only talking about some of the compromises necessary to achieve them?

  • paul barker 14th Oct '15 - 2:25pm

    Dave Orbison misunderstands what Corbyn actually said, he was indeed clear that Labour will not campaign as a Party for Brexit. He said nothing about campaigning for The UK to remain in Europe. The most probable Labour position will be much like the one they took on the AV Referendum, theoretical neutrality with groups on both sides but with The Anti-European side having all the money & the people.

  • I think Cameron and Corbyn are trying to distance themselves from a divisive issue both within their respective parties and in the country at large. This is going to become more problematic as the referendum draws nearer. It’s going to be a much tougher balancing act for Cameron than Corbyn because he is the PM and his party has a very much larger anti EU wing. In all honesty Cameron as PM should be giving clear leadership rather than passing the buck as he did in the Scottish referendum. How can you claim to be a strong PM and a one Nation leader whilst being too weak to face off your own MPs and too scared of the electorate to present a clear argument! Since the demise of the coalition our PM has consistently shown poor judgement, half-hearted commitment and a marked tendency to vacillating bluster under pressure.

  • Eddie Sammon 14th Oct '15 - 2:52pm

    We need to spread our influence and our language across Europe. We won’t get that if we leave. It’s just not the right circumstances. I don’t want to judge Cameron for party management, but I will say it is bad foreign policy.

    Britain can boom within Europe. OK there is a small chance we are wrong, but the only thing the out-case has going for it is a possible economic case based on more free trade with the rest of the world and fewer regulations. This is why I think it is dangerous if a lot of respected business people and economists line-up in the Leave Camp.

    I don’t think the social arguments for leaving are strong. Any case about reducing immigration is countered by the pressure it will put on the relations between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Finally, there is a risk that the Leave Camp seems like the fun anti-establishment camp. The media already seem bored by the remain campaign. We should counter this with some strong speeches rather than something that looks like a power point presentation in a board meeting. And no name calling the opposition!

  • Oh dear, I do like Tim Farron but he really is on the wrong track here if he ignores the company ncerns that many ordinary people have about the EU, it’s no good saying the EU has given us fifty years of peace but ignoring The fact that most people do not want “ever closer union” if it means that places like Greece and Spain are bullied by be autocrats in Brussels. These concerns have to be addressed head-on.

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