The Deputy Prime Minister today (Tuesday) delivered a strong defence of Britain’s place within the EU. He issued a call-to-arms to businesses, charities, organisations and politicians to show their support for Britain’s continued membership in a reformed EU.
He expressed concern that the Euro-sceptics have been allowed to go unchallenged for too long and that ‘ludicrous mythmaking’ needs to be challenged. He said leaving the EU would be ‘economic suicide’.
The DPM has also written to more than 100 leading organisations covering areas such as policing, trade, finance, human rights, the environment and child protection, calling on them to publicly declare why Britain is better of ‘in’.
In his speech Nick Clegg said:
“I have made my commitment very clear: the Liberal Democrats will lead the way as the Party of In. But today I am calling on businesses and organisations and individuals to show their support for continued British membership in a reformed EU.
“I am not asking you to get involved in the party politics. I’m not asking you to support the Lib Dems. But I am asking you to be part of a coalition for the national interest – standing up for Britain remaining in Europe; for a Britain that is richer, safer, greener and stronger in the world.
“I’m calling on every internationalist politician – from any party; every company that buys or sells across the Channel; every umbrella group representing British business interests; the big banks and City firms that depend on the Single Market as well as the small family firms who want to expand; the investors who’ll have to reconsider their operations here if we withdraw from the EU; the research institutes that benefit from pooled EU funding; the British Erasmus students studying abroad; the hundreds and thousands of Brits who’ve relocated to France, Spain, Greece; the police; the charities who pick up the pieces when men, women and children are trafficked across our borders; the human rights organisations that want to make sure British citizens stay signed up to the protections in EU law; the green groups who want a UK that can lead the way on climate change; the farmers and fisherman who need a level playing field in Europe; the millions of British consumers who get better, cheaper products because we’re a member of the EU; and anyone and everyone who can see that there is strength in numbers in today’s world.
“Express your support for staying in the EU however you like: tweet using #whyIamIN, put it on Facebook, post it on our website, write to the Government, write to the newspapers, make your position clear in the conversations you have and the work you do.
“Whatever you do, just don’t let the isolationists speak for you or dominate this debate.
“And if you are for IN, don’t wait for others to say it; make yourselves heard.”
A full transcript of the speech can be found here.