Nick Clegg speech on a richer, stronger, safer & greener Europe

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.

Why are you IN?


Showing 7 reactions

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  • commented 2014-01-01 21:06:48 +0000
    British culture is European culture. Therefore it is natural for Britain to be part of what is for us a unique cooperation between independent sovereign states. Even if we find European regulation protectionist and from time to time irksome we live in an economic environment in which international trade is increasingly significant. We must stay and fight our corner. We should also expose the numerous “Euro-myths” e.g. Health and Safety regulations, which were a British initiative, later adopted over most of Europe.
    Because of the coalition Liberals have a level of media coverage, unprecedented in most our adult lives, We should act boldly to promote the possibilities of long cherished Liberal objectives such as free trade and replacement of a substantial part of taxation by levies on natural resources and land rent.
  • commented 2014-01-01 10:50:32 +0000
    Careful. We’ll sound just like Tories. It’s considerably more important than “the future prosperity of this country”.
  • commented 2014-01-01 09:20:09 +0000
    I am a 100% supporter of our membership of the EU. It is vital to the future prosperity of this country that we remain a FULL member of the EU.
    Liberal Democrats MUST keep up the good work!!
  • commented 2013-11-10 22:15:23 +0000
    I’m in because
    1. the EU (as a whole) is by far our most logical and important trading partner and destination for our exports. For manufacturing its logical because the EU is geographically contiguous with us and since the credit crunch we now know that the destruction of the manufacturing sector (in favour of the financial and service industries) by successive governments beginning with Margaret Thatcher was a massive mistake. Overall leaving the EU would put us at a huge trading disadvantage and would sooner or later massively discourage inward investment. We could only make up for that disadvantage by dismantling the NHS, other social protection legislation and impoverishing the great mass of the population. Put simply the EU could not allow us to continue to enjoy the same advantages whilst allowing us to opt out of everything else. After all, whatever is said in public, if we get away with it – others would follow our lead and try to have their cake and eat it.
    2. leaving the EU would lead automatically to the break-up of the UK. Together all of us are stronger – English, Scottish, Welsh. We are often told that Britain is an island nation and therefore different from other European countries, but the break-up of the UK would leave us in exactly the same position as other European countries, i.e. it would no longer be an island nation but one with land borders which are difficult to defend and prone to border disputes. One reason why majorities in all countries have weathered the Euro crisis, yet despite it have held on to the Euro – because even a cursory look back at their histories show the dreadful consequences of armies marching back and forth across the continent.
    3. Culturally the core British culture makes no sense, its disjointed, without its European neighbours. For good or bad we have shared all the main epochs (Roman Empire, Dark Ages, Feudal System, Renaissance, capitalism, individualism and the development of parliamentary democracy in western Europe. For 2000 years British culture has been in a continual symbiosis with other western European cultures (as they have with each other) – the give and take and cross-fertilization of ideas and inventions across borders. All of that is what has made Europe, and Britain in particular, a powerhouse of cultural, industrial and commercial innovation and progress. Just as Germany took a holiday from European civilisation between 1933 and 1945, so since 1979 Britain has taken its own holiday from European civilisation with a mad anti-Europeanism whose final destination we still don’t know.
    4. Anti-Europeans say that the EU cuts us off from the other English-speaking countries. Actually the opposite is true – Britain as a firm and core member of the EU, where membership is taken for granted, might re-gain the ability to speak with the US on an equal footing rather than being pulled along into every mad adventure undertaken by the US.
  • commented 2013-11-05 13:56:46 +0000
    I’m not IN just because it will make us richer. I’m IN because it’s right to be trying to learn to work together. We can’t build a better world on our own. Let’s have the courage to continue dreaming – and to be proud, imaginative and bold in our attempts to make the dreams happen.
  • commented 2013-11-04 18:43:25 +0000
    As the greatest single force for promoting democracy over the last 60 years, it is vital to continue the process of creating a strong, stable centre to modulate the ever present destructive forces of tribalism, racism, nationalism and the short term interests of political imperatives
  • commented 2013-10-12 16:36:17 +0100
    About time. We’ve had 30-40 years of dishonest anti-Europe propaganda from most of the press, making most politicians scared to speak on this subject for fear of losing votes. We weren’t going to be able to overturn the resulting prejudice in just a last minute campaign.


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