Andrew Turner, the Island’s MP, today criticized the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP for the remarks he made on air yesterday about the European Union. It follows the motion in Parliament last Monday which called for a referendum on Britain’s future in the EU.
In light of the Deputy Prime Minister’s comments, Mr Turner (a supporter of the People’s Pledge campaign) has made the point once again that it is time to allow the British people to make clear their views on the EU and the UK’s relationship with it. He also accuses Mr Clegg of being out of touch when the public would so clearly relish the opportunity to have their say over Europe.
On Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday, Mr Clegg said, “People need to be careful what they wish for because if you wilfully move to the margins of Europe, before you know it, you will find it is hitting people where it hurts most.”
He also warned that the UK should be careful about making changes to EU treaties at the expense of growth and jobs in the UK.
In response, Mr Turner stated,
“I will continue to fight and vote for a referendum, despite what I am instructed to do by the whips. What the Deputy Prime Minister has said is simply scaremongering nonsense. The UK is, and will remain, a huge economic power in Europe and the EU also relies heavily on the British economy. Mr Clegg is not only flying in the face of a considerable number of MPs in Parliament when he tries to persuade the voting public their jobs are at risk by airing Eurosceptic views, but, increasingly, he appears to be going against the wishes of the British people. If he is not careful, he will find himself more alienated than ever on this issue.
“It is true the UK has 3 million jobs that manufacture items to go to Europe, but it is equally true that 4 million jobs on the continent are involved with making goods to come to the UK. In other words, we are not in such a weak position that Mr Clegg would have us believe!
“I believe the majority of people on the Island are in favour of a referendum. It seems to me that those against are an increasingly small and marginalised group which includes LibDem politicans.”