Clegg warns Cameron: "Jobs at risk if you take Britain towards the EU exit door"

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has issued a stern warning to Prime Minister David Cameron on the eve of his keynote speech on Britain’s place in the EU, warning him that debate over Britain’s membership could jeopardise British jobs.

Speaking on LBC radio this morning, Clegg said:

“I don’t think you protect the jobs dependent on Europe if you suggest your headed to the exit door.

“I believe that having years of paralysing debate of if we’re in or out of [Europe] is damaging,” he added later on.

Clegg distanced himself from his Conservative partner, insisting that Cameron’s speech was going to be made more from the position of the Conservative Party leader instead of as Prime Minister.

When asked about his thoughts on the UK Independence Party, Clegg suggested that the party needed to come under closer scrutiny.

“I’m not really sure that some of the other things they stand for are being examined properly.

“I don’t think [their policies on Europe] would be good for jobs, young people or the prosperity of Europe. So I don’t agree with them but at least they have been consistent,” he said.

The Liberal Democrat leader took the opportunity in his “Call Clegg” session on LBC radio to savage the recent findings that MPs would like a 20% pay increase, dismissing their “completely potty” suggestion and saying they were “living on a different planet”.

After Wednesday’s Vauxhall helicopter crash, Clegg praised the emergency services for their “extraordinary and heroic” efforts.

“It is so tragic, two lives lost, but you just shudder to think what would have happened if it had landed elsewhere,” he said.

As a final question, Clegg was asked which party leader he’d pick to back him up in a fight “if your back was against the wall”.

The LibDem leader squirmed, initially suggesting “I’d rely on my own colleagues first” before settling for “my wife probably”.

Speaking just after Nick Clegg’s appearance, UKIP leader Nigel Farage rejected Clegg’s attacks on his own party and accused the LibDems of being “all things to all people”.

Asked who he’d pick to back him up in a fight, Farage chose the Liberal Democrat leader as “at least I like Nick Clegg as a person”.

“It wouldn’t be Mr Cameron because he’s always abusive about us, it couldn’t be Ed Miliband because clearly he doesn’t know what he stands for and at least I like Nick Clegg as a person…so it’d have to be Nick Clegg, but you didn’t give me a good choice!” Farage told LBC presenter Nick Ferrari.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The usual lie put about by europhiles that leaving will harm our economy or jobs. It won't because we buy more form Europe than they buy from us, and they are not going to jeopardize that, and I understand they can't stop us joining ETA or EFTA. We need to do more with the advancing economies of the world, not be tied to a sclerotic EU

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