Cameron deputy slams EU vote, polls show boost for PM

Eurasia News

Cameron deputy slams EU vote, polls show boost for PM

LONDON:  Nick Clegg, leader of the junior party in Britain’s ruling coalition, denounced David Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum on quitting the European Union, as polls on Sunday indicated the prime minister’s move may gain him votes.

“It is not in the national interest when we have this fragile recovery,” said Clegg, whose Liberal Democrats strongly favor closer EU ties, in contrast to many members of Cameron’s Conservative party. “I don’t think it helps at all.”

He dismissed as “implausible” Cameron’s plan to take back powers from Brussels before a referendum on a new treaty by 2017 that would let voters take Britain out. EU leaders have shown little wish to grant Cameron concessions and Clegg said EU talks would distract ministers from efforts to revive the economy.

Cameron, he told the BBC, would damage economic growth if he spent “years flying around from one European capital to the next, fiddling around with the terms of Britain’s membership”.

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