The big story of the last week has been the potential rift in the coalition between the anti-Europe Tories and the pro-Europe Lib Dems. Driving a wedge between his party and his coalition partners Nick Clegg said to the Daily Telegraph:
“For as long as I’ve been in politics, the Conservative Party has had a bee in its bonnet about Europe…I think eurosceptics need to be careful what they wish for. We as a country are massively dependent on a successful Europe for our own prosperity, British jobs, for money in people’s pockets. Every step towards the exit sign will lead to lower confidence in the British economy.”
Given that and how the media continually portrayed the Lib Dems as the only party united on Europe, in favour of great British participation in the EU and against a referendum on membership, many will wonder why Clegg was pledging a referendum himself just last year.
This is not just a surprise for everyone who thought Clegg was against a referendum on EU membership but also highlights, if we really needed to do it again, the duplicitous nature of Clegg’s “I’ll do anything for a vote” Lib Dem opportunists.
Remember that the same 2010 election was the one in which Clegg and his candidates personally signed pledges not to increase student tuition fees. Now this. Voters will be left wondering what Clegg really stands for. It certainly isn’t clarity or consistency.