Nick Clegg said this morning at his new monthly press conference that his position on a EU referendum had been “consistent for some time”. If by “some time” he means completely different now to what he was saying in the past, then yes, this could be considered an accurate statement.
The Deputy Prime Minister is encouraging his troops, like Labour, to avoid the House of Commons on Friday for James Wharton’s Private Members Bill. Hardly a very democratic way of doing things, and what do Liberal Democrat MPs say about being denied a vote? Well picking one at random, Guido gives you Mark Hunter, the little known MP for Cheadle:
“This is an appalling decision. To deny Parliament the chance to vote on our proposal to allow the public to have a real say on Britain’s membership of the European Union is an outrage. In the last referendum over 30 years ago, people voted to be in a very different Europe from what we have now. There have, rightly, been many important changes as the European Union has developed and grown in size. But the British people have not had the opportunity to vote on those changes. It’s time for the Westminster establishment to stop being so cowardly over Europe and have an open debate with the country.”
What has changed since 2008, Mark?