Nick Clegg suggests no deal with the Tories if Brexit is government policy

Guy Bentley
Follow Guy
Clegg warns Tories on EU referendum (Source: Getty)

Nick Clegg has suggested that the Lib Dems would not enter a coalition if British withdrawal from the EU were government policy.

Speaking on the campaign trail the Lib Dem leader said: “I would never, of course, accept being part of a government that advocated withdrawal from the European Union”.

He reiterated the Lib Dem position that a referendum on Britain's EU membership should only take place in the event of significant treaty change. However, while the position may cheer pro-EU party activists it still leaves the way open to another coalition deal with the Conservatives.

The Tories are promising a renegotiation of Britain's EU membership and will put the resulting deal to the people in a referendum in 2017. David Cameron has made an EU referendum a red line in any coalition negotiations. But the Tory position is not to actively campaign for Brexit.

If there is a referendum in 2017, it is widely expected that David Cameron would campaign on the side to keep Britain in the EU. Ed Miliband has ruled out a referendum all together in one of the few Labour policies that has won praise from the business world.

A poll for the Times' Red Box yesterday showed that 34 per cent of people said they would definitely vote for Britain to remain in the EU compared to just 18 per cent who were certain to vote for Brexit. Support for having a referendum on Britain's EU membership has also dipped from 58 per cent two years ago to 50 per cent today.

Visit our General Election poll tracker to see how the polls changed in the build-up to election day. 

Related articles