By Gerald Heneghan
Nick Clegg has issued a warning to David Cameron over potential plans to conduct a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the European Union (EU).
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the deputy prime minister said that creating “a prolonged period of uncertainty” on the issue would be an “unwise” course of action.
“All I am saying is we should be very careful at a time when the British economy is still haltingly recovering from the worst economic shock in a generation,” Clegg said, adding: “In my view, uncertainty is the enemy of growth and jobs.”
His warning comes ahead of a scheduled speech this Friday, in which the prime minister is expected to unveil plans for a referendum on Britain’s place within the EU.
Clegg went on to assert that the government should be focused on creating growth and employment within the UK and claimed it was unclear how the ongoing Eurozone crisis would affect the federation.
“The eurozone is changing. That is obvious. We do not know yet when that will manifest itself in a new treaty and we don’t know if that new treaty … does become a reality whether that will ask new things of the United Kingdom,” he said.
Last week, chancellor George Osborne warned the EU that it would have to undergo changes if the UK was too remain a member.
Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, he expressed hope that Britain would be able to retain its membership, but called for a reshaping of the way the organisation is run.