Lib Dems vote for the UK to play a constructive role at the heart of Europe

Liberal Democrats today strongly condemned the obstructive Conservative approach at an EU level towards tackling the economic and financial challenges facing the Eurozone, saying it would threaten the economic recovery of the UK.

Calling on the Coalition Government to play a constructive role as a major EU player, Liberal Democrat members at their Spring Conference in Gateshead voted in favour of the fiscal compact as a concrete way of leading the Eurozone and theUKtowards the road of economic recovery.

Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff, who led the argument that theUK should support its EU partners in restoring financial stability as the basis for economic recovery by taking decisive steps towards fiscal union within the Eurozone, said:

“Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to block what his European partners think is necessary to save the Euro at the December European Council was a complete disgrace and jeopardised the UK’s long-term membership of the EU. The PM has reversed a decade long policy of keeping a seat at the table – no matter how tricky things are.

“According to George Osborne’s  own ‘remorseless logic’, a fiscal compact treaty alone is not enough to get us out of this crisis. What we ultimately need is a fiscal solidarity treaty where common Eurobonds will effectively mutualise a portion of Government debt. Britain must be present as a full player at the negotiation table when this is discussed.”

Lib Dem London MEP Sarah Ludford, who supported the inclusion of this element in the motion on Europe passed at the Lib Dem Conference, added:

“Labour and Conservatives alike are in retreat over their commitment to joint action in Europe that defends and enhances UK interests at a global level. By contrast, Liberal Democrats want the UK to be at the heart of a strong and successful European Union that tackles common European challenges, especially the urgent need for jobs and growth.

“We must not allow the Conservatives to sideline the UK within the European Union. Instead, we must fight passionately for the EU to get its act together and get back on the road to economic recovery.”

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