Commenting on David Cameron’s speech as Conservative party leader on the future of Europe and a possible in-out referendum in 2017, Fiona Hall MEP, leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament, said:
“Today David Cameron spoke not as Prime Minister but as a Tory party leader backed into a corner by his outspoken tea-party backbenchers. He promised an in-out referendum on an uncertain renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU that leaves more questions than answers and creates a climate of uncertainty for investors.
“Instead of focusing all efforts on getting the British economy back on track, the Conservative party will now be tied up in its own internal renegotiation discussions that have very little to do with the reality of treaty change among 27 member states.
“Cameron has failed to reassure our European partners over the UK’s commitment to push for EU-wide reform rather than unilateral repatriation and cherry-picking. As a result, the UK will lose further influence in Europe as other Member States anticipate a “Brexit” and discount the UK’s views altogether.”