Ed M makes pro-Europe case
Ed Miliband today warned against Britain "sleepwalking" into an exit of the European Union - and was immediately backed by Vince Cable.
In a speech to the CBI, the Labour leader also called for pro-Europeans to speak up and make the case for Britain's continued membership of the EU.
“For those of us, like me, who care passionately about our place within the European Union, we cannot therefore remain silent. I will not let Britain sleepwalk towards the exit from the European Union because I think it would be bad for prosperity, it would hamper us in building a One Nation economy I believe in... and above all it would be a betrayal of our national interest,” Mr Miliband said.
He went on to warn against a referendum at the present time: "I don't believe that is in Britain's economic interest because I believe at this moment of all moments... it would hold us back."
Speaking to the BBC's World at One programme after the speech, Mr Cable expressed a similar sentiment.
"This is a spectacularly bad time to have a referendum [on EU membership] because Europe is influx," he said.
However, the Business Secretary was less in tune with the Labour leader on the question of the EU budget.
He said: "The Labour leader hasn't been terribly helpful in all this. He precipitated a vote in the House of Commons a couple of weeks ago that was completely unnecessary and polarised the debate around the European budget when the Government is being very firm on it."
Former justice secretary Ken Clarke this morning said continued doubt over Britain's future in Europe was damaging the country's influence, warning an EU exit would be a "disaster".
Meanwhile, former Europe minister David Davis has called for two referendums on the EU - one trying to repatriate powers from Brussels and one calling for a British exit if the former is unsuccessful.