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Clegg warns over 'damaging' uncertainty

Clegg warns over 'damaging' uncertainty
Years of uncertainty over the UK's future in Europe would be "damaging" for jobs, Nick Clegg has warned.

Mr Clegg was speaking before David Cameron cancelled his speech on Europe due to the hostage crisis in Algeria.

"I believe that having years of paralysing debate of if we're in or out of [Europe] is damaging", Mr Clegg said in his LBC call-in show.

He said he did not know the details of Mr Cameron's speech, but warned his Coalition partner: "I don't think you protect the jobs dependent on Europe if you suggest you're headed to the exit door."

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander set out his vision for the EU this evening, accusing Mr Cameron of playing "low politics" and pandering to party interests instead of the public's.

However he spoke encouraging reform the EU, urging a more "flexible" Union.

Ed Miliband this morning accused Mr Cameron of leading the UK to the edge of an "economic cliff", saying the Prime Minister's strategy was an "unnecessary gamble".

But Mr Miliband said Labour would not repeal Tory legislation that would ensure a referendum were the UK's treaty relationship with the EU change.

"Clearly there is legislation on the books which we don’t propose repealing, which says if there is a transfer of powers to the EU then there would be a referendum," he told the Today programme.

Ed Balls said this evening that hinting at a referendum would cost UK jobs and growth.

"To hint at a referendum in a few years time without being able to answer the question... 'if there's a no vote what happens next' - this is going to cost us investment and jobs," told BBC News.

"I think we must listen to the public - they are angry, they want change, but the British people don't want us to walk away from a relationship in Europe which delivers investment and jobs in the millions."

Green Box: Clegg warns over 'damaging' uncertaintyClick to open

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Transcripts

Vince Cable: Europe speech full text

17/01/2013

On air

Ed Miliband: PM driving UK to economic cliff

17/01/2013 on Today, BBC Radio 4

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Clegg warns again 'damaging' in/out debate

17/01/2013

On air

Laura Sandys: Britain can play strong role in EU

17/01/2013 on BBC News

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Julian Huppert : EU uncertainty a threat to business

17/01/2013 on Daily Politics, BBC 2

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Douglas Carswell:UKIP poses existential threat to Tories

17/01/2013 on Daily Politics, BBC 2

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Lord Vinson: I'd consider switching to UKIP

17/01/2013 on World at One, BBC Radio 4

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Vince Cable: Nationalism could resurface amid EU uncertainty

17/01/2013 on World at One, BBC Radio 4