The Liberal Democrats believe in a confederation of European Nations, with political power vested as near to the people as possible. Sadly that is not the European Union that we are a member of right now, and furthermore the advent of the Euro as a common currency rather than a parallel trading currency means that it is unlikely that that subsidiarity can now be achieved.
At the last General Election the Liberal Democrats committed to voting for an in-out referendum the next time there was any significant change proposed to the European Union Constitution. Whilst there has been no such political change outwith the Eurozone, the changes within the Eurozone and particularly those affecting the banking sector and national political decisions together with the failure to modernise the CAP and the Common Fisheries Policy to meet the future needs of the UK within the Union mean that there has been a significant shift in the way that power is exercised in the EU.
What’s more the broadening of the membership of the EU has resulted in social changes on a scale that we have not seen in Europe in modern times.
Things have moved on since the last General Election and with the collapse of the Euro, the economic turmoil our continent faces and the uncertainty that leaving such a decision until 2017 will leave us in both politically and economically, it is perhaps time now to put to the people of this nation the simple question the politicians fear asking. “In, or out?”