Coffee House

Nick Clegg to challenge Nigel Farage to a head to head debate on Britain’s EU membership

20 February 2014

7:15 AM

20 February 2014

7:15 AM

I understand that Nick Clegg is to challenge Nigel Farage to a debate on Britain’s EU membership ahead of the European Elections this May. The Liberal Democrat leader will issue this challenge imminently.

Clegg’s decision to challenge Farage to a debate is all part of his party’s effort to try and turn the European Elections into a contest between the Liberal Democrats, championing In, and Ukip, who are for out. Those close to Clegg hope that a head to head debate between these two will highlight this contrast. They alos expect that it will put pressure on the Tories and Labour to be clearer about where they stand on the European Question.


Nigel Farage has little choice but to accept Clegg’s challenge. Ukip has long argued that the political establishment is running scared of it. But if Farage refused to debate the deputy Prime Minister, it would like he was running scared of Nick Clegg.

But this strategy is not without its risks for Clegg. Farage is a skilled verbal pugilist and is bound to land some blows. Also, a Clegg, Farage debate will put the two men on an equal footing. Up against the Ukip leader, Clegg won’t be able to stand on his deputy Prime Ministerial dignity.

Clegg versus Farage will be a fascinating political event. If Farage’s case for leaving the EU can stand up to Clegg’s factual assault, it will be vastly strengthened. Equally, if Clegg can puncture the Ukip balloon, he’ll be able to credibly claim that he is the guarantor of the centre ground in British politics. But, I suspect, that both men could end up winning from this debate. Farage’s performance will delight his base and having Clegg as the face of staying in Europe will help him with Euro-sceptic Tory and Labour voters. While Clegg taking on Farage will delight his own activists, who despise Farage, and bolster his claim to be the voice of moderation in British politics.

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Show comments
  • John Tierney

    A perpetual liar with little or no integrity, and a bigoted racist , ( what do they teach them in these posh private schools!!) – Should be good for a laugh !!…. If we vote ‘Yes’ to Scottish independence we can distance ourselves from these sort of people !!

  • robert

    does anyone know how much money the uk pay into the eu I would love to know and by the way im in my 70s age wise and I voted against heath when he forced us into the eu so lets have a debate with nigel and clegg and if I stay alive long enough I would cheer if we do get rid of the eu. that could be a start to the uk getting some of our dignity back

  • Philip Hodkinson

    Pointless discussion betweena government without a clue on anything and a leader of a party that doesn’t have a policy beyond a stance on Europe.
    He can’t even answer where the trading partners will appear from once we lose the European ones. To say the world is a big place hardly fills one with confidence

  • TheSniper4u

    There is no way this debate would take place the Europhiles will not let the public know the truth via Nigel Farage when they have spent thirty years lying to us about Europe. Wake up this is a spin from Clegg whilst having a swipe at UKIP..

  • Conway

    “If Farage’s case for leaving the EU can stand up to Clegg’s factual assault” Are you implying that Clegg is telling the truth (he’s factual) while Nigel isn’t (he’s merely making a case)? It would be nice to have a real cost benefit analysis of the pros and cons of being in the EU (why hasn’t it happened yet?), but I expect it to be a reiteration of the “3 million jobs depend on EU membership” claim. I do not expect that to be backed up with facts and figures.

  • Radford_NG

    Why would Farage want to give the oxygen of publicity to a looser who has betrayed his parties core voters and the Labour supporters who voted Lib Dem by linking to Cameron (just to get his feet under the table),and who elements in his own party are seeking to unseat as leader?

  • Jim Franko

    Can’t wait! Farage will hopefully eat him alive.

  • Smithersjones2013

    What a strange idea. What is the purpose of this debate? To discuss withdrawal? Well unless we are to have a referendum in the near future whats the point? Alternatively perhaps its a debate about the the EU’s future and what will happen in the next five years in Brussels? Putting aside the lack of the rather essential contributions of the EPP, PES and ECR, I can understand why Farage as Chair of the EFD might be involved but whats the point of including a domestic politician who has no direct influence on events in Brussels?

    Once again it seems that Nick Clegg has nothing better to do than waste our time, Something of course he has become an expert at over the last four years. It does of course indicate once again how low the Libdems have fallen (challenging what was the 4th party in 2010) and how desperate they have become in proposing such an ill considered stunt. Whilst its no surprise that the usual freakshow hangers on are wetting their panties at the thought it really is a nonsensical idea and one that will no doubt backfire on Clegg

    • Conway

      “whats the point of including a domestic politician who has no direct influence on events in Brussels?” As far as Clegg is concerned, the point is probably making sure he holds on to his EU pension.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    This will serve to shame the Millipede and Call Me Dave, as Farage will obviously challenge them to come forward and debate.

    And it gives Farage an opportunity to lump the LibLabCon clones together, as is the base of his electoral strategy, and it’s even better if the muppets aren’t there to challenge the characterization.

    Poor Clegg, he’s just a fallen woman, as they say. He’s desperately hoping he can don the fishnet stockings and the mini, slather on some lipstick and cheek rouge, and go off and sell the wares yet again. Sorry, Nick, but you’re yesterday’s goods. And Farage will make sure the other two of the LibLabCon strumpets are attached directly with poor Nick, in the same house of ill repute, over on Gropec*nt Lane.

    The Cleggsters are circling the drain. They’re finished. It’s just a matter now of whether they can take the others down as well.

  • Herman_U_Tick

    I would take the Pro-EU politicians more seriously if they would join together
    and pass a self-denying Bill preventing any of them benefitting from
    any EU office after leaving Parliament.
    I’m thinking of Kinnock who appeared on Newsnight (or equivalent) in the
    1990s claiming to have eliminated corruption in Brussels!!
    UKIP should agitate for this even if they get nowhere: obstruction would tell its own story.

  • HookesLaw

    Well that should double the UKIP vote and give the tories an excuse for any poor performance.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …and Lord knows you Camerluvvies are in desperate need of excuses.

      • Wessex Man

        Hooky is in desperate need of any excuse he can find that’s why his long and winding comments are getting smaller and smaller and more insulting all the time, poor lad.

  • Sackerson

    Along with others, I take the position that we are not now in the EU, since the constitutional change has never been ratified by the Commons (that is, the people, not their elected representatives) in propria voce, as required by the ancient English Constitution.
    Therefore the debate should be not whether we should leave but ought we to join, and for what reasons? I can hardly imagine what arguments might plausibly be advanced for our membership.

  • AnotherDave

    ” If Farage’s case for leaving the EU can stand up to Clegg’s factual assault, it will be vastly strengthened. ”

    I wouldn’t expect a ‘factual assault’ from Mr Clegg. He just keeps repeating the dishonest “three million jobs” soundbite.

    • HookesLaw

      I doubt either side will talk much sense.
      But… being out of the EU will be little different for being in the EEA and in the single market.
      This may well suit Britain but do not be under any illusion that it will be any meaningful way different and splitting the right wing vote over it will just let in Europhile Labour.

      The soundbite may be hyperbole but if we leave the single market I do not see how anyone can deny that billions of pounds of inward investment would be put at risk – and for what?

      • AnotherDave

        How about for the chance for the people of the UK to elect those who make their laws?

        How about to preserve the right of the british people to Habeas Corpus?

        How about freeing the 95% of UK companies who do not trade with the EU from EU regulations?

      • SuperCruise

        Oh dear, oh dear, you have no idea .

        What makes you think that the UK needs to be
        in POLITICAL UNION with the EU in order to trade ?
        Mexico trades with the EU but there is no talk
        of Mexico joining the EU.

        Do you realise that the UK gave up it’s seat at the WTO and
        that the EU represents the UK (and the rest) at the WTO ?
        In that capacity, do you really trust the EU to represent the UK’s interests at the WTO ?

        Are you aware that we have a massive trade deficit with the EU ?
        Have you noticed the number of French and German
        cars on British roads ?

  • James Allen

    Farage will wipe the floor with Clegg, because the pro-EU argument is indefensible in the face of the facts; namely the undemocratic nature of the EU project. As long as Clegg or the Lib Dems are not allowed to dictate the terms of the debate, I for one will enjoy seeing Farage drag Clegg’s sorry carcass out of the debating chamber…..

    But having said that, fair play to Clegg for having the balls to take him on…. Let’s hope Farage takes it seriously and doesn’t underestimate him.

  • fathomwest

    Of course Farage will accept. As you state this will put him on equal status with the DPM and, therefore, make any opposition to Farage being included in the leadership debates, in the General Election campaign, childish. Cameron has most to lose with this debate and Clegg knows that.

    • ffhfhffh

      Farage is already trying to add preconditions to the debate, saying Cameron and Miliband should be there too. Obviously won’t happen, so it looks like he’s trying to weasel his way out.

      • fathomwest

        No, this is very good politics. He knows Cameron will run away from any debate on the EU and Milliband will not wish to be the one saying he will not allow the people to have a say! This will give Farage the right to lay into Cameron and Milliband during the debate with Clegg. It gets better by the minute.
        The only weasel is Cameron!

      • AnotherDave

        Both sides will be trying to add preconditions to the event. It’s called ‘agreeing a format’.

  • ButcombeMan

    Clegg is panicking that the LibDems will be all but wiped out in the EU elections. He is being forced into this.

    Farage might start by asking why, not so long ago, the LibDems were FOR a referendum.

    • ffhfhffh

      Hasn’t their position always been the same – in/out referendum whenever there is major treaty change?

      • AnotherDave

        No, their position is being in favour of an EU referendum during election campaigns, but never voting for EU referendums in parliament.

        • ffhfhffh

          Pretty sure all Lib Dem MPs voted for the European Union act 2011 that requires a referendum on any future changes to EU treaties.

          They did filibuster the Tories 2017 referendum bill, but that’s consistent with their position that there should only be a referendum when there is treaty change, not on an arbitrary date.

          • AnotherDave

            In 2011 one LD MP voted in favour of an EU referendum.


            In 2013 no LD MPs voted in favour of an EU referendum.


            • ffhfhffh

              As I said, both of those were for a EU referendum on an arbitrary date. They are not in favour of that.

              • HookesLaw

                I think your big mistake here is using logic when trying to debate with rabid kippers.

                • Wessex Man

                  there’s only one rabid rather rancid posters on here Hooky and it’s you running scared!

                • Kitty MLB

                  Cameroons like Hooky do not just attack
                  Kippers with the filleting knife, they also try and slay
                  Grass Root Tory’s also with the boring ‘fruit cake’ insult.
                  Mind you, Hooky is quite rare, I know a lot of Cameroons
                  at Con Home and most are fairly reasonable but he actually
                  wants to stay within the EU, the Cameroons I know do not
                  want that ( apart from 2 people)

              • Conway

                The LibDems said in their 2005 manifesto that it was time we had a referendum on the EU and they would offer one. No mention of not fixing an arbitrary date. They abstained in the Commons when they had the opportunity for a referendum on Lisbon (but voted against in the Lords!), then voted against (with one exception) letting us have a referendum on the EU in 2011 and removed all reference to the pledge – but it’s still out there on the Internet if you know how to look for it.

          • SuperCruise

            “Pretty sure all Lib Dem MPs voted for the European Union act 2011 that requires a referendum on any future changes to EU treaties.”

            Means nothing, nothing at all.

  • swatnan

    What a couple of right headbangers. But I’d think Clegg would come out on top. because Nige and UKIP haven’t really a leg to stand on. A computer simulation of the effects of withdrawing from Europe would be financially devastating, less jobs, and less exports and less influence. We’ed be just slightly better off than Norway and the Switzers.

    • AnotherDave


      Dutch households would apparently be £8,000 a year better off outside the EU.

      I imagine the UK households would have a similar benefit.

    • SuperCruise

      Utter rubbish.

    • Aarash UK

      Dont repeat this junk idea anywhere else as even kids in primary schools know that Swiss and Norway are most prosperous countries in Europe and they are not part of EU. So, if after leaving EU, UK is slightly better off than Swiss and Norway, you should leave NOW!

  • AnotherDave

    The IEA Brexit Prize is intended to provide:

    “a Blueprint for Britain outside the EU, covering the process of withdrawal from the EU and the post-exit repositioning of the UK in the global trading and governance systems”

    The winner will be announced in April this year.

  • anyfool

    You say,
    Nigel Farage has little choice but to accept Clegg’s challenge.

    Does he really have to go head to head with the leader of a fading party, I do not think so.
    Clegg needs Farage more, it is he who needs to debate with someone with a higher profile, nobody is listening to him, this is a last desperate act to try to get his tainted message over to a disinterested public.
    If Clegg was of any consequence who would be able to force the PM to the debate.
    Having said that maybe Nigel should take him up on this, it presents his case in a light, that says what he has to say is more important than what the other two party leaders have to say.

    • ffhfhffh

      Of course it’s a cynical play by Clegg that probably helps him more than it helps Farage.

      But it cleverly puts Farage in a very tricky position because he’s been whining about not being included in debates for so long. How can he bottle it now?

      • ButcombeMan

        You really are taken in by Cleggie. Astonishing.

        You must be the last person left, other than Miriam, who believes anything he says.

        Clegg is finished. What is more he knows it. This is a desperate last gasp.

        Farage is playing mind games with him.

      • SuperCruise

        Some people aren’t so bright, then again as you seem to admire Clegg so much…………..

  • peterb

    Another classic error from the imbecile Clegg, this plays into Farage argument to be involved in any leaders debates ahead of 2015 election.

    If he is not permitted to join then Clegg cannot be involved in the leaders debates.

    Game set & match

    All Farage has to do is show the many years of trade deficit with the EU, the cost factor, the silly rules that cost UK plc billions and the deficit of accountability with an added loss of sovereignty.

    • ffhfhffh

      Clegg is very comfortable about Farage being in the leaders debates – UKIP pushes down the Tory vote, helping the Lib Dems in 38 of their 57 seats where the Tories are the main challenger.

      If Cameron is too scared and blocks Farage, it doesn’t matter either – there’s no way Clegg is going to be blocked. Whether you agree with it or not, the main indicators that the broadcasters use are past election results, not current polling results. So you are comparing the Lib Dems result of 23% of the vote, winning 57 seats and entering government with 5 cabinet ministers, with UKIPs 3% of the vote winning zero seats.

      It looks like UKIP will do better in 2015, maybe winning 1 or 2 seats – then Farage can be in the 2020 debates.

      • peterb

        I can understand your reasoning. However, the public support will be for Farage to be included or Clegg who effectively has lowered his party position by coming down to the same level as UKIP & Farage to participate in this debate.

        In business, in diplomacy, in politics you match up people, basically you would not have the CEO meeting the cleaner in a competitor company. Or the Prime Minister meeting a junior minister from another country. Everything is matched by standing and title.

        Nigel will understand this coming from the business world, Clegg has lowered his horizons and position as Deputy Prime Minister to play politics.

        Before a word in earnest is said Farage should bring Clegg down further by accepting the challenge for debate on the terms of being included in the leaders debate.

        It actually suits the Conservatives because you will see a clear line of attack, Lib Dems are history, a vote for UKIP is a vote for Ed Miliband.

        Comonsense will prevail.

        • ffhfhffh

          Yes, I guess the Tories might try and use this to argue for a Cameron-Miliband only debate, although it’s not clear whether Labour would actually want that.

          Anyway, all of this is predicated on Farage actually taking up Clegg’s offer, and at the moment it looks like he might be chickening out.

          • Conway

            I wouldn’t call it “chickening out”, I’d say it’s taking time to reflect before making a decision. Of course, that difference of opinion depends on whether you are well disposed to UKIP or not.

        • SuperCruise

          No, a vote for Cameron is a vote for the EU.

      • HookesLaw

        In other words UKIP let in Eurpophile labour. Kippers are thick – lets face it.

        • AnotherDave

          From UKIP’s perspective, what is the difference between europhile labour, europhile conservatives, or europhile lib-dems?

          • Wessex Man

            You can tell how desperate Cleggy is by calling for a debate and also how sad and desperate Hooky is by the more and more bile he is throwing at UKip in every comment he makes, I just hope the Tories don’t split our vote in 2015!

        • Conway

          I love the way you are so polite and reasoned in your arguments, H L, backing them up with lots of relevant facts rather than unsubstantiated opinion. “Eurpophile labour” – have you copyrighted that description?

        • SuperCruise

          I’ll spell it out for you.
          David Cameron LOVES THE EU.

  • DaveL

    Farage just needs to say “I think the people should decide what’s best for this country”

    Clegg would have to agree to the referendum, or look like a dictator.

    • ffhfhffh

      Presumably he will just mention that he passed a law in 2011 that means a referendum is automatically required in the event of any future treaty change.

      And treaty change is pretty much inevitable over the next 5-6 years, so a referendum will happen. Committing to a referendum on an arbitrary date in 4 years time like Cameron is just silly.

      • AnotherDave

        There is a loophole in the ‘Referendum Lock’, if the government puts the legislation to parliament saying the referendum lock does not apply, then there is no referendum.

        • Alexsandr

          quite. a parliament cannot bind a future parliament.

      • SuperCruise

        “Presumably he will just mention that he passed a law in 2011 that means a referendum is automatically required in the event of any future treaty change.”

        Change the record will you ?
        Cameron and Clegg will NEVER give you a referendum.

    • AnotherDave

      Mr Clegg’s happy to agree to a referendum, and advocate one. He’s just not willing to vote for one in parliament.

  • OriginalChris

    If this were to happen, I suspect it would then be very difficult for Farage to be excluded from any further major debates. This latest from Clegg will, I think, greatly bother Cameron, as it may well lead to a situation where Cameron is forced to debate with Farage as well as the others.

    • ffhfhffh

      Yeah that’s a major problem for Cameron, not so much for Clegg. Farage in the debates would probably actually benefit the Lib Dems, as the Tories are second in most of their seats so they will only hold on if the Tory vote drops more than the Lib Dem vote.

  • Kitty MLB

    As someone here rightfully pointed out.
    Two people with utterly opposing views having an open and honest
    debate, they say sunshine is the best disinfectant.
    Clegg is seen as the Brussels devoted poodle, a slave of the EU.
    Farage is seen as determined and patriotic British bull dog
    who leaves little puddles within the EU, very often,and
    considering Farage does not want to be seen as just a protest vote,
    and some still see it that way, he needs to be allowed to debate as much as
    possible- and we will decide.
    If this debate happens it maybe a superlative debate, regardless
    of thinking Farage as an excellent chap, and one with stamina, and gravitas,
    and despite thinking the once bright eyed Cleggie has been befouled
    by power and really is not on the side of the UK electorate, we really
    must listen to both sides, ( try very hard ) and it should not be done by the BBC.

    • Wessex Man

      Totally agree that the BBC shouldn’t be involved in any way!

      • Conway

        Yes, just imagine letting the Bbc (sic) control the pans, the cutaways, the focus and all that goes with production. I foresee some very unflattering shots of Nigel Farage.

    • telemachus

      This is nothing to do with UKIP
      It is about Clegg’s grasping at straws to try to show that he might maintain a relevance beyond May next year
      I would be surprised at present if he ha more than 15 seats

      • sfin

        For once, telemachus, I completely agree with you!

        The clegglet is showing all the bravery of a soldier offered the choice between going over the top, or the firing squad.

        • telemachus

          Neither willhappen
          An unedifying wither will be the fate of Clegg

          • sfin

            I would like to think so – unfortunately I think Clegg’s career has ‘European Commissioner’ written all over it.

  • Stan_J

    I’m not really sure how I feel about this. At this point UKIP have a chance at coming first while the Lib Dems are at risk of losing their MEPs. Clegg’s party is clearly the one with least to lose.

    That said, the idea still intrigues me. And UKIP could hardly turn down the offer if they want to make the argument that they should be included in the Westminster debates also.

    • ffhfhffh

      Yes it’s a bold, slightly risky play by Clegg. Definitely opens Farage to the charge of hypocrisy if he refuses

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Clegg is finished, as of right now. He’s 14.5 months from disappearing for good. He’s got nothing to lose here, and everything to gain. There’s nothing remarkable he’s doing here, it’s all about greed for him.

        Farage’s response, obviously, will be to demand all of government come forward and debate . The pudgy, pinkish metrosexual Dave will be shamed in all this, no doubt. And if the little poshboy refuses the challenge, Farage will undoubtedly use that to shame both of the muppets.

  • colliemum

    Ah – Cleggie thinks he can repeat his TV success from the debates against Cameron and Brown.
    Good luck with that, Cleggie – Farage is on a different level altogether.
    Mind – I’d pay to watch that debate, LOL!

    • spinfight

      Quite, it will also heap the pressure on Cameron to do the same if the boy Clegg comes out of it well.

      I think this is likely win-win. Personally I think Farage will trounce him, though I suspect Cleggyites will think the opposite. I also suspect that these divergent opinions are unlikely to change after the debate… Indeed might be worth Nigel keeping something in the tank for the dream shot of taking Cameron to the cleaners.

      Now that is what I suspect Nigel has been dreaming about for the last 8 years….

      • Conway

        I couldn’t be bothered to watch the three stooges debate last time. If Nigel were in the mix, I would definitely tune in.

  • Kitty MLB

    Nick Clegg, the empty soulless man of straw, who stands alone, and guards our golden fields.
    He opens his mouth, but all that comes out
    is treacherous silence- he thinks ‘ why will they not agree with Nick’.
    From the golden skies above, a fire ball appears to send him to his fate..

    • Erictheowl

      Nice imagery.

  • rtj1211

    This is what politics is supposed to be about after all. Two leaders of opposing views allowing the public some insight into the justifications for their views and, hence, deciding who to vote for in an election.

    I agree that it is a win-win contest.

  • Lady Magdalene

    If this goes ahead one thing’s for certain. There will be no “I agree with Nick” this time.
    It will be the pretty-boy Brussels stooge up against the street-fighting British patriot.
    I do hope it is made clear that The Clegglet, having worked for the EU and sworn an oath to promote its interests even when he left its direct employment, his loyalty is NOT to the UK. And his EU Pension depends on him keeping his oath.

  • HD2

    Clegg will be monstered.

    • rtj1211

      He may not be. There’s not been a fair fight yet on this issue and most wings of the Press have been closed mind, blinkered propagandists to date.

      Actually having a debate is something Clegg should relish, since it puts him on prime time TV against someone his own size. He doesn’t have to worry about pleasing Farage because there is no coalition deal possible between UKIP and the Liberal Democrats. He can therefore afford to be genuine, a rare commodity for politicians these days.

      Plenty of people in the UK benefit from Europe, even if you don’t. Plenty of regions of the UK have benefitted from EU funds after Thatcherism decimated their economies. South Yorkshire, Merseyside, Cornwall, much of Wales, Northern Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. Not to mention Thames Gateway, various parts of the north of England under Objective 2 and parts of the SE and midlands too.

      You want to slag them off, you shouldn’t have supported policies that decimated the British regions. Then the EU couldn’t have bought favour.

      I”m putting the facts forward here, not making a judgement.

      • wycombewanderer

        The UK is a net contributor to the EU the EU cannot give any money to UK regions, it has no money except that given by it’s contributors.

        The regions that have recived money have received their own money minus administration costs at best.

        I’m putting the facts forward here not making things up.

      • Colonel Mustard

        “Thatcherism decimated their economies” + “I’m putting the facts forward here”

        Hmm. Some might say a lack of post-war investment, militant Trade Unionism and bad corporate management destroyed their economies. Blaming Thatcherism is like blaming the surgeon for removing an infected kidney.

      • Andy

        Twaddle. The EU is a danger to democracy and to peace in Europe. It should be destroyed.

        • Lee Baker

          It’s pure coincidence the EU has coincided with the longest period of democracy and peace in Europe!

          • tastemylogos

            I think the coincidence may be more to do with 100’000 American G.Is stationed on the mainland, dontchathink?

          • an ex-tory voter

            As you say “pure coincidence”. Peace was guaranteed by NATO not the EU. As for democracy, the EU is patently “anti-democratic”.

          • Weaver

            Yes, it is. And you answer your own question. The fact of democracy alone is sufficient to explain the peace. Occams Razor; there’s no need to invoke the EU/EEC.

            You need to show the EU caused democracy to have an argument here. That’s a bigger reach.

        • livnletliv

          Yip, the EU has caused nothing but trouble.

          • tastemylogos

            I wouldn’t go that far. Up until the reunification of Germany it was a rather decent customs union that was seemingly trying to open up competition throughout the continent. Not perfect, not even preferable but far from sinister.

            Ever since Maastricht it has been nothing but a device to undermine democracy and national sentiment. In undertaking the former it has ironically managed to stoke the latter.

            • fubarroso

              Maastricht was just another notch of the ratchet. The intention of creating a United States of Europe was there from the beginning.

              • tastemylogos

                not outwardly. maastricht made it clear to the layman

                • fubarroso

                  The intention (“ever closer union”) was present in the preamble to the Treaty of Rome. It was clear enough, but in 1972 we tended to believe what our government told us. Unfortunately they lied through their teeth.

                • Wessex Man

                  You know better now, in the seventies people like myself were laughed at for wanting out, you’re not laughing now!

                • fubarroso

                  Quite! I don’t think I actually laughed at anyone for wanting out though. Not quite sure why I voted “yes” because I was an admirer of Enoch Powell, but there you go.

                • Conway

                  I never laughed at anybody for wanting out, but I felt that co-operation and trade were a good thing. Boy, was I deceived!

                • Roger V

                  Completely correct, which is why in 1972, I voted NO.

      • livnletliv

        The EU have give this country nothing at all, the so called EU funding is a fraction of our own money being given back to spend as the EU say. They take 56million per day from us just without our consent, just for membership fee, when we have never even agreed to be a member.

        • Ben Parish

          56 million a day? So, 20 billion a year. The OBR has the highest figure by a non-political organisation I can find which puts the UK contribution at 10.3 billion set to fall to 8.7 billion in 2015-16. It’s bizarre to me that people still bang on about the membership fee which is a drop in the ocean compared to our £770 billion budget. Even UKIP glosses over the inflated membership fee figures they give and try to justify a claim that the EU hurts business, a claim which itself has been strongly contradicted by the Confederation of British Industry, the biggest cross-sector business organisation in the country representing the majority of the FTSE 100. That claim has also been disproved by the cross-Parliamentary audit of the EU which published in July 2013 that:

          ‘integration has brought to the EU, and hence to the UK, in most if not all, observers’ opinions, appreciable economic benefits. It has also spread the UK’s liberal model of policy-making more widely across the EU.’

          It cannot be denied that Nigel Farage is making an argument that is starkly anti-business and the majority of UK business have said vocally, to the CBI, to the media and in the government’s own report, that they disagree with him. If Farage had been in the business world since the turn of the century he would know the huge numbers of companies that use the UK as a European headquarters (half of all European headquarters of non-EU firms are in the UK) and as a jurisdiction in which to decide disputes. Farage is deaf to the economics, he’s deaf to the opinion of business as much as they shout it and he’s deaf to any opinion that might suggest free movement, free employment, free international markets and free movement of capital are generally a good thing. I know he doesn’t want to live or work in another country but about 800,000 Brits do. I guess Nigel doesn’t really care about those common folks – only the one’s that think like him.

      • Kitty MLB

        You are not producing facts, just unfortunately a large amount of
        Lady Thatcher, saved this country from vile militant union control,
        and from continuing down the leftie sewage hole.
        she breathed life into the UK and made it a world power.
        Although I agree with what you say about Clegg having a chance to debate, but its not equal footing, Farage is the much better man.
        As for the EU, the moment we cut off the fingers of their iron grip
        and take control over our own country the better, no more little
        England but Great Britain again..

      • BlueScreenOfDeath

        “I”m putting the facts forward here…”

        On the basis of that load of self-opinionated rubbish, you wouldn’t recognise a fact if it leapt up and bit you on the nose.

      • Conway

        “Actually having a debate is something Clegg should relish, since it puts him on prime time TV against someone his own size” How can you claim that Nigel Farage (head of a rapidly growing party which is increasing its share of the vote, coming second in many elections) is anywhere near the same size as Nick Clegg (head of a party whose vote share and membership are declining and whose party regularly finishes two places behind that of his rival)?