NEW POLL: are the Lib Dems right to say UK entry into the Euro is not a priority?

by Stephen Tall on September 14, 2008

Today’s Independent reports that both Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne have joined forces to signal that the party is going to drop its passionate commitment to campaigning for the UK to sign up to the European single currency:

Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, and the home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said it was no longer a priority to campaign for British entry into the euro. The shift in policy is surprising, as Mr Clegg and Mr Huhne, both former MEPs, have been passionate supporters of the single currency.

While the issue has been off the Government’s agenda for five years, it has been at the forefront of Lib Dem policy for the past decade.

Mr Clegg told The Independent on Sunday that the debate on the euro was now “neutered”. He insisted his party remained committed to Europe, but that tax and other domestic issues were now top of the agenda.

And in an interview with the IoS, Mr Huhne said: “The truth is, within the British debate, it’s completely off the radar and there is simply no point in regarding it as a runner worth investing political time in.”

This appears to be neatly coordinated move by the former leadership rivals to show their joint acceptance on behalf of the Lib Dems that the party is recognising the political reality of the current situation. But are they being too defeatist? Is not now, a time when many are beginning to appreciate the frailty of the UK’s economic situation and the weakness of sterling, the perfect time to brandish our pro-Euro credentials? Over to you.

LDV’s new poll is asking you: Are Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne right to say that campaigning for the UK to join the Euro is no longer a Lib Dem priority?

Here are your options:

* Yes, they’re right – it’s not going to happen so let’s not get bogged-down in it
* No, they’re not – the Lib Dems should be making much more of our pro-European beliefs
* Don’t know

And feel free to continue the debate in the comments field, below…

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No comments


The question is poorly put.

The comments were about campaigning to jopin the Euro.

Your no question says we should be making much more of our pro-European beliefs.

I believe that we should be making much more of our pro-European beliefs, but should not get bogged down in the issue of the Euro.

We should focus on what the EU can do for the environmnet, on spreading democracy and stability, and ensuring a level playing field for our businesses to compete.

So which way should I vote in your poll?

I think I agree with Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne (and Vince Cable).

But your poll doesn’t really give me that option.


by expriest on September 14, 2008 at 11:51 am. Reply #

This is (as said above) an extremely stupid poll which makes no allowance for someone who thinks we shouldn’t join the Euro but make much more of our pro-EU (not pro-European) beliefs.

I’m more intrigued by the final sentence:
“Mr Huhne also set out conditions for the Lib Dems working with a minority Tory or Labour government in a hung parliament.”

Well – what were they? 🙂

by Hywel Morgan on September 14, 2008 at 11:56 pm. Reply #

Well, I may be biased but I think the poll question is pretty clear. Do you think Nick and Chris were right or wrong to rule out the Lib Dems campaigning actively for UK membership of the Euro?

But that said I’d be genuinely worried if no-one criticised the wording of the question – tradition is important 😉

by Stephen Tall on September 15, 2008 at 12:05 am. Reply #

I think it’s a brilliant poll. Perhaps the best ever . . .

by Laurence Boyce on September 15, 2008 at 12:19 am. Reply #

Yes they are right, It’s great news, I particularly like Vince’s comment that there’s no point swimming after the boat after it has left the habour.

I hope that is a lot more of pro-european credentials that allows us to be more critical of the EU. What the Lisbon Treaty been rejected if it involved things voters could understand e.g. scrapping two seats for the European parliamnet, scrapping a fishing policy which means throwing fish back after they have been caught etc.

If they party is to avoid 5th or 6th place in the Euro elections we need more of this.

by Mouse on September 15, 2008 at 7:38 am. Reply #

You can still support the Euro but not promote it as an immediate priority, which is what they seem to be doing – and with state of the world economy just now it’s probably a realistic decision? But, like the others, I don’t agree with any of the questions…

by KL on September 15, 2008 at 12:40 pm. Reply #

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