THE BLOG

The Prime Minister Is Putting His Own Internal Party Strife Above What's Best for Britain

05/01/2016 12:11 GMT | Updated 05/01/2017 10:12 GMT

The Prime Minister has used Labour's implosion, or day two of their reshuffle if you are being kind, to sneak out an announcement that his Ministers will be free to campaign on either side of the referendum on Britain's continued membership of the EU. It is yet another day that Britain needed David Cameron to show the courage of his convictions. It is sadly yet another day he has flunked that test and capitulated to calls on his right flank.

He should know by now that he will not win these people over. They do not respond to rhyme or reason and we should be in no doubt that they will demand more and more 'concessions' and more and more favours regardless of what the Prime Minister's renegotiation returns. That being the case the Prime Minister shouldn't be following Corbyn's weak style of leadership, which he continuously mocked last year, but take a firm stand. Currently, the Prime Minister is failing to lead his own Government, let alone the country, putting his own internal party strife above what's best for Britain.

I believe that the Prime Minister should have the courage to make the case we all know he wants to make, that staying in Europe is good for our economy, our national security and our international interests.

Now is not the time to back down. The Government should take a collective position on this issue, and if ministers disagree with the Prime Minister they should resign.

If people have opposing views to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and others - how can they sit there in one interview arguing the Government line for the first question and then in another vehemently disagree. Not only is it patently absurd it also seems to herald a period of chaotic and ineffective government.

The Prime Minister has put off various things to avoid splits and schisms but a battle with his Eurosceptic MPs is one he cannot avoid, no matter how much he twists and turns.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party united in the case to remain. Together we created the world's largest free trade area, we delivered peace, and we gave the British people the opportunity to live, work and travel freely across Europe. History shows that Britain is better when it is united with Europe.

Together we are stronger in the fight against the global problems that don't stop at our borders. Together we can stop international crime, we can fight climate change, and together we will provide hope and opportunity for the future.

The Prime Minister like me knows that is not the time to turn our backs on Europe, leaving us isolated, side-lined and alone.

By voting to remain in, Britain can thrive. Together we show the world an open, outward-facing Britain we can all be proud of. Join the Liberal Democrat campaign today, to remain in together, and to stand up for the type of Britain you think we should be.

Today is a shameful day; the Official Opposition is stuck navel-gazing instead of holding the Government to account, so yet again it falls to the Liberal Democrats to do that. We will step up to the challenge.

Tim Farron is the leader of the Lib Dems, and MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale