Farage debates 'a curtain raiser'

Halstead Gazette: Nick Clegg (right) said his debates with Nigel Farage were just a "curtain raiser". Nick Clegg (right) said his debates with Nigel Farage were just a "curtain raiser".

Following his high-profile TV debates with Nigel Farage over Europe, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has vowed to step up his campaign for Britain to stay in the EU.

Despite polls suggesting that viewers thought the Ukip leader trounced him in their two televised showdowns, the Deputy Prime Minister said he would make it a "personal priority" to travel the country making the case for Europe in the weeks before the May 22 elections to the European Parliament.

In a speech to the Welsh Lib Dem conference, Mr Clegg is expected to accuse David Cameron and Ed Miliband of putting "party before country" by ducking out of the EU debate, describing them as "absent, hiding, missing in action".

Mr Clegg will acknowledge that he did not defeat Mr Farage's eurosceptic arguments in their TV clashes, telling delegates in Newport: "Are we going to win that argument in 120 minutes? No, sadly not: the sceptics have been peddling their myths and assertions free from real challenge for years. And the isolationists have entrenched their views with skill - presenting themselves as the forces of freedom; annexing the language of patriotism; pro-Europeans should be in no doubt about the out-ers' appeal."

But will insist that the Farage debates were "just the start - a curtain-raiser to a campaign that will be the most passionate defence of British interests in Europe for generations".

Despite his poor post-debate polls, Mr Clegg will point out that the TV shows gave the Liberal Democrats an audience of millions of voters who heard him make "the case for In' and challenge Ukip's "dangerous vision for Britain".

And he will say: "Someone has to stand up for the Britain we love: a Britain that is open, compassionate and outward-facing; a Britain that embraces the future and continues to lead on the world stage.

"That someone has to be us. Britain only has one truly internationalist party. There's only one real Party of In.

"Where are the supposedly pro-European Labour party? Or the supposedly moderate Conservative leadership? The country is finally having it out about the single biggest issue facing our future - and where are they?

"Absent. Hiding. Missing in action. Paralysed by their own internal divisions. Too scared to speak up for the national interest because it'll cause them too great a political headache.

"It's party-before-country from leaders who sort of half say they're In, but who don't have the guts to actually come out."

Mr Clegg will promise to "fill the void" left by Labour and Conservatives by spending the next seven weeks spreading the "better off in" message through town hall meetings, radio phone-ins and knocking on doors during visits to cities around Britain.

"Millions of people have now heard us make the case for In. Millions of people have now seen us challenge Ukip's dangerous vision for Britain," Mr Clegg will say.

"Millions of people are watching as we interrupt the slow slide towards European exit, planting ourselves squarely between Britain and the door.

"And our challenge now is to seize on this momentum. I am making it my personal priority: I've taken on Farage and now I'm taking our message round the country."

Comments (8)

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7:41am Sat 5 Apr 14

cosmick says...

Good more members for UKIP. Keep it up NICK , if you want to stay with the E/U when we come out move abroad.
Good more members for UKIP. Keep it up NICK , if you want to stay with the E/U when we come out move abroad. cosmick
  • Score: 9

11:13am Sat 5 Apr 14

collos25 says...

You are in dream world UKIP get most of their money from the EU most of their delegates are paid for by the EU the last thing they want is for the UK to come out.A gentleman called Hitler had the population of a country on his side by promising what he could not deliver some people never learn.
You are in dream world UKIP get most of their money from the EU most of their delegates are paid for by the EU the last thing they want is for the UK to come out.A gentleman called Hitler had the population of a country on his side by promising what he could not deliver some people never learn. collos25
  • Score: -10

8:09pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Libertarian Patriot says...

After two disastrous rounds with a far superior opponent the only thing we expect from Clegg now to entertain us is a sheet lifter. This presents as an opening to poor old Vince Cable who at least gets one thing right: the madness of another Tory induced housing bubble.
After two disastrous rounds with a far superior opponent the only thing we expect from Clegg now to entertain us is a sheet lifter. This presents as an opening to poor old Vince Cable who at least gets one thing right: the madness of another Tory induced housing bubble. Libertarian Patriot
  • Score: 5

8:59pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Pobinr says...

Liberal Democrats - The party of liberty & democracy who are anti having the liberty to decide on Europe via a referendum & anti democracy in being EUrophiles.
But that's the opposite of liberty & democracy isn't it?
LibDems the Party for people that don't believe in liberty & democracy

Labour - Anti refendum, pro EU & pro immigration.
Result = Mass immigration of cheap labour driving down wages, taking jobs, taking homes, making more traffic congestion & making slumlords & low wage payers richer.
But that's the opposite of Socialism isn't it?
Labour the party that don't believe in Labour principles!

Tories - The party of small government most of whom are EUrophiles meaning gigantic bloated centralised EU government that's ballooning out of control.
But that's the opposite of Conservatism isn't it?
Conservatives in reality the party for People that need to vote UKIP if they are conservative

Vote FibDemLabCon & get the opposite of what you want.

VOTE UKIP get UKIP get your country & your democracy back

http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=bJHETdxwv
8Y
Liberal Democrats - The party of liberty & democracy who are anti having the liberty to decide on Europe via a referendum & anti democracy in being EUrophiles. But that's the opposite of liberty & democracy isn't it? LibDems the Party for people that don't believe in liberty & democracy Labour - Anti refendum, pro EU & pro immigration. Result = Mass immigration of cheap labour driving down wages, taking jobs, taking homes, making more traffic congestion & making slumlords & low wage payers richer. But that's the opposite of Socialism isn't it? Labour the party that don't believe in Labour principles! Tories - The party of small government most of whom are EUrophiles meaning gigantic bloated centralised EU government that's ballooning out of control. But that's the opposite of Conservatism isn't it? Conservatives in reality the party for People that need to vote UKIP if they are conservative Vote FibDemLabCon & get the opposite of what you want. VOTE UKIP get UKIP get your country & your democracy back http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=bJHETdxwv 8Y Pobinr
  • Score: 6

9:03pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Pobinr says...

collos25 wrote:
You are in dream world UKIP get most of their money from the EU most of their delegates are paid for by the EU the last thing they want is for the UK to come out.A gentleman called Hitler had the population of a country on his side by promising what he could not deliver some people never learn.
Farrage is the tukey prepared to vote for Christmas though. His principles more important than his career.
Watch this & see if you're so anti Farage after.
He's the only one standing up for us & our country > https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=bJHETdxw
v8Y
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: You are in dream world UKIP get most of their money from the EU most of their delegates are paid for by the EU the last thing they want is for the UK to come out.A gentleman called Hitler had the population of a country on his side by promising what he could not deliver some people never learn.[/p][/quote]Farrage is the tukey prepared to vote for Christmas though. His principles more important than his career. Watch this & see if you're so anti Farage after. He's the only one standing up for us & our country > https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=bJHETdxw v8Y Pobinr
  • Score: 5

12:39am Sun 6 Apr 14

eastsidemush says...

collos25 wrote:
You are in dream world UKIP get most of their money from the EU most of their delegates are paid for by the EU the last thing they want is for the UK to come out.A gentleman called Hitler had the population of a country on his side by promising what he could not deliver some people never learn.
You really are entirely missing the point of what UKIP is all about.
Of course they want us to leave the EU, that's the whole idea.
As for saying they are making promises they can't deliver, what the hell do you think any of the liblabcon's have been delivering us down the years apart from lies and deceit?
For goodness sake, wise up to reality........... VOTE UKIP!
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: You are in dream world UKIP get most of their money from the EU most of their delegates are paid for by the EU the last thing they want is for the UK to come out.A gentleman called Hitler had the population of a country on his side by promising what he could not deliver some people never learn.[/p][/quote]You really are entirely missing the point of what UKIP is all about. Of course they want us to leave the EU, that's the whole idea. As for saying they are making promises they can't deliver, what the hell do you think any of the liblabcon's have been delivering us down the years apart from lies and deceit? For goodness sake, wise up to reality........... VOTE UKIP! eastsidemush
  • Score: 7

3:45pm Sun 6 Apr 14

welshmen says...

If you want to lose our Country to Foreigners then vote LIBLAB or CON, they will make sure we lose our Country for every, or until we fight them to get it back, the simplest way is simply to vote for UKIP....Keep Britain for the British and selected Immigrants, Gurkha's etc....
If you want to lose our Country to Foreigners then vote LIBLAB or CON, they will make sure we lose our Country for every, or until we fight them to get it back, the simplest way is simply to vote for UKIP....Keep Britain for the British and selected Immigrants, Gurkha's etc.... welshmen
  • Score: 3

4:19pm Sun 6 Apr 14

MSG says...

The more Clegg makes the point of staying in the EU, the more UKIP's out publicity is generated. This further sidelines the Labour & Conservative Parties.

Clegg, keep up the roadshow,as no one believes you and no one trusts you. You are the best publicity UKIP could dream of.

Like millions of others, I can't wait to vote UKIP in May Euro election. Rollon May !
The more Clegg makes the point of staying in the EU, the more UKIP's out publicity is generated. This further sidelines the Labour & Conservative Parties. Clegg, keep up the roadshow,as no one believes you and no one trusts you. You are the best publicity UKIP could dream of. Like millions of others, I can't wait to vote UKIP in May Euro election. Rollon May ! MSG
  • Score: 4
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