Nick Clegg has labelled Ukip and eurosceptic Tory MPs "unpatriotic" for their demand that Britain leave the European Union.
The deputy prime minister made the comments on Monday morning... Clegg told a press conference in Whitehall: "I think the view represented by Ukip, large parts of the Conservative Party and Paul Sykes is a betrayal of the national interest and an unpatriotic approach because it would leave many people poorer, it would leave us weaker as a country and it would throw many people out of work, and I can't possibly see why anyone thinks that that is something that in any way represents the long-term national interest."
"There are lots of subtleties in the argument about Britain's place in Europe and lots of debates about this directive or that directive and this European Commission decision or that European Commission decision," he said.
"Actually underlying them is a fundamental view - do you believe we should be in or out of the European Union? I unambiguously lead the party of In."
This isn’t as foolish a comment by Nick Clegg as it seems. The IPPR has comprehensively polled the people of England and it is now clear that people who identify themselves as British are disproportionately likely to be Europhiles. It might therefore be credibly said that Eurosceptics are in this sense anti-British!
The people who are strongly anti EU are people who identify themselves as ENGLISH!
The IPPR report says:-
".. Our data shows a strong, consistent and unambiguous link between Euroscepticism and English, rather than British, national identity. For example, when asked whether or not UK membership of the EU is a good or bad thing, negative views are much more prevalent towards the more English end of the identity spectrum. Conversely – and again counter to received wisdom – attitudes to European integration are notably more positive among those with a more British identity. It is British identifiers who are the Europhile group in England. "