Today, public disillusionment with the EU is at an all time high.
There are several reasons for this. People feel that the EU is heading in a direction that they never signed up to.
The result is that democratic consent for the EU in Britain is now wafer thin.
Simply asking the British people to carry on accepting a European settlement over which they have had little choice is a path to ensuring that when the question is finally put – and at some stage it will have to be – it is much more likely that the British people will reject the EU.
That is why I am in favour of a referendum. I believe in confronting this issue - shaping it, leading the debate not simply hoping a difficult situation will go away.
To the surprise of many Lib Dems, Nick Clegg appears to have played down the importance of the Coalition's divide on an in-out referendum.
Business leaders in Davos are worried about the Prime Minister's pledge to put Britain's membership of the European Union to a referendum.
With some in France keen to "roll out the red carpet" for a British exit, Germans favouring decentralisation welcome EU renegotiation talks.