David Cameron's EU referendum promise is "not in the national interest" and risks derailing the fragile economy, according to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. He said most businesses he spoke to were "extremely concerned" at the prospect. Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, he said:
My priority will always remain a simple objective of building a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everybody to get on in life.
And I think that job is made more difficult if you have years and years of tying yourself up in knots having arcane debates about the precise terms of the membership of the European Union before we get to a referendum.
It is not in the national interest when we have this fragile recovery, when we have a very open economy which is very dependent on investors in the car industry and the banking system and so on.
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.