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EU referendum is not a 'red line' for Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats will not rule out a referendum on staying in the European Union, Nick Clegg has confirmed.

The Liberal Democrats will not rule out a referendum on staying in the European Union, Nick Clegg has confirmed Credit: PA

"I am not going to draw a red line against having a referendum," the Deputy Prime Minister told Reuters.

His comments echo those he made during an appearance on ITV's The Agenda on Monday, he was asked if the EU referendum was a "red line" for the Liberal Democrats.

"I think we should have a referendum when we have to give away new powers to the European Union," Mr Clegg told the show.

David Cameron has said that a referendum would be a dealbreaker in any potential coalition tie-up, while the pro-European Liberal Democrats have resisted discussing the issue until this week.

Clegg strived to point out that he would not change his party's EU policy so close to the election, but his vocal stance on the issue this week suggests that he is open to a deal.

The consequences if you take a wrong turn could at its worst - and I'm not predicting this - mean that within a matter of years, two unions which are pivotal to the prosperity and way of life of everybody in Britain are lost.

– Nick Clegg

"To be pro-European doesn't mean one is fearful of the British people," Mr Clegg added. "There are some circumstances in which a referendum should take place and I have always felt that.