EU vote plan blights UK business investment

Business Secretary Vince Cable will warn that David Cameron’s commitment to an in/out referendum on Europe is “blighting” investment in the UK.  The comments come as the Lib Dems begin their spring conference in York.

The Business Secretary will say firms will “look elsewhere” to invest if access to the EU market is jeopardised.

Mr Cameron says a full renegotiation of the relationship between the UK and Brussels is needed and voters need a say on the issue of EU membership.

Elections for the European Parliament take place in May and the Lib Dems have been keen to position themselves as the most pro-European of the three main political parties.

Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg has agreed to take part in two debates in April, with Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party.

At the opening rally of their spring conference, Vince Cable will say it is “right to take the fight to UKIP”.

But he will go on to warn: “As much damage is also being caused by the Tories in the UKIP-induced funk.”

Mr Cameron has stated he will hold an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017, if the Conservatives win a majority at the next general election.

Mr Cable will tell activists, “The possibility of a Tory government after the election, and the uncertainty around a referendum in three years’ time, is creating a blight over the business investment which we desperately need to support recovery and jobs”.