The first ever debate between two party leaders on whether we should be IN or OUT of Europe will take place on LBC radio tonight from 7-8pm.
A few weeks ago Nick Clegg challenged Nigel Farage to a head-to-head debate on Britain's membership of the European Union. Nigel Farage accepted the challenge the following day.
Stephen Williams MP has been making the case for pro-Europeans to step up and make the argument that jobs, security and the environment all depend on Britain's membership of the European Union. Bristol benefits from being a strong member of the European Union through:
- Jobs: 59% of West Country exports go to Europe, higher than the national average.
- Funding: The South West has received £910 million from the EU since 2009.
- Security: Being in the EU helps keep us safe from serious and organised crime.
Bristol West MP Stephen Williams said:
"As a Liberal Democrat, I am looking forward to the debate and to hearing Nick Clegg show how Britain is better off in the European Union.
"Nick Clegg challenged Nigel Farage to this debate to highlight the real risks that face Britain if we were to leave the EU. We would risk 3 million jobs that rely on our trade with the EU. We would risk our influence in the world. We would risk not being able to properly tackle cross-border crime, and we would risk not being able to effectively fight climate change.
"Liberal Democrats do not want to put our economic recovery, jobs and influence at risk. This is why we are the party of IN - because being in Europe means being in work. UKIP want to yank us out of Europe and threaten the economic recovery."
The leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy PM Nick Clegg said:
"I challenged Nigel Farage to a debate because I wanted the British people to see that there is a very real choice at the upcoming European elections: between the Liberal Democrats as the party of IN and UKIP as the party of OUT.
"I'm relishing the prospect of talking about how the Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain IN Europe to protect British jobs."
South West MEP, Sir Graham Watson added:
"Liberal Democrats are the party of IN because we believe Britain is great when it's exerting its influence in world affairs, rather than shouting from the sidelines like UKIP and some Conservatives would have us do.
"Our region benefits more than most when it comes to being IN. From Agustawestland in Yeovil to Honda in Swindon. From Airbus in Filton to Imerys in Cornwall, businesses right across the South West utilise the single market for trade which in turn creates and sustains jobs in the local area.
"Our message is clear, be IN for jobs."