Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Nick Clegg pressed by Labour on Cameron's EU veto

Nick Clegg has refused to be drawn on whether he supported David Cameron's use of the UK veto at the European summit earlier this month.

During his monthly question session in the Commons on 20 December 2011, the Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister was asked by Labour's Sadiq Khan: "Does he think that the prime minister was right to put party interests before national interests?"

Mr Clegg responded that he was not going to "rake over the results of the summit".

He said the "crucial" thing was "what do we do now as a country" and on that issue "there is absolutely no difference" between himself, the prime minister and the coalition parties.

He stressed the government's total commitment to full engagement in the European Union and the single market.

Mr Khan accused him of not being able to answer a "simple" question and reminded MPs of Mr Clegg's comments that Cameron's actions in Europe had left the UK "isolated".

He claimed the Liberal Democrat's "justification" for "propping up" the coalition was to act as a "restraining influence", but accused the party of failing on tuition fees, legal aid, the NHS and on Europe.

He asked Mr Clegg whether he believed the prime minister should re-enter European negotiations to get a "better deal" for the UK.

Mr Clegg declined to answer and instead responded that the coalition had been created to clear up Labour's "mess".

"It isn't easy what we're doing but it's right," he told MPs, and accused Labour of having no credible policies on the economy.

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