The â€œYesâ€ result in the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty has finally put to rest years of wrangling over Europeâ€™s future and paves the way for a stronger and more democratic European Union. Big issues like the economic crisis, climate change and cross-border crime cannot be tackled by any country on its own.
The changes the Lisbon Treaty brings are in Britainâ€™s interests. They are common sense proposals to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a greatly enlarged EU, to deliver better accountability and scrutiny as well as to clarify the principles on which the EU is founded. Liberal Democrats want to see an emphasis on reform of the EUâ€™s current policies rather than on further institutional changes.
Membership of the EU remains vital if Britain is to reap the benefits of globalisation, but face its challenges with confidence. Britain has much greater influence on the world stage when it works within a strong Europe. The EU offers us safety in numbers and this is why best place for Britain remains at the very heart of Europe.
Britain must lead in Europe, not snipe from the sidelines.
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