Tory Euroscepticism will either result in the rest of the EU putting two fingers up to David Cameron or will push him to the margins, David Laws, the former Treasury chief secretary, has warned.
He also suggested the electorate will not give Labour or the Tories a majority at the next election, and promised the Liberal Democrats would fight the election as independents, even though they will not run away from their record on the deficit.
The former minister also expressed scepticism about further labour market reforms and said business will start to quit Britain only if they believe the 50p tax rate will remain indefinitely.
Laws is still one of the most influential Liberal Democrats although he does not hold any formal office. He describes his current role as one of burrowing away on the details behind the scenes. He remains a key adviser to Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, the business secretary, and is still strongly rated by supporters of David Cameron.
Speaking at a Q&Asession at the Institute of Economic Affairs, a free market thinktank, he urged his Tory coalition partners to recognise they are in danger of throwing away their influence in Europe.
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