As the scale of the disaster of the Brussels summit for Britain becomes clear, it is now an open question as to whether the Liberal Democrats should continue to be members of a government that has so spectacularly undermined the British interest.
We have been openly derided, not just from the left, notably and effectively by John Kampfner, but also mocked by the Europhobic Conservatives in a more infantile and insulting way.
We serve two purposes in coalition: firstly to put forward and enact as much of the Liberal agenda as possible and secondly to save the Conservative Party from itself.
The failure in Brussels shows that we can not prevent the Conservatives acting on their basest anti-European instincts. The damage that this will do to our country is severe and permanent.
I understand that if we go to the country in a general election now, our party will be severely damaged. However I would far rather go now on a point of principle that is central to the Liberal Democrat cause, than linger on, derided and ineffectual to the same result- but greater damage to our country- in three years time.
David Cameron must be put on notice that the Liberal Democrats will not see the interests of our country undermined by his party political sectionalism. We do not and must not claim ownership of this fiasco. Cameron's bet on the failure of the Euro is a bad mistake, and we should say so, out loud, now.
I do not expect the coalition to fall, but unless Nick Clegg can recover the situation over the next two quarters, I -for one- will be advocating a further vote by the party on the coalition at the Autumn conference in Brighton next year.