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Lib Dems could vote down Brexit trade deal

Supporters wait for the arrival of Jo Swinson during the last election campaign. Picture: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images - Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey has not ruled out voting down a possible Brexit deal between the UK and EU “if it harms our economy”.

Appearing on LBC, Davey was asked if he would vote for a future trade deal, despite criticisms that Johnson had failed to secure the deal he had promised at the last election.

“Not if it’s going to harm our economy,” Davey told presenter Tom Swarsbrick.

“That’s a big decision,” responded Swarsbrick.”I guess you might argue that any future trade deal that isn’t the one we have is going to harm the economy in some way, and therefore you wouldn’t vote for it at all”. 

Lib Dems could vote down Brexit trade deal

“To be fair, we’ve got to judge it when it comes, you’re asking me about a hypothetical,” responded the Lib Dem MP.

“What I’m concerned about is when I go around the country and I see all those people who are worried about their jobs and business because of the coronavirus recession, I want to make sure I am doing everything possible for them.

“So it’s not unreasonable to be their voice and to say ‘is this deal going to make it better for business, more likely that I’ll save my jobs, more likely that my livelihood will continue?’ and I think by doing that I think that is the way to bring the country together.”

And criticising the government position on both coronavirus and Brexit, he continued: “My fear is it’s the government that are wanting to divide us more, and I regret the state we’re in.

“Of course it’s awful – I’m not saying it’s easy for the government – but they do seem to be making a bit of a hash of it. They even seem to be making a hash of Brexit which was their policy.”

At party conference the Liberal Democrats voted to support the Rejoin movement in the future, providing they receive a mandate from the public, but ruled out campaigning at the end of the Brexit transition period.