Sir Vince tells Bristol campaigners the ‘centre of gravity’ is shifting to a People’s Vote

PUBLISHED: 20:05 11 August 2018 | UPDATED: 20:14 11 August 2018

Sir Vince Cable,  Femi Oluwole, MP Sarah Wollaston,  MP Stephen Doughty and MEP Molly Scott Cato at Saturday's People's Vote event in Bristol. Photograph: People's Vote/Twitter.

Sir Vince Cable, Femi Oluwole, MP Sarah Wollaston, MP Stephen Doughty and MEP Molly Scott Cato at Saturday's People's Vote event in Bristol. Photograph: People's Vote/Twitter.

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The “centre of gravity” on Brexit is shifting towards a People’s Vote, the Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has told campaigners in Bristol.

People's Vote campaigners in Bristol. Photograph: Britain for Europe/Twitter.People's Vote campaigners in Bristol. Photograph: Britain for Europe/Twitter.

Sir Vince was speaking alongside Femi Oluwole, Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, Labour MP Stephen Doughty and Green MEP Molly Scott Cato.

He was referring to a nationwide poll of more than 10,000 voters released ahead of the Bristol rally found that Britain would back continued EU membership by 53% to 47% if a referendum was held now.

Some 45% of those questioned by YouGov for the People’s Vote wanted a referendum on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, with 34% opposed.

Sir Vince told the rally that since the 52%-48% victory for Leave in 2016, “the situation has changed, the facts have changed”.

OFOC campaigners organise a 'street graffiti' protest in Bristol. Photograph: OFOC/TwitterOFOC campaigners organise a 'street graffiti' protest in Bristol. Photograph: OFOC/Twitter

“We were all told the British Government was going to save vast amounts of money,” he said.

“We now know that’s not the case: there’s the £40 billion divorce settlement, the economy’s slowing down, there’s less money for the NHS.

“We were told it was simple - it’s actually proving unbelievably complicated.

“Another thing that’s happened in the last two years is Trump. The whole premise of Britain embarking on some buccaneering free trading adventure around the world as a country independent of the EU has been completely negated by Trump’s protectionist agenda. This has made a complete and utter nonsense of it.

People's Vote campaigners in Bristol. Photograph: Britain for Europe/Twitter.People's Vote campaigners in Bristol. Photograph: Britain for Europe/Twitter.

“So our position in arguing against Brexit and for a people’s vote is now stronger than ever.

“But we have to work together; we have to work across party frontiers.”

He added: “I happen to be the leader of a party that is fully committed to fighting Brexit. But there are speakers here - Dr Sarah Wollaston and Stephen Doughty, Conservative and Labour Party - and they’re brave. They’re having to speak out against their own party leadership, getting a lot of aggro.

“And I just want to thank them and thank the people who are showing that kind of independence of mind. It’s absolutely essential that we stick together, we fight together, we work as a team - and this is now happening.

People's Vote campaigners in Bristol. Photograph: Britain for Europe/Twitter.People's Vote campaigners in Bristol. Photograph: Britain for Europe/Twitter.

“This is a campaign that we can win. Keep fighting, keep campaigning and we will win at the end of this.”

As well as the large rally, campaigners from Our Future, Our Choice! (OFOC) organised an artistic ‘clean graffiti’ protest in Banksy’s hometown.

Activist Lara Spirit said: “Bristol’s young people are going onto the streets to engage with their community. This is a movement about unifying the nation in the face of great social division, and young people are the instrument of that unification.

“We are here to demonstrate that there is a space for people of all ages to come together and express their desire for a People’s Vote in our campaign.”

• Find out more about the anti-Brexit events in your area on The New European website.

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