Sir Vince calls on rival MPs to join together to stop Brexit

PUBLISHED: 22:00 18 September 2017

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable during a question and answer session during the second day of the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference at the Bournemouth International Centre.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable during a question and answer session during the second day of the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference at the Bournemouth International Centre.

PA Wire/PA Images

Sir Vince Cable is to set out his bid to scupper Brexit by declaring “I am a proud saboteur”.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable during a question and answer session during the second day of the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference at the Bournemouth International Centre.Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable during a question and answer session during the second day of the Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference at the Bournemouth International Centre.

In his maiden conference speech as leader of the Liberal Democrats he will call on Remainers from all parties to join together to mount a challenge to Theresa May’s Hard Brexit-obsessed government.

He will say: “We are not alone. There are sensible grown-ups in the Conservative party and the Labour Party and the Greens. And beyond them are millions of people deeply worried about what is happening.

“We have to put aside tribal differences and work alongside like-minded people to keep the Single Market and Customs Union, essential for trade and jobs; Europe’s high environmental and social standards; shared research; help for our poorer regions; cooperation over policing and terrorism.

“Europe, of course, needs reform but you don’t achieve reform by walking away.

“We will be denounced as traitors and saboteurs. I’m half prepared for a spell in a cell with Supreme Court judges, Gina Miller, Ken Clarke, and the governors of the BBC. But if the definition of sabotage is fighting to protect British jobs, public services, the environment and civil liberties, then I am a proud saboteur.”

His words will be seen as a clear call for rival MPs to defy their party and vote with the Lib Dems on Brexit.

He will also use the speech to attack former prime minister David Cameron and those Tories who pushed for a referendum: “A disaster looms. Brexit. The product of a fraudulent and frivolous campaign led by two groups of silly public school boys living their dormitory pillow fights.

“And now, thanks to Boris Johnson, they have degenerated into a full-scale school riot with the head teacher hiding, barricaded in her office.

“In the real world, we have yet to experience the full impact of leaving Europe. But we have a taste of what is to come in the fall of the pound.

“Foreign exchange dealers are not point scoring politicians. Their cold, hard, unsentimental judgement has been, quite simply, that Brexit Britain will be poorer and weaker after Brexit than if we had decided to stay in Europe.”

Sir Vince also takes aim at Labour saying “you don’t qualify for the shadow cabinet these days unless you have studied the Venezuelan guide on how to bankrupt a rich economy”.

“We might have expected better from Labour. Many people got behind them in June, expecting a better politics and a better future from him. They are already being betrayed,” he will tell the conference hall in Bournemouth.

“Today’s Labour Party isn’t into problem solving; let alone governing. Jeremy Corbyn’s acolytes are focused on how to maximise the contradictions of capitalism.

“You don’t qualify for the Shadow Cabinet these days unless you have studied the Venezuelan guide on how to bankrupt a rich economy.

“No wonder they back Brexit. No wonder they lined up behind Theresa May, maximising the chance of chaos and disruption.

“Then a few weeks ago the moderates briefly penetrated the Corbyn bunker. They persuaded him that collaborating quite so closely with the class enemy didn’t look too good.

“So, they have a new policy: to stay in the Single market and Customs Union, possibly; or to leave, maybe. Or maybe to stay in for a bit, and then leave.

“I am trying to be kind here: I am trying to understand what they are trying to say. I think the current line is, we should transition to the transition gradually while we prepare for a post-transition world.

“This is what they mean by the smack of firm leadership on the biggest issue of the day.

“But if Jeremy Corbyn sits on the fence any longer, he is in danger of being sliced up the middle by the serrated edge.

“He would do better to get off the fence and refurbish his revolutionary credentials. Jeremy – join us in the Anti Brexit People’s Liberation Front!”

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