Humiliation for Vince Cable as EU prime ministers deny backing second referendum
Vince Cable has been left humiliated after European leaders denied his claim that they supported a second referendum.
The Lib Dems issued a press release claiming eight EU prime ministers agreed with their policy that voters should have the final say on the Brexit deal.
They included Andrej Babiš of the Czech Republic, Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg, Miro Cerar of Slovenia, Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark, Jüri Ratas of Estonia and Juha Sipilä of Finland.
Embarrassingly, however, one of the politicians on the list, Miro Cerar, resigned as Slovenia's prime minister earlier this month.
According to the Lib Dems, they agreed a statement saying: "We regret Brexit, but acknowledge the choice made by British voters for the UK government to negotiate withdrawal.
"We further acknowledge and support the Liberal Democrats’ call for the British people to have the final say on the Brexit deal."
Lib Dem leader Mr Cable said: "This is a clear signal from our European friends that they want us to remain in the European Union and would welcome an exit from Brexit with open arms."
But in a dramatic development, the group representing liberal democrat parties in Europe put out a tweet less than two hours later distancing themselves from the claim.
A Lib Dem source said the statement had been "verbally agreed" by the prime ministers, but not by their parties.