Thu, 30 March 2023

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Mission Zero: Why the Skidmore Review can kickstart the nation’s journey to net zero Partner content
New guidance empowers construction clients to help drive up standards, collaboration, innovation and value Partner content
How can the UK turbocharge its ambition to be a science and technology superpower? Partner content
By Chris Hayward
Press releases

Vince Cable: Anti-Brexit parties should have joined forces for European elections

Vince Cable: Anti-Brexit parties should have joined forces for European elections
3 min read

Vince Cable has admitted his “regret” that Remain parties will not be fighting the EU elections on a united front.

The Lib Dem leader said voters who oppose Brexit would have expected the pro-EU factions to stand together at next month’s poll.

Change UK, the party formed by ex-Labour and Tory MPs, has ruled out a formal pact with the Lib Dems and Greens, who also oppose Brexit.

But speaking as he launched his party’s election campaign, Sir Vince insisted the Lib Dems were the “strongest” option for those wishing to elect Remain-supporting MEPs.

He said: “I do have a couple of regrets about these elections.

“The first is that we’re not standing on a common platform with other Remain parties to stop Brexit.

“It’s true the Brexit parties are also divided, but we should be standing together. The millions of people in this country who want to Remain would expect us to stand together.

“It hasn’t happened the Liberal Democrats made it very clear we were happy to work with others, it wasn’t reciprocated, and we’re going our own way.

“As the strongest Remain party we will do well, but it is a pity, I regret we are not doing the combined campaign.”

Sir Vince also expressed hope that Change UK will eventually come on board for a Remain alliance after the European elections, despite a leaked memo detailing the new party’s plan to steal its voter base.

Responding to the BBC, Sir Vince said: “I think it was unfortunate we had the publication of that document from Change UK. My understanding is they’ve disowned it, I hope so because I think there are millions of people in the country who are craving an alternative to the extremes...

“I think it’s unfortunate we’re not working together in this election but beyond that I think it will happen.

“We shouldn’t allow ourselves or allow other people anyway to be obsessed by what Sigmund Freud once called the narcissism of the small differences.”

Speaking to PoliticsHome, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake added: “I understand they’ve had a few hiccups in relation to their candidates which we’ve not had, and I think that reflects the fact we’re an established party and they’re not.

“But on this one issue of Brexit we do work very closely together so, not withstanding the public statements that are perhaps made for political reasons, in practice, behind the scenes there is a very, very active campaign which has MPs from all the political parties except the DUP involved with it to try and secure a People’s Vote.

“Whatever the outcome of these elections I’m sure that commitment will continue.”

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Anahita Hossein-Pour - 'We had to fight tooth and nail': BAME parliamentarians talk representation and tackling racism


Brexit Economy
Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now