The 73-year-old Liberal Democrat leader has said he still thinks his party can stop Brexit. When canvassing for the EU elections which take place later this month, Mr Cable appeared smug after the party received a surge in support at last week’s local elections, and said the Government’s only chance of getting a Brexit deal through Parliament is by agreeing to a second EU vote. He also claimed that despite the Prime Minister’s staunch opposition to a second referendum, her Government is “ready” and “organised” for a new poll of public opinion, Bloomberg reports.
The Liberal Democrats have been pro-European for 50 years and has launched a “B*****s to Brexit” campaign manifesto for the May 23 European elections.
While canvassing for the EU vote, Mr Cable said the party’s message was to stop Brexit.
Feeling confident on his chances of reversing the 2016 referendum result, he said: “I think we can”.
Since the outcome of the first EU vote three years ago, Mrs May has been vehemently against a second referendum.
But on Thursday, the party leader met with Mrs May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington, and said of the meeting: “It is very clear that the government is looking at the practical details of how a referendum would be conducted.
“In principle it wouldn’t like one, Theresa May has made that very clear, but if it happens, they’re ready for it and organised for it”.
On Friday her office said: “The British people voted to leave the EU in the biggest democratic exercise in our history and the government is focused on delivering that result.
“MPs have already voted on a second referendum a number of times and rejected it.”
But Mr Cable is insistent that another EU vote is necessary, due to the “struggling” cross-party talks.
Last week the Liberal Democrat’s received a better-than-expected result in the local elections, gaining a huge 703 seats.
But Remain voters are unlikely to just back the Liberal Democrats in the upcoming EU elections, with the Greens and newly formed Change UK taking a similar pro-EU stance – which could split the Remain vote.
But Guy Verhofstadt, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, has backed Mr Cable and is concerned by the competition between pro-EU groups.
In an attempt to convince Remainers to vote for the Liberal Democrats, Mr Verhoftstat told reporters: “If there is one pro-European party in Britain, it is the Liberal Democrats.
“That’s not new. That has always been the case.”