Vince Cable: ‘Brexit may never happen’


Brexit may never happen because of the difficulties it will cause, Sir Vince Cable said.

The former Cabinet minister, who is the only candidate to replace Tim Farron as Lib Dem leader, said he believes Mr Corbyn’s popularity will wane as young voters realise Labour backs a “hard” Brexit.

And that the Liberal Democrats will welcome “refugees” from Labour forced out by Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking Sunday morning, he said: “I’m beginning to think that Brexit may never happen. The problems are so enormous, the divisions within the two main parties are so enormous I can see a scenario in which this doesn’t happen.”

Sir Vince also said he backed “moderate” tax increases, arguing that measures to balance the books needed to shift away from swingeing cuts.

The former business secretary, who returned to the Commons at the general election after regaining his Twickenham seat, highlighted divisions within the two largest parties.

Asked if critics of Labour leader Mr Corbyn at risk of being ousted by left-wingers would be welcomed to the Lib Dems, Sir Vince said: “We have a generous policy to refugees and if they come they will get food and accommodation.

“I don’t know what will happen, it’s a symptom of very, very deep division.”

Mr Corbyn had a good election but “there is an element of a bubble about it” because “actually he is very pro-Brexit, and a hard Brexit, and when that becomes apparent the divisions in the Labour Party will become more real and the opportunity for us to move into that space will be substantial”.

Sir Vince told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “There is an imminent issue, which is whether the Government continues to pursue the so-called hard Brexit – leaving the customs union and single market.

“We have got to work with other people, we did last week, there was a motion in Parliament led by some Labour MPs we supported, to try to head of that disastrous outcome.”

If the economy suffers, people will reconsider Brexit and “the whole question of continued membership will once again arise”.

Even though he is not expected to face a challenger in his bid for the leadership, Sir Vince said he would still produce a manifesto.

He also suggested he would support tax rises beyond the 1p income tax hike which the party proposed at the election to pay for health and social care.


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