Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has been ridiculed for the second time in as many weeks after claiming that almost one-third of EU leaders supported the Liberal Democrats’ call for a referendum on the final Brexit deal.
Rather foolishly, in retrospect, Cable claimed that eight prime ministers, specifically those of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Estonia and the Czech Republic, had agreed a joint statement saying that British voters should have the “final say” on any withdrawal deal.
Setting aside the fact that nobody cares whether the Prime Minister of Estonia or Belgium thinks Britian should be forced to endure another time-consuming, costly and divisive referendum, it turns out that no such statement had been agreed anyway. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group (ALDE) posted a tweet that denied any such statement had been agreed or released. “Pertaining to the Lib Dem press release issued today on Brexit: at the ALDE leaders meeting of 22 March no statement has been agreed upon or released.”
Plainly embarassed and perhaps more than a little angry that fellow lib-dems hadn’t simply backed up his claim regardless of the truth, “sources close to Sir Vince Cable” insisted that the statement was verbally agreed by the leaders at the lunch, but not formally signed.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May responded: “We have always said that we understand that there are many countries in the EU that are disappointed by the UK’s decision to leave and we understand that. But we won’t be having a second referendum. We will be delivering on the will of the British people.”
Sir Cable evidently refuses to accept that the average British voter doesn’t care whether or not EU politicians want Britain to have another referendum, ignoring the fact that many voted to leave specifically to prevent EU politicians having a say in how Britain is run.
We’re not going to heap embarassment on Sir Cable by printing the subsequent responses to his claims. It seems cruel to kick a man already on the floor.
We have a lot of sympathy for Sir Cable, head of a party that was never truly relevant, even in its ‘glory days’. Rather than providing the mythical ‘third way’, the Liberal Democrat party only ever provided a sanctuary for politicians who prefer a responsibility-free career on the opposition benches to the stressful business of actually governing a country.
Leading a party that has no desire to go anywhere is a bit like voted president of the local Agoraphobic Rambler’s Club.
With no identifiable focus or reason to exist, the average person on the street has absolutely no idea what the lib-dems stand for. However, by hammering on about staying in the EU, Cable has successfully stumbled upon an identifiable policy standpoint.
It’s just a shame that his past two pronouncements on the issue have been to imply Brexit voters were racists and to tell us that a bunch of EU politicians want the UK to have another referendum. Seriously, we wish Sir Cable well in his efforts to stop the British Lib Dem party heading the same way as the Northern White Rhino, but we think he needs to seriously reassess his tactics.