Lib Dem Leader: ‘Cancel Trump Visit’, Calls for Second EU Referendum

Vince Cable
Matt Cardy/Getty

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has called for the state visit by President Donald Trump to be cancelled and for the United Kingdom to hold a second referendum on membership of the European Union.

At the party conference in Bournemouth on Tuesday, Mr. Cable claimed President Trump, a staunch ally of the UK who backed Brexit and has promised a ““very big… very powerful” unilateral trade deal, called for his invitation to be rescinded.

“It’s an outrage that this man, who now presumes to attack our highly effective police and security services, has been invited here on a state visit… No red carpet for President Trump. The visit should be cancelled,” Cable said.

His comments were in reference to a tweet by the president which inferred that police were aware of the suspect(s) before the attack. It has been reported since that one suspect held by police was both allegedly referred to the Government’s anti-radicalisation programme and was arrested two weeks before the attack.

The 74-year-old former business secretary, who only won back his seat in parliament three months ago, went on to say that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU ranked alongside the Iraq War and the banking crisis as one of the “three great disasters” to hit Britain in recent years.

He positioned the Lib Dems as the “only real, undiluted pro-European” party in the country, saying: “I want our party to lead the fight against Brexit.”

Though the left wing party, which campaigned on the promise of a second referendum, increased its number of MP from eight to 12 in June’s general election, it saw its vote share go down.

Branding the Liberal Democrats as “the part of Remain”, he addressed those he referred to as “sensible” adults and urged members to support the party to keep the country bound by the rules of the Single Market and Customs Union – which would also tie the UK to Freedom of Movement.

Echoing the words of arch Europhile Tony Blair that “the public has a right to change their mind”, he demanded the country face a second referendum on the final deal.

“When we know what Brexit means, the people should get a choice. The government deal, or an exit from Brexit,” he said.

However, Cable denied that the proposed second referendum was a “second referendum”, saying: “Let me be clear about this. This is not a call for a re-run. This is not a call for a second referendum on Brexit.

“This is a call for a first referendum on the facts.”

And in a push for increased support from outside the dwindling party, Mr. Cable made a direct plea to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to “get off the fence” on Brexit and “refurbish his revolutionary credentials”, saying: “So Jeremy, join us in the anti-Brexit People’s Liberation Front!”

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