Vince Cable's speech to Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference


Vince Cable opened his speech with a stark warning on Brexit...

In the real world, we have yet to experience the full impact of leaving Europe. But we have a taste of what is to come in the fall of the value of the pound. 
 
Foreign exchange dealers are not point scoring politicians. Their cold, hard, unsentimental judgement has been, quite simply, that Brexit Britain will be poorer and weaker after Brexit than if we had decided to stay in Europe.
 
Brexit was described by the Brexit Secretary himself as an operation of such technical complexity that it makes the moon landing look simple. 

..And hit out at the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn...

We might have expected better from Labour. Many people got behind them in June, expecting a better politics and a better future from him.  They are already being betrayed. 
 
Today’s Labour Party isn’t into problem solving; let alone governing. Jeremy Corbyn’s acolytes are focused on how to maximise the contradictions of capitalism. 
 
You don’t qualify for the Shadow Cabinet these days unless you have studied the Venezuelan guide on how to bankrupt a rich economy. 

No wonder they back Brexit. No wonder they lined up behind Theresa May, maximising the chance of chaos and disruption.

If Jeremy Corbyn sits on the fence any longer, he is in danger of being sliced up the middle by the serrated edge. 
 
He would do better to get off the fence and refurbish his revolutionary credentials.  Jeremy – join us in the Anti Brexit People’s Liberation Front!

...and then continued onto what Britain really needs...

What the people want. What the country now desperately needs is some political adults.

There are sensible grown-ups in the Conservative party and the Labour Party and the Greens. And beyond them are millions of people deeply worried about what is happening. 
 
We have to put aside tribal differences and work alongside like-minded people to keep the Single Market and Customs Union, essential for trade and jobs;
 
Europe’s high environmental and social standards; shared research; help for our poorer regions; cooperation over policing and terrorism. 
 
Europe, of course, needs reform but you don’t achieve reform by walking away.

...and called on Theresa May to FINALLY do the right thing... 

Our position is clear: the Liberal Democrats are the party of Remain.

So I have some advice for Theresa May now. Take the issue of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in Europe out of these negotiations.
 
Using them as bargaining chips is not merely morally wrong but utterly counter-productive. Put the lives of 4 million people first not the posturing internal politics of the Conservative Party. No ifs, no buts. 
 
The government should declare a Right to Remain – now.

...he continued on to how we secure an #ExitFromBrexit...

At the end of these tortuous divorce negotiations, the British public must be given a vote on the outcome. 
 
Let me be clear. This is not a call for a re-run – a second referendum – on Brexit. 
 
It is a call for a first referendum on the facts: when we know what Brexit means. We know that our call will, of course,  be resented by the Brexit fundamentalists. 
 
We will be denounced as traitors and saboteurs. I’m half prepared for a spell in a cell with Supreme Court judges, Gina Miller, Ken Clarke, and the governors of the BBC.
 
But if the definition of sabotage is fighting to protect British jobs, public services, the environment and civil liberties, then I am a proud saboteur. 
 
Brexiteers will say: “we have already voted to leave.  How dare you flout democracy.” 

It is actually quite difficult to follow the argument. It seems to go that consulting the public - having a vote – is undemocratic. 
 
Why?  What are they afraid of? Are they afraid that the claims of £350m a week for the NHS won’t wash any more? 
 
That claim has rightly been dismissed by the UK Statistics Authority. No wonder Boris and the Brexiteers are so afraid of the people, and the facts.

They now believe in the slogan of dictators everywhere: “one person, one vote, once.
 
We believe the public have a right to change their mind.

...and finished with a note of hope - and ambition.

Only the Liberal Democrats have the ideas, the experience and the commitment to transform the fortunes of our country.

An exit from Brexit.

A grown-up approach to the economy.

And bold ideas to strengthen our society through the 21st century.

I am ready to take our message out to the country…

…and I ask you to join me on the journey as we, together, take the Liberal Democrats…

…back to Government.

Watch the full speech


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