Tim Farron vows to fight for public vote on Brexit deal
The Liberal Democrat leader says there should be a vote on the terms of the Brexit agreement Theresa May comes back with.
Tim Farron has stood by claims of being a Eurosceptic as he vowed to fight for a public vote on the terms of the Brexit deal.
The Liberal Democrat leader urged party activists who braved the rain in Kingston not to “weep into your latte” over Brexit as he pledged to put staying in Europe at the heart of the campaign.
As he kicked off the Lib Dems’ election battle bus tour, he was joined by Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney and former cabinet ministers Sir Vince Cable and Sir Ed Davey, who are both standing in south west London after losing their seats in 2015.
Mr Farron told the Press Association that there should be a public vote on the final Brexit deal and pledged to fight for a second referendum.
Asked about describing himself as a “bit of a Eurosceptic” on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, he said: “I am massively pro-Europe but I am also somebody… who is sceptical about people who hold power.
“What we don’t want is somebody who is wide-eyed and complacent about taking us out of the European Union, particularly on the hardest version of Brexit that Theresa May appears now to have chosen.”
His comments came amid reports that European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Mrs May was from a “different galaxy” on Brexit.
Mr Farron went on: “We are utterly clear about the fact that Britain’s best future is inside the European Union and our job is to make sure we get the best outcome possible from any potential deal.
“We are most likely to get the referendum we want on the deal if the Liberal Democrats do as well as we are proposing in this election and actually become the opposition to the Conservatives.”
Former business secretary Sir Vince, who is campaigning to regain his Twickenham seat, called for the public to have another say on the “disastrous exit” strategy.
Referring to a newspaper headline calling on Mrs May to ‘crush’ Brexit saboteurs, he said: “That’s us. The country needs us, it needs an effective opposition that will challenge, and when at the end of this we get a bad outcome or no outcome, somebody needs to say, ‘When you are in a hole, stop digging.’
“Let the public have another say on this disastrous exit that we are pursuing.”
The Lib Dems were also campaigning in Sutton and Cheam, and Hornsey and Wood Green, as they seek to tip the scale in marginal constituencies.
Sutton and Cheam appears to have a more even split of Remain and Leave voters, but Mr Farron has planned to visit in the hope that the Lib Dems can take back the seat it lost to the Tories in 2015, having previously held it since 1997.
The party leader also intended to take the fight to Labour in Hornsey and Wood Green, where he was expected to reprise attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, given that it is held by his ally Catherine West.