THE LIBDEMS voted for an anti-Brexit coup at their conference in Bournemouth yesterday, pledging to revoke Article 50, reversing their previous policy of campaigning for a second EU referendum.
They voted overwhelmingly for the new policy after it was moved by their former leader, Sir Vince Cable.
New LibDem leader, Jo Swinson, said the new policy makes the LibDems the ‘stop Brexit party’.
But former LibDem Deputy leader Simon Hughes called on members to reject the policy, warning that as the first referendum was a decision made by the people, ‘it can only be the people who can reverse it’.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday morning, Swinson said: ‘There’s no limit to my ambition for the Liberal Democrats because there’s no limit to my ambition for our country. We are in such dangerous times and we have an opportunity to change the course but that does require the Liberal Democrats to make that leap and that is why I am determined to build the movement that will do that.’
Marr asked: ‘If you become Prime Minister or if you are influential on the next government, your policy is now absolutely clear, no more referendums, no more ifs, no more buts, you’ll revoke and that ends the entire Brexit debate and we stay inside the EU, period.’
She replied: ‘If the Liberal Democrats at the next election win a majority, if people put into government, as a majority government, the stop Brexit party, then stopping Brexit is exactly what people will get. Yes, we will revoke Article 50.’
Marr responded: ‘So if I’m one of the seventeen and a half million people who voted to leave the EU in good faith, told by the British political establishment that they would respect my vote, you would simply cancel it out. You would treat the entire Brexit episode like some elderly bullock you were going to take into a field and shoot?’
Swinson replied: ‘If we end up in a general election, I think we need to be straightforward with people and give them an option for all this Brexit chaos to stop.’
Marr warned: ‘You know that we have a very angry, very divided country at the moment. What does simply revoking in parliament do to the country? It puts us into a really dangerous position doesn’t it?’
She replied: ‘I recognise that not everybody agrees with the Liberal Democrats on this. But I think we recognise also that we are being straightforward about our position. It’s what we genuinely think is right for the country.’
Meanwhile, a three-day legal challenge to Tory PM Johnson’s prorogation of parliament begins in the Supreme Court tomorrow.
If the court finds against the PM, the LibDems are expected to demand that parliament sits at once to vote on a motion to revoke Article 50, to cancel the referendum result.