Vince Cable backtracks and says Brexit will happen

Vince Cable says he believes Brexit will happen

Vince Cable faced a grilling from Julia this morning

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lib Dem leader-in-waiting Vince Cable appeared to backtrack on his recent comments about Brexit in an interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer, saying he believes Britain's secession from the European Union will go ahead.

Cable had been quoted in recent days as saying that he thought Brexit might not take place, do to the complexity of the issues involved.

But the veteran Twickenham MP, the only person standing to become the next leader of the Lib Dems, struck a rather different tone in interview with Julia.

When asked by Julia if he is convinced Brexit will happen, Cable said: "I am.

"I'm not saying at the moment this is good or bad. I was trying to make a prediction, which is actually confirmed by a lot of conversations I'm having with people of other parties and indeed by civil servants, who just worry that a combination of things could just stop the Brexit process.

"One is the sheer complexity of what's involved, another is the difficulty of reconciling our position with that of the European Union countries.

"The public mood is changing. All I was saying is maybe in a year, 18 months' time, the mood of the country might be different."

When Julia suggested there is no going back on Brexit, Cable says there is a way of going back, adding "if there is a poor deal, or no deal, and there is a fair likelihood we get that combination of things, we are going to have to go back and have another look at this.

"We may get to the situation where there isn't a satisfactory deal and the whole thing falls through. I'm just raising that as a possibility." 

Cable also suggested Boris Johnson and other Leave campaign leaders had set Brexit voters up for a "shock" by promising Britain will get millions of pounds to spend on public services after leaving the EU.

Discussing the EU's so-called 'divorce bill,' Cable said "it would be a very big sum and given the British people have been led to believe that we're going to get money out of leaving the European Union, not pay it in, it's going to be a very shock."

Turning to Cable's recent quotes about Brexit voters being predominantly elderly people, Julia - who herself voted Leave last June - accused him of patronising those who wanted to quit the EU.

Cable responded: "That wasn't actually what I said. There were different groups of people and I drew attention to the fact that there were a lot of people in the north of England, in some of the towns that felt behind, I mentioned that there were people in ethnic minorities who felt that they'd been discriminated against.

"I also mentioned the fact that there were a lot of people in my generation who I'd encountered in meetings who met that description.

"It was a combination of factors and the views of older people who were undoubtedly important."

Listen to the clip above