Corbyn isolated as over 100 Labour MPs set to back Lib Dem call for a people’s vote
The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable has today written to the Prime Minister to alert her to the fact that the call for a people’s vote could have a majority in Parliament.
In the letter, Vince Cable states:
"If the government cooperates with the 150 plus declared supporters of a people’s vote (and many more who are undeclared) there would be more than enough votes to succeed even if Mr Corbyn continues to sit on the fence or oppose."
Responding to the reports that over a hundred Labour MPs are set to back the Liberal Democrat campaign, Vince Cable said:
"Jeremy Corbyn is looking increasingly isolated. Our numbers show that if the Conservative Government decided to put forward its plan, subject to a people’s vote, it would have a clear majority.
“It is the most plausible lifeline left for the Prime Minister’s deal.”
Full text of letter below:
I appreciate the opportunity to have had a proper conversation with you about our views on the way forward on Brexit and my colleagues have had a useful discussion with yours about the practicalities of a referendum and its timing. We have followed up the discussions with a note to David Liddington setting out our views on how a People’s Vote could be organised quickly.
Our positions are, at first sight, far apart. But I reiterate the point that, as it currently stands, your plan has been emphatically rejected by parliament; but it would have a 50:50 chance of succeeding if put to the country against the option of remaining in the EU.
Moreover the most plausible way of introducing the option of a referendum would be in the form of a government resolution to parliament seeking approval of your plan, subject to a referendum. Opposition parties would be asked to vote with the government to break the deadlock and return the issue to the people. Providing a People’s Vote were built firmly into the resolution, the Liberal Democrats would respond positively.
If the government cooperates with the 150 plus declared supporters of a People’s Vote (and many more who are undeclared) there would be more than enough votes to succeed even if Mr Corbyn continues to sit on the fence or oppose.
The next step, sought by some of your colleagues as well as the opposition parties for a variety of reasons, is postponement of the departure date to consider other options and averting the dire prospect of a ‘no deal’ Brexit for which the country is patently unprepared. You have clearly not reached that point but will need to do so for serious discussions with opposition parties to make headway.
My party is ready to resume discussions at any time and communication can be maintained through the usual channels.