LibLink: Tim Farron: The Lib Dems will fight Brexit. Labour is not doing its job

Tim Farron is popping up everywhere today. You’d think that this was co-ordinatd or something.

He’s written for us about his plan for Britain and Europe. He was on Good Morning Britain before dawn, Radio 5 Live, the Today programme.

He’s also gone and pitched a massive great marquee on Labour’s lawn in this article for the Guardian.

Labour, he says, are all over the place.

For Labour, it is still deciding whether it’s even a pro-European party. Owen Smith has made clear he wants it to be, but Jeremy Corbyn’s ambivalence was plain for all to see in the referendum campaign, and he has already made clear he wants to see the Brexit process get underway.

If they can’t or won’t hold the Government to account in the way that is required, the Liberal Democrats will. And if you think that’s unlikely, you might want to look back to the last session of the Scottish Parliament where it was the wee Lib Dem group that scored most forced changes in SNP government policy. Don’t ever underestimate us:

So if Labour won’t, we will. We will be the real voice of opposition to the Conservative Brexit government. We will hold May to account over Brexit, expose the lies that Boris Johnson and co told during the referendum, and make sure that whatever deal they try to do is as good for the UK’s economy, security and standing in the world as possible.

And let me be clear: I don’t believe there is any deal that May can do that will be better for Britain than being a member of the EU. So when people are given that choice, we will make the case loudly and clearly that we believe Britain should stay in the European Union.

This has a vibe of what we were saying back in the 1980s – and it was true then. The Liberal Party started the 1980s with fewer MPs than we have now, so anything could happen.

People have been let down for decades by short-termist politicians who put the needs of one part of society above the rest. Now, in the wake of the Brexit vote, those divisions are more exposed than ever before. With our country facing huge challenges – from inequality and injustice to an NHS in crisis and an economy in jeopardy – we are left with a reckless, divisive and uncaring Conservative government, and Labour MPs fighting among themselves.

We will have to see what happens if, as looks increasingly likely, Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected.

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  • Barry Snelson 7th Sep '16 - 2:17pm

    Good stuff! Name and shame – that’s the ticket.
    The narrative should not be fate (or reckless voters) are the cause of our woes but real life persons.
    May, Johnson, Fox and Davies.
    Hang the albatross around their necks.
    (Sorry Caron the animal thing just slipped in by mistake).

  • The Corbynite and The Brexiteer Red UKIP factions of Labour never liked the EU. The former because they passionately disgaree with the idea of open economies at all, the latter because they pander to the flag wavers and seem to think that anything other than the state or British companies like Jaguar are unable to be trusted.

    It is quite clear that the Labour members want socialism, the Labour voters want protectionism and only the Blairite section of the PLP actually believe in liberalism, the entire EU as it stands, and openness.

  • @ Newshound….. “The Liberal Party started the 1980s with fewer MPs than we have now, so anything could happen”.

    Don’t want to pour rain on your parade, Newshound, but the 1979 General Election produced 11 M.P.’s despite the loss of Thorpe and Pardoe as fall out after the Thorpe trial stuff ….. and the Liberal Party polled twice as many votes in 1979 as the Lib Dems did in 2015. We picked up in the early 80’s because we were seen as opponents of the Tories not their erstwhile coalition supporters.

    @ Stimpson “British companies like Jaguar” – I rather thought they were owned by Tata which is an Indian Company….. not quite sure what the rest of the kneejerk stuff is about.

  • Even though I voted Remain, I think Tim is making a big mistake here by declaring his hand for a second referendum. I actually think the PM is playing the right long-term game at the moment and we should let her get on with it, with Nick keeping a close eye on things and intervening where helpfully possible. A year or two down the road and the Tory-Brexit incompetents may have to admit defeat and/or the EU itself might change, and (despite what the PM says) Brexit may not mean Brexit after all. Or the Brexit deal might look good. If though the final Brexit deal looks bad and there is a national outcry, there may be a case for a second referendum, and Tim might have a role to play in demanding one, but at the moment we are in the thick of things trying to repect a recent democratic vote. This panicky reaction( like thr one hastening to choose candidates for an election that is not going to happen or going on an anti-Brexit march) is so much hot air. If I may mix metaphors, Tim should be like the PM and keep his powder dry.

  • @ Don Manley, “with Nick keeping a close eye on things and intervening where helpfully possible.”

    There’s a bit too much “keeping the powder dry for my liking”.

    It would help if Nick and Tim had actually turned up in the Commons to hear David Davis’s Brexit statement……………… Any talk about Labour not doing it’s job rings pretty hollow if people notice that well over 60 Labour MP’s turned up and gave Davis a hard time – compared to our one MP who got the Davis brush off to a pretty innocuous two sentence question.

  • It would be nice if you could tell us what time Farron was on, rather having to dredge through 3 hours of the today programme.

  • Steve Comer 8th Sep '16 - 10:14pm

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