Vince Cable calls for an “adjudicator” in any Brexit deal referendum, plus votes for 16 and 17 year olds

In a speech to the North East of England People’s Vote rally in Newcastle this afternoon, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:

Some say a People’s Vote would cause aggro, all the lies of 2016 would be repeated. We need to anticipate that. We need an adjudicator who can look at what campaigners say and fact check them properly.

Brexit has been imposed on young people to the loss of their futures. What I want to see when we have this People’s Vote is that 16 and 17 year olds are allowed to take part.

* News Meerkat - keeping a look-out for Liberal Democrat news. Meerkat photo by Paul Walter

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • We had a fact checker websites last time.

    Then again, we also have history on our side from the last referendum. What was it the remain side and the Government machine said would happen if we voted leave
    (i) Unemployment would rise
    (ii) Property values would tumble
    (iii) recession
    (iv) punishment budget
    the list goes on
    All of which never happened

    So you want the young 16-17 year olds to have a say, but do not respect the say of the over 65’s who voted leave because they will be dead soon and so should not be listened too!

  • What would this adjudicator have said about the Better Together promise that the only way to guarantee Scotland staying in the EU was a “No” vote in 2014?

  • David Westaby 25th Aug '18 - 9:26pm

    A 15% fall in this countries worth and a major decline in GDP never happened??? All good then.

  • Martin Land 25th Aug '18 - 9:51pm

    Perhaps the Press Office could confirm or deny that Vince will be resigning on September 7th?

  • The story about Vince Cable looks a lot less exciting if you read the article rather than just the headline. It seems to say that hes planning to go sometime between 2019 & 2022. Was anyone expecting him to fight The Election in 2022 as Leader ? I wasnt.
    The Resignation on September 7th seems to be more of an indication of his future intentions or advance notice, presuming of course, that the article is correct.
    I imagine there will be a fuller explanation in the morning.

  • Denis Loretto 26th Aug '18 - 7:59am

    I am fed up with George Osborne’s exaggerated ideas of how world financial markets would react in the immediate wake of a leave vote in the referendum being dragged up. There was indeed an immediate drop in sterling which has persisted ever since but as I see it those with major potential influence on our economy somehow swallowed the story that the UK would negotiate terms with the EU sufficient to save the situation – to some extent they believed the “have cake and eat it ” story and kept their powder dry. Let’s see how that one pans out as the spectre of no deal looms.

  • Many have also failed to notice that the Bank of England did a lot of Bank of England jiggery-pokery (I know all of the technical terms) to stabilise the economy, which came at a cost. It’s a bit like the millennium bug. Some seem to think that it wasn’t real because the people tasked with mitigating the impacts did a good job.

    Alan, as I’m sure you know, had Scotland actually left the UK in 2016 as intended in the 2014 referendum, then Scotland would now be out of the EU. It was proven that Alex Salmond lied about the legal advice that claimed entry to the EU would be easy. The Tories had already published their intention to call for an EU referendum by the time of the 2014 vote, so while most people, including myself, didn’t think the British public would be foolish enough to vote for Brexit, the information was out there.

    However, I’d say an independent adjudicator would have plenty to challenge in the lies of the Yes campaign, such as the income from oil. The promised ease of transitioning to independence has been shown to be nonsense, with the Scottish Government requesting an extension to further devolution powers because they still aren’t ready. And yet they were promising we’d all be ready to be independent over two years ago?

    Who knows what’s happening with the leadership? Not me, and probably not the people writing speculative articles either. In the meantime, I’ll focus on what Vince is doing, which is getting out there and engaging with the public on the biggest issue of our time. I know he’s not the best at getting his message heard in the media, but I like what he’s saying. And to be fair, I’m not convinced that any other leader would get much more attention when the media are fixated on a two-party system, with only the occasional distraction for the latest SNP grievance.

  • Slightly concerned about the proliferation of news animal species on this website.

  • One great advantage that the KibDems have and have never used is it’s near monopoly of that great ideology of Liberalism.

    It is way more suited to the modern age than last century’s tried and failed versions of Socialism – Communism, Democratic Socialism, Social Democracy, Maoism, Marxist-Leninism and all the other top-down, Statist ideologies which all failed unless they dropped their stupid ‘class struggle’ nonsense and took up proper Capitalism.

    Every single one of of the above left wing experiments have had to drop their idealism and become an ideology-free zone like New Labour and China or go under, like Venezuela.

    If if the front runner Jo Swinson really is a Liberal and not a pale version of a Social Democrat, she can SELL THE IDEOLOGY. tgstcis Librralism.

    That is what the youth of today are casting about for – an ideology they can understand and trust.

    Grab that as a USP of Radical Libetalim, and the LibDems will sweep the board and squash Corbynism.

    Jim Murray

  • Peter Martin 26th Aug '18 - 9:20am

    The call for an adjudicator in referendums is an interesting one. Suppose we’d had one in the 1975 referendum? What arguments would he have allowed and what wouldn’t have been.

    Suppose the ‘no’ campaign had said just how much the cuddly old EEC, which worked quite well, in my opinion, would change into the the unwieldy and dysfunctional monster we now know as the EU.

    Would that argument have been ruled out as ‘scaremongering’?

  • Peter Martin 26th Aug '18 - 9:45am

    “Property values have fallen in GBP and tumbled in all major currencies.”

    This will be good news for young people saving to buy their own homes. They’ve become overpriced while we’ve been in the EU, and partly because of being in the EU. We can’t do anything to control our trade imbalance with the EU and that imbalance has to be funded by someone in the UK borrowing to fund it. More borrowing means higher house prices.

    In other words the inflow of capital into the UK has created a credit bubble.

    We all say we want more affordable homes for younger people. And we want them to become more affordable without the price actually falling?

    Can someone explain how this might work?

  • Bless the Brexiteers are in whataboutary mode. Desperate times call for whataboutary, I suppose, it beats a plan any day of the week. Two years plus and still no plan unless falling of a cliff is the plan, still when that happens it will all be the fault of the EU for not giving us cake. When I’m on a PC later I’ll post a link to the head of Brexitcentral being torn to pieces discussing trade, too say he obviously hadn’t got a clue is actually being kind he failed to reach that level of compidence.

  • John Marriott 26th Aug '18 - 10:42am

    @Peter Martin
    If – and it’s a massive ‘if’ – we ever do get supply and demand right in our housing market, the inevitable result will surely be that house prices will stop rising steeply and might even fall. That’s bad news for all those people who, over the past 40 years or so, have been taught to equate owning a home as a form of investment rather than just a way of getting a roof over their heads.

    As someone, who has lived in the same house now for over 40 years and not been tempted to move up the housing ladder, I view that prospect with a certain degree of satisfaction. Call me smug if you like.

    Oh, as for Brexit, let’s wait and see. There’s the winter to get through yet, and the Rugby Union Premiership begins on Friday!

  • Peter Martin 26th Aug '18 - 11:29am

    @ Fiona,

    As an English person it’s probably not for me to express an opinion on the desirability of Scottish independence. I’d hope you’d stay in the UK but if you want to leave that has to be your choice.

    However, I’d just say that it’s technically a lot easier for Scotland to become independent if the UK is outside of the EU. If the UK is inside, an independent Scotland would have to be recognised instantly as an EU member too, for border problems, the same as we are discussing in Ireland, to be avoided. This would certainly not happen for internal EU political reasons. It would set a precedent for possible Catalan and Basque independence.

    Spain would veto any Scottish application.

  • Will Rogers said

    “It’s almost been worth this depression to find out how little our big men know.”

    I think I’d like to paraphrase that to say

    “It’s almost been worth Brexit to find out how little our big men know.”

    However thanks to the internet we don’t actually have to have Brexit to know that, here is the link to the editor of Brexit Central (often quoted by several of our Brexiteer posters) being eviscerated

    Just a note anyone posting links to Brexit Central and I’ll just post this link and ask you if you really think they have a clue. Bit of a hint, they don’t and it shows.

    I should add as I fear many Brexiteers can only learn by experience we are likely to enter the school of experience for as Franklin said

    “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that.”
    It is also worth mentioning another quote of his because this really sums up Brexiteers

    “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

    and they havn’t planned and they are failing. .

  • It seems there are many, mostly Brexit supporters who believe that this all sorted and leaving is just a matter of time. In fact, this is part of their strategy that we will be bored with the whole process by the time it happens. Also, that whatever we get, it could have been a lot worse. If it wasn’t for those bureaucrats in Brussels and those awful remainers we would have got a better deal.
    However, when we get a deal or not, this is a new chapter and the media have a pivotal part to persuade the electorate that they need to re-engage and decide what is best for the country. We won’t win a further referendum without drawing on all those who see the dangers in leaving in whatever form and showing a united front.
    I think we can gain another vote though what happens after that is anyone’s guess. We certainly won’t get a third, at least for a decade.

  • David Evershed 26th Aug '18 - 7:12pm

    Who chooses the adjudicator of a referendum?

    How would it work if the adjudicator disagreed with Treasury economic forecasts?

    What powers would the adjudicator have?

  • “We need an adjudicator who can look at what campaigners say and fact check them properly. ”

    And how is that going to work. Even infamous bus claim would, had it used the net EU contribution rather than gross, have passed a fact check. It IS possible to take the money sent to the EU (net) and give that to the NHS. It’s not terribly practical but that isn’t something that can be objectively ‘fact checked’

    And if the bus said ‘we send £150m a day to the EU. Lets spend it on the NHS instead.’ It’s political/emotional impact would have been the same.

    For all the issues around campaign spending I’ve not seen any pro-leave Facebook ads that were totally founded in factually incorrect claims (eg on Turkey and other application states) and I think most would survive a fact check process. Or at least might be slighly modified to do so without affecting their political/emotional impact.

    And it won’t go one way. Remember Osbourne’s ’emergency budget’ plans?

  • Teresa Wilson 27th Aug '18 - 4:41pm

    Predictions are not facts and cannot be checked. Most economists predicted a worse impact following a Brexit vote than actually happened, although they got the general direction right; the overall impact on the economy has been negative, not positive. This kind of forecast cannot be called a lie, any more than Conservative predictions that Jeremy Corbyn would be a disaster for the economy can be.

    However, where statements of provable fact are concerned, these can be checked and exposed as lies. Some of the so-called facts used by the Leave Campaign definitely fall into that category. The £350 million a week is the most notorious (and it was a lie OnceALibDem) and I suspect quite deliberately intended to have Remainers objecting and therefore highlighting the fact that we were paying millions a week to the EU. An independent adjudicator could have ruled it inadmissible and insisted upon a correction, thus doing truth and the rest of us a favour.

    The same could be said for such gems as ‘the European Parliament has already installed the seats for Turkish MEPs’, ‘the accounts have never been signed off’, ‘the EU impoverishes Africa with high import tariffs’ and a good many more that are still doing the rounds.

  • David Evershed 26th Aug ’18 – 7:12pm:
    Who chooses the adjudicator of a referendum?

    How would it work if the adjudicator disagreed with Treasury economic forecasts?


    The best adjudicator is the court of public opinion.

    ‘HM Treasury analysis: the immediate economic impact of leaving the EU’ [May 2016]:

    This paper focuses on the immediate economic impact of a vote to leave and the two years that follow.

    The analysis in this document comes to a clear central conclusion: a vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000, GDP would be 3.6% smaller, average real wages would be lower, inflation higher, sterling weaker, house prices would be hit and public borrowing would rise compared with a vote to remain.

    George Osborne
    Chancellor of the Exchequer May 2016

  • Teresa Wilson 27th Aug ’18 – 4:41pm:
    Most economists predicted a worse impact following a Brexit vote than actually happened, although they got the general direction right; the overall impact on the economy has been negative, not positive.

    The one prediction they made in the right direction was the fall in the pound (although not by anywhere near 30%). This correction was long overdue and has been positive for the UK economy; exports have risen to record highs and the current account deficit continues to narrow.

    ‘Project Fear was £100bn out’ [May 2018]:

    Time is now almost up for the predictions. We must ask, “How did Project Fear perform?”.


    It turns out that Project Fear was wrong by almost 5 per cent of GDP. The consequences of this giant error for the rest of the Osborne/Treasury prognosis have been drastic. Instead of employment falling by hundreds of thousands, it has risen by hundreds of thousands. Instead of house prices going down, they have gone up. Instead of the public finances lurching more heavily into deficit, they have been better than at any time since the Great Recession, making the prospect of an eventual surplus far from silly. Above all, Osborne’s scary rhetoric about a return of the Great Recession now looks preposterous.


    Project Fear was a gross miscarriage of government. I do not know which of my two explanations is right. It may be that Osborne breached the conventions of our unwritten constitution and abused the authority of the Treasury to give substance to lies. Or it may be that the only advice Osborne (and Cameron for that matter) received came from a “near-unanimity” of official economists who had no idea what they were talking about.

    ‘UK exports at record high’ [June 2018]:

    Exports of UK goods and services rose to a record high of £620.2 billion in the year to March 2018 according to new trade figures released today.

    Exports grew faster to Canada (up 12.7%), India (31.8%) and China (15.3%) than to the EU (10%).


    Over the same period, the UK’s current account deficit also narrowed to £80.3 billion, down by £12.2 billion from 12 months earlier. This is the narrowest deficit as a percentage of GDP since 2012.

  • Andrew Tampion 29th Aug '18 - 5:39am

    Interesting idea. Perhaps by the same logic we could have General Election Adjudicator to investigate politicians who give a solemn pledge to vote against a particular policy as a candidate then vote for the same policy once elected.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Peter Martin
    @ Michael BG, "I like to think that about 40% of any increase in government spending comes back to government in increased revenue. " It all co...
  • john oundle
    Janet King 'Well done to President Macron for reading our Lib Dem policy on offering safe and legal routes to those seeking asylum in the U.K. His offer to a...
  • Peter Martin
    @ Joe, I was somewhat familiar with Michael Hudson and his book Super Imperialism long before I'd heard of MMT. I was naturally sympathetic to his argument a...
  • Janet King
    Well done to President Macron for reading our Lib Dem policy on offering safe and legal routes to those seeking asylum in the U.K. His offer to allow U.K. Immig...
  • Martin
    Helen Dudden: You wrote virtually the same on another thread. It is no more coherent there, despite having had time to work on it. What are you trying to s...