Cable "wouldn't put the same emphasis" on the fight for a second EU referendumby Alex Dean / March 21, 2017 / Leave a comment
“An issue in the longer term—it’s not a problem now—is that he was not in the coalition government in any capacity.”
In an exclusive interview with Prospect, Vince Cable, former Business Secretary and Liberal Democrat grandee, argued that Tim Farron faces a challenge. “One of our big selling points for 2020 and beyond is that… we’ve been in government, we’ve done the difficult thing. I think one of his issues will be the need to assemble around him people who have been there, been in that government.”
When I asked whether Farron lacks experience, Cable replied: “Yes,” but added: “It was inevitable.”
Cable is one of Britain’s best-known politicians, having served in David Cameron’s Cabinet from 2010 to 2015 while MP for Twickenham. Now 73, he exudes authority, and the Liberal Democrat hierarchy will pay close attention to his opinion of the leadership.
Under Farron, the party has become unambiguously pro-Remain, hoping to sweep up the disillusioned 48 per cent while the Tories pursue a hard Brexit and Labour gets itself in a muddle. In addition, Farron has said that there should be a second referendum once the terms of Brexit are known.
Speaking to me at the Lib Dem Spring Conference in York, Cable made a remarkable break from the party line: “I wouldn’t put the same emphasis on that…. I worry that trying to deal with this issue through a simple binary choice, endless referendums undoing each other… you get into the Scottish referendum situation.”