Lib Dems will vote against May's Brexit plan - Cable

Lib Dems will vote against May's Brexit plan - Cable

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Mr. Cable said he would not vote for the Checkers proposal, even if the government argued that the only alternative was not a deal

If Theresa May makes a Brexit deal with Brussels on the basis of her Checker plan, the Liberal Democrats will vote against it, warned Sir Vince Cable.

"We will not buy it," the leader of the Lib Democrats said to loud applause to a meeting on the sidelines of his party conference.

He said the party's 12 MPs – with one exception – were "firm" in their determination to stop Brexit.

Stephen Lloyd MP voted for "Remain," but he has vowed to respect the wishes of his voters in Eastbourne.

Mr. Cable said he hopes he can persuade Lloyd to change his mind before the "meaningful" vote has promised MPs about the terms of a Brexit agreement.

Downing Street believes that Mrs. Mayay's Checkers plan – which Britain follows after Brexit completing the Single Market rules for goods – would be obtained through parliament, despite opposition from many Conservative MPs.

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Mr. Cable, the secretary of David Cameron's coalition government, said the Checkers deal has a "huge hole" because it does not include services – which make up 80% of the UK economy.

The Checkers plan was a "second best solution" for smooth merchandise trade, but was based on a "very, very complicated mechanism," he added.

And Mr. Cable said he could not vote for it, even if the government claimed that the only alternative was a no-deal Brexit because there were "better alternatives".

Sir Vince, who is fighting for a referendum on the final Brexit deal, said, "We are absolutely solid that we must vote against Brexit and stop him."

In other conference developments:

  • The party members supported a policy that allows migrants to qualify for benefits from their first day in the UK – without any form of a means test.
  • The party also supported a complete ban on disposable plastics within three years.
  • Vice-Chairman and former Minister Jo Swinson admitted that the party had lost "too many arguments" with their conservative coalition partners and said, "When they were dirty, we were too nice."
  • Sir Vince, in the near future, ruled out a coalition with Labor or the Conservatives.

At an earlier meeting, Mr. Cable warned the global economy that "it might work" that it will collapse to two years in the next 18 months.

The leader of the Liberal Democrat – who was known to have predicted the financial collapse of 2008 – warned against a "dangerously high" debt of the British economy.

And it is "difficult to see" that big economies come together to tackle any crisis, as they did in 2008 with the current political climate, he added.

The Liberal Democrat leader also calls for the creation of a € 100 billion "Citizens' Fund" to protect the UK from future economic crises by strengthening public finances.

The fund could be built by taxing the wealthy and selling government assets, such as the UK's stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland, he argues.

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