Brexit: SNP criticism of Australia deal 'childish' says Downer
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Norman Lamb former Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk revealed Remainers had been wrong in their bid to hold a second referendum on the UK’s membership to the EU. Despite being a Remainer himself, the former MP admitted the pro-EU MPs had been wrong in their attempts to reverse Brexit without looking for alternatives. With the Lib Dems suffering a horrendous election result in 2019, the former MP has also admitted he has let his membership of the party lapse.
Speaking to Politico, Mr Lamb admitted the best alternative for diehard Remainers was to seek a compromise with the EU rather than trying to reverse Brexit.
He said: “I was a Remainer but a Remainer who believed we had to find a compromise.
“I worked alongside Stephen Kinnock and many others to make the case for that close relationship with the EU rather than intransigence.
“And I felt that the stance of the party, together with the pro-Europeans in the Labour Party, was a sort of historic miscalculation because we’ve ended up in a far worse position than we would have been in had we been willing to compromise.
“We would have avoided, for example, the massive risk in Northern Ireland.”
Due to the lack of compromise among Remainers, Labour and the Lib Dems suffered historic losses in 2019 as the Tories stormed to an incredible election victory.
In a veiled attack against Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Lamb insisted pro-Remain groups should’ve accepted the referendum result in order to secure a soft Brexit.
He added: “The straw that broke the camel’s back was those indicative votes.
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“I worked with Oliver Letwin as part of that little group of cross-party MPs to get an opportunity for parliament to vote on alternatives.
“And then Parliament spectacularly managed to vote against every alternative.
“And for the pro-Europeans to vote against the customs union to vote against a Norway option, I just found massively dispiriting.
“And I found myself very isolated.
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“So I just wanted to take a step back.”
Following the election, the Lib Dems only secured 11 seats in the election and resulted in former leader, Jo Swinson resigning.
Mr Lamb claimed his party had become more extreme in the lead up to the election which gave voters a reason to vote against the Lib Dems.
He told LBC soon after the election: “It’s not just Jo Swinson, I think the party took a very stupid turn.
“I have to say I largely fell out with the party in the period since the referendum.
“I think to just take a decision to seek to block a referendum which we’d voted to hold in the first place was a big mistake.
“We just became more and more extreme.
“We doubled down on hard Remainers and we gave people across much of the country a positive reason to vote against us.”
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