Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has called on “political grown-ups” from all parties to stop Brexit.
Sir Vince used his first keynote address to the Lib Dem conference as leader to position his party firmly as an anti-Brexit voice.
He called for a new referendum once the terms of Britain’s divorce from the European Union are clear.
“At the end of these tortuous divorce negotiations, the British public must be given a vote on the outcome,” Sir Vince told delegates in Bournemouth.
“Let me be clear about this. This is not a call for a re-run. This is not a call for a second referendum on Brexit. This is a call for a first referendum on the facts.”
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Sir Vince called on moderates from the Labour and Conservative parties to “put aside tribal differences” and join forces.
“What the country now desperately needs is some political adults. There are sensible grown-ups in the Conservative Party, and the Labour Party and the Greens,” he said.
“That’s you. That’s us.”
Sir Vince urged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to “refurbish his revolutionary credentials” and join the Lib Dems in the “Anti-Brexit People’s Liberation Front”.
The former business secretary took over in July after a disappointing result at the General Election, where the party campaigned on an anti-Brexit platform but failed to capitalise on disappointed Remain voters.
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Sir Vince leads a group of just 12 MPs, but insists he is a “plausible” candidate for prime minister.
At 74, he is the oldest ever Lib Dem leader and the oldest head of a major party since Sir Winston Churchill, who stepped down as Tory leader aged 80.
But Sir Vince has already dismissed suggestions his age might be a problem, saying he has the energy to lead the party.
In his speech, he sought to show that there was more to his party than the anti-Brexit message. He called for wealth taxes and urged a crackdown on property speculators to ease housing problems.
The party is not just a “UKIP in reverse”, Sir Vince said.