Lib Dems to make fresh bid for second Brexit referendum

Liberal Democrats will make a fresh attempt to persuade MPs to back a second Brexit referendum – with leader Sir Vince Cable reaching out to members of the new Independent Group for support.

With Parliament expected to stage another series of votes on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, Mr Cable confirmed his party would again try to get a majority for a People’s Vote.

The Liberal Democrat leader is to address his party’s Scottish Conference in Hamilton as the clock ticks down to Britain’s formal departure date, on March 29.

Theresa May is still trying to find a deal that commands the support of the House, and has so far ruled out any possibility of an extension to the Brexit timetable.

With dissatisfaction over Brexit having sparked several Tory and Labour MPs to quit their party and form the Independent Group, Mr Cable said he has been speaking to “many of these now independent MPs” and that they have “much in common” with his party.

Talking ahead of his speech, the Lib Dem leader said: “For the good of our country, we will cooperate on areas of shared values, not least stopping Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s chaotic and damaging Brexit.

“That is why I can announce Liberal Democrats will once again this week seek to secure cross-party support for an amendment in the House of Commons calling for a People’s Vote, with the option to stay in the EU.

“We cannot let Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn conspire to run down the clock. Liberal Democrats have led the campaign for a People’s Vote. We have campaigned for it, we have marched for it and we will vote for it.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will also stress the importance of working with others when he delivers his keynote speech.

He will appeal to those who are dissatisfied with Labour and the Conservatives – describing these parties as being “no longer broad churches but narrow sects”.

He will urge those who are disenchanted with other parties to “seize this chance”, arguing that “Like minds should work together to demand better.”

Mr Rennie will warn them: “To miss this chance today will fill you with regret tomorrow.

“So, come and talk with me. Let’s work together. We have a responsibility to make it happen.

“Look at the challenge that we face. We know Britain isn’t working as it should. Everyone deserves the opportunity to work hard and build a good life for themselves, their family and their community.”