Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis trashed for not having 'a flaming clue'
Tim Farron said the world ‘looks aghast’ at the UK over the government’s Brexit team of Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson, who haven’t ‘a flaming clue’ what to do about the EU referendum result.
The Liberal Democrats leader was speaking at a rally at his party’s conference in Brighton last night in a jokey but passionate call to arms.
Farron is making opposition to Brexit a central part of Lib Dem politics – a position which has seen party membership grow by a third since the June referendum.
He asked whether Liam Fox’s job description as International Business Secretary said ‘the post holder should seek to undermine British business abroad and demoralise British business at home’, adding:
‘Of course, to be fair, Liam Fox did not undermine British business abroad or demoralise British business at home, because he could only have achieved those things if any one actually took him seriously. Still, he’s getting a nice tan.’
He moved on to David Davis, Secretary of State for Brexit, whom he called a ‘born again liberal’ for his opposition to ‘ID cards, detention without trial, snoopers charter – all the things that Theresa May is in favour of incidentally. So that’ll end well.’
‘He is also guilty of being perfectly honest, saying actually there is a very good chance that the UK won’t be able to stay in the single market if we leave the EU.
Which – and he didn’t say this bit – would be catastrophic for British business, British jobs and the prices on the shelves in British shops.
But don’t worry, we’ll have taken back control.’
He mocked Theresa May for quashing Davis’s his single market comments and her refusal to discuss Brexit negotiations:
‘Don’t go giving the game away, she said. The British government has a plan…obviously we’re not telling anyone what that plan is because its a secret!
We are apparently, concealing our hand. But of course they are not concealing their hand, they don’t have a hand. Or indeed a flaming clue.’
Farron then turned to the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, whom he said was:
‘Dispatched by the PM to go on tour to as many capitals as possible, because she was concerned that following the referendum, other countries might think Britain had completely lost its marbles.
So she sent Boris Johnson to see them, so that they wouldn’t think we’d lost our marbles – they’d now be absolutely certain.
This is the government of the United Kingdom. Our government. Doesn’t it make you proud?
Well, I am proud but the world looks aghast at us now. ‘
He also trashed newly elected UKIP leader Diane James, saying ‘She leads a party whose policies are based on a vision for Britain that is closed, hateful and divided’.
The Lib Dems are calling for a general election or second referendum on the terms of Brexit. Farron has said the public voted for ‘departure’ but should have a say on the ‘destination’.
Farron’s remarks at conference suggest he’s not interested in a ‘progressive alliance’ with other parties, instead hoping to supplant Labour as the country’s opposition and calling on liberal Tories and Labour members to join the Lib Dems.
He has taken every opportunity to milk the Labour party’s woes over divisions about leader Jeremy Corbyn, pointing to Labour’s loss of a council seat in Sheffield to the Lib Dems despite a recent Corbyn rally and Momentum activists campaigning locally.
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