Dem leader discusses election chances and second EU vote in visit
Democrats leader Tim Farron was the special guest at a dinner
near Burnham-On-Sea on Thursday evening (July 21st) when he spoke
out about his party's election chances, the birth of a new cross-party
group, and a plan for a second referendum on the EU.
Farron said he is "absolutely chuffed" that Burnham's
former MP Tessa Munt has has been re-selected as the party's parliamentary
don't yet know what Theresa May will do but we have to assume
there is a possibility of a snap election as early as October
or in the next 12 months. Tessa has an outstanding reputation
and we would be very hopeful she would win."
evidence from the town council elections in this constituency
and across the region over the past year is that there is a real
growth in Liberal Democrat support with increasing membership
numbers and a real sense that many of those who voted for other
parties in May 2015 would vote for us today."
Farron went on to discuss the Lib Dems position after last month's
Brexit, when they said they would be campaigning to move the UK
back into Europe - an option that the leader is keeping open.
have to respect the outcome of the referendum. The current government
is taking us down the road of leaving the EU but when you lose
an election you don't give up - that's weak and it's not something
we would do."
believe the British people should have a say on whatever deals
come back from Brussels, otherwise people will have something
foisted on them which is wrong. We think at that stage the people
should have the chance to say whether they accept the deal or
want to remain in the EU."
also discussed work underway by Paddy Ashdown to form a new cross-party
group which some pundits say could lead to the creation of a new
'multi-colour' political party similiar to the SDP of the 1970s.
Farron said: "Paddy spoke to me about this a month or two
ago and he does it with my blessing. I think that what we need
to do is find ways to carry on talking to each other. What prompted
it was that we all shared a platform with all parties during the
referendum campaign. You discovered that while you don't agree
on everything, Britain is an awful lot better in Europe."
would be a real sadness if we didn't continue ways of talking.
What do we mean by progressive - well, it's a broad title, but
people are very tribalistic in this country and the election system
almost forces people to do so. Paddy's organisation - which is
a 'cross-party' and 'no-party' one - gives people in safety to
talk to each other without being called traitors by the party
they currently belong to and, who knows what it might lead to."
kind of thing happened in the late 1970s and it led to the formation
of the SDP Liberal Alliance and the Liberal Democrats - that doesn't
necessarily mean this has to find the same route, but it's a way
of people being able to talk to people who they wouldn't normally.
It might be that we gather around common subjects such as Europe,
the environment, intelligent economics, electoral reform - things
that unite us and who knows what that might lead to. I am very
keen to give Paddy a long leash to see where this leads."