An MP for the only major UK party to officially support reversing the Brexit vote, the Liberal Democrats, has pledged to vote in favour of Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal – a decision which flies in the face of the Lib Dems’ consistent promise to oppose Brexit and demand a second referendum.
The Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, Stephen Lloyd, told BBC Sussex today that he intends to vote in favour of any Brexit deal put before Parliament by the Tory government.
Given that the Lib Dems are the only major party to officially support reversing Brexit, Lloyd’s decision to back any Brexit deal will undoubtedly spark anger amongst pro-remain voters.
With both the Conservative Party and Labour pledging to respect the result of the Brexit referendum and ensure the UK leaves the EU, many ardent pro-EU voters had placed their trust in the Liberal Democrats as the only hope to stop Brexit.
The pro-EU Lib Dem movement had also sparked a hashtag on Twitter, #FBPE, which contains supporters who regularly call out Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party for supposedly not doing enough to oppose a Tory Brexit.
However, earlier this year the Lib Dem’s former leader Tim Farron, and their current leader Vince Cable, made a mockery of the party’s pledge to oppose Brexit at every turn after failing to turn up to crucial knife-edge Brexit votes in the House of Commons.
And now, with one of their MPs openly backing Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the Lib Dems are surely treading on very thin ice with ardent pro-remain voters such as those supporting the #FBPE hashtag.
Furthermore, despite Lloyd’s announcement to back the Brexit deal today, the Lib Dems saw absolutely no irony in attempting to shame the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter tonight for not opposing Brexit.
Just hours after the Lib Dem MP had backed May’s Brexit deal, the official Lib Dem Twitter account tweeted:
“The crowd at Parliament Square are chanting ‘Where’s
@jeremycorbyn?’ It’s a good question. Corbyn refuses to back a People’s Vote. Demand better. Demand the final say on Brexit“
The crowd at Parliament Square are chanting 'Where's @jeremycorbyn?' It's a good question. Corbyn refuses to back a People's Vote.
Demand better. Demand the final say on Brexit – https://t.co/Mp2XkNJx4v
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) November 15, 2018
And despite the Lib Dems repeatedly attempting to claim that Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to back a second referendum, an email from the Labour leader sent to party supporters tonight completely contradicts the Lib Dem line.
The final line of the official Labour party email reads:
“If we cannot get a General Election, in line with our conference policy, we will support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.”
Also, in addition to keeping all options on the table – including another referendum – Labour will be whipping all of their MPs to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal. It looks likely that the Lib Dems will not whip their MPs to do likewise.
With the vote on Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal looking extremely tight, it may only take a few MPs to swing the result.
And if it ended up being a Liberal Democrat MP that proved decisive in ensuring Brexit finally goes through, the party would surely suffer a collapse in support far surpassing that which followed their infamous coalition capitulation on tuition fees in 2010.