LONDON — The Liberal Democrats launched their election campaign Tuesday claiming to be the only party that is “unambiguously about stopping Brexit.”
In a speech in Westminster, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said that “a vote for Labour is a vote for Brexit.”
She said that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “will not give you a straight answer on the biggest issue facing this country” and that Remain supporters “cannot trust” him with their vote. “Red or blue, it’s all Brexit. It’s all bad for our country,” she said.
The Liberal Democrats have said they would revoke Article 50, which triggers the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, if they won a majority of the 650 seats in the December 12 poll. The party has never won more than 62 seats, but is performing well in the polls.
The Labour Party has said it would renegotiate the Brexit deal with the EU and then put that new agreement to a public vote in a fresh referendum, asking voters whether they back the new deal or want to Remain.
In a prolonged attack on Corbyn, Swinson said he is “not fit to be prime minister of our United Kingdom.” She pointed to his willingness to accept a second independence referendum in Scotland and to MPs who had quit the Labour Party in the past year.
Swinson said her party could form a majority after the election. “I never thought that I would stand here and say that I’m a candidate to be prime minister,” she said, adding that “stranger things have happened” and that she is “absolutely certain” she could do better job than Conservative PM Boris Johnson.
“A Liberal Democrat government will stop Brexit and build a greater future,” Swinson said. She claimed that remaining in the EU would save the U.K. £50 billion and pledged to spend that “bonus” on public services.
The Lib Dem leader likened Johnson to Donald Trump, saying they have the same “attitude to women.”
“Britain deserves better than the British Donald Trump,” she said.
She also criticized ITV’s announcement that it would host an election debate between Corbyn and Johnson without including her. The party has said it will explore legal avenues to challenge that decision.
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