Tory MPs have labelled as “fallacious” and “unwise” feedback made by Sir Vince Cable, that older Brexit voters had been “pushed by nostalgia”.
The Lib Dem chief mentioned too many older individuals who voted Depart longed for a world the place “faces had been white”.
“(Sir Vince) ought to be attempting to convey nation collectively, not looking for to tear it aside,” cupboard minister Sajid Javid mentioned.
Tory celebration chair Brandon Lewis mentioned his feedback had been “impolite” and “offensive”.
Talking at his celebration’s spring convention, Sir Vince mentioned a “nostalgia for a world the place passports had been blue, faces had been white and the map was colored imperial pink” had pushed some older voters to Brexit.
“And it was their votes on one moist day in June which crushed the hopes and aspirations of younger folks for years to come back,” he mentioned.
Tory MEP Daniel Hannan mentioned “calling 17.four million folks racists is unfair and unwise”. The deputy chairman of the conservatives, James Cleverly, mentioned “not liking brown faces” was not the explanation he voted Brexit.
The Lib Dems are campaigning for a second referendum on the ultimate Brexit deal, which the federal government opposes.
Sir Vince instructed his viewers in Southport: “I’ve myself been on a journey. I confess that my very own preliminary response to the referendum was to suppose possibly there was little selection however to pursue Brexit,”
“I assumed, you understand, the general public had voted to be poorer – properly, that was their proper.
“What modified my thoughts was the proof that Brexit had overwhelmingly been the selection of the older era.
“75% of beneath 25s voted to stay. However 70% of over 65s voted for Brexit,” he mentioned.
‘Very, very white’
Sir Vince additionally took a swipe at his personal celebration’s lack of variety – it has had a decrease proportion of non-white MPs and candidates than Labour or the Conservatives lately.
“Trying across the auditorium, we’re very, very white,” he instructed the celebration devoted.
“We should prioritise making our celebration extra ethnically various.”
The previous enterprise secretary went on to name the “imaginative and prescient of a International Britain signing a lot of new commerce offers” being pursued by his one-time cupboard colleague Theresa Might a “fraud”.
“Removed from opening our arms to the world, we shall be tearing up preferential commerce offers we have already got with 27 nations within the EU and 74 outdoors it,” he mentioned.
“There is no such thing as a extra eloquent testimony to the federal government’s utter naivety about commerce, that at a time when the world is descending into commerce battle, they put extra religion within the Wild West warmonger in Washington and the bully of Beijing than they do in our established associates and commerce companions in Europe.”
On the Labour Get together, Sir Vince mentioned that whereas the celebration had made a “few tentative steps in the direction of sanity” it was nonetheless “strongly dedicated” to co-operating with the Conservatives to make sure Brexit goes by way of.
In doing so, he mentioned, Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn is letting down the folks he claims to be defending.
“You can’t communicate up for the poor and be complicit in making the nation poorer,” he mentioned.