The UK enters 2019 with “90 days to change the course of this country”, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has said in his New Year message.
Sir Vince said the next three months will be “critical” to the future of the UK, and insisted it is still possible for the battle to stop Brexit to be won.
He urged opponents of EU withdrawal to “keep fighting” for a second referendum, which he described as “the only way forward” following Theresa May’s poorly-received deal with Brussels.
And he accused the Prime Minister of trying to “frighten” MPs into backing her Withdrawal Agreement in next month’s crunch Commons vote with warnings of serious disruption to travel and business.
“In reality, that can’t happen unless she decides it should,” he said.
Sir Vince said: “As we enter 2019, time is ticking down on Brexit.
“The history books will look back on the coming three months as critical.
“Are we going to make a terrible mistake, leaving behind our influence in Europe’s most successful peace project and the world’s biggest marketplace? Or are the British people, in the final hours, going to be given a chance to re-consider in light of all the facts which have come to the surface in the last two years?”
With a deal on the table which “satisfies no-one”, he said: “The only way forward is to have a People’s Vote, with the option to Remain.”
Sir Vince said the campaign for a second referendum which has been backed by Lib Dems since 2016 was now “beginning to bear fruit”, with millions of people voicing their support in petitions, letters to their MPs and marches.
“We have to keep fighting,” he said. “We have perhaps only 90 days to change the course of this country, but with your support we can do it.”
Sir Vince said he was “desperate” to move on to tackling issues which had been “kicked into the long grass” while the Government focuses on Brexit, such as social care, homelessness, housing, funding for schools and police and harnessing the power of new technology.
“Enjoy your New Year celebrations and then let’s get out there and win the fight for a People’s Vote and a brighter future for Britain,” he added.