Guy Verhofstadt has claimed the Liberal Democrats are the only truly pro-EU party in Britain as he joined Sir Vince Cable for campaigning in London.
The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator endorsed the Lib Dems ahead of EU elections later this month, saying they offered an “alternative to nationalism”.
Speaking alonside Sir Vince in Camden, north London, he said: “The reason I’m here to support the Liberal Democrats is there is only one pro-European party in Britain and it is the Lib Dems.
“That’s not new – it has always been the case in their history.”
He added: “I think it’s important to show that the European liberals and democrats support Vince Cable, support the Lib Dems in this difficult fight in Britain, in these European elections.
“Secondly, we want to show by coming here a message to the continent to say never repeat Brexit again.
“I’m a Lib Dem. It’s natural that people are looking to the Lib Dems when it comes to European elections.
“We want to be the alternative for nationalism and popularism.”
He predicted a surge for pro-EU parties in the European Parliament elections on 23 May, saying: “I think there will be huge support for Remain – that’s very clear. We’re going to see it... I’m pretty sure that there will be great support and certainly for the most pro-European party: the Lib Dems.”
Verhofstadt denied that he was interfering in UK elections by appearing alongside Sir Vince, saying: “This is Europe. I don’t think for European elections there is any interference.”
“I am in Strasbourg tomorrow...and nobody will say there is an interference because you’re in Strasbourg. It’s all Europe”.
Sir Vince said accusations of interference highlighted the problem that his party was standing up against.
“We are fighting nationalism. We are patriotic people in our different countries, but we are fighting nationalism,” he said.
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