James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Ex Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik Tells LBC He Definitely Doesn't Want Another Referendum
27 October 2019, 07:47
The former Liberal Democrat MP told Clive Bull that, as a democrat, he can't justify supporting another referendum.
Clive asked him: "So, you're presumably not a Lib Dem now then because you're way out of line with their their main policy?"
Opik replied: "My core ambition in politics has always been freedom, libertarianism and the least worst option for that has always been the Liberal Democrats. much more so 30 years ago than now.
"When it comes to these issues, I'm a democrat, no party really represents me. But I'll tell you this and I'll be absolutely clear on this and I'll come back on to your show any number of times to say it... we had a referendum, there was no best of three. The Remainers lost, the Brexiteers won."
Clive said: "So you couldn't countenance the fact that some people may have changed their minds, that the electorate is different, that we're three and a half years later, that things could be different... does that matter at all?"
Opik told Clive that there is a "principle point and a pragmatic point" and he couldn't accept a second referendum because "no one said it was going to be a best of three".
Clive said: "Nobody is suggesting a best of three. They're suggesting that we have another one, three and a half years later."
Opik continued suggesting it was a "best of three".
He later went on to explain: "Let me make this quite personal. I lost my small majority in 2010 in my local constituency.
"We know that a majority supported me but because of differential turnout the Conservatives, and I've never denied his right to be the MP, Glyn Davies, he won because more people wanted me out than my supporters wanted me in.
"I didn't ask for a second or third vote."
Clive put it to him that he could have stood again because "it's not like you have a vote and it stays there forever".
Opik said there's a "process to have election after election every five years" but "when it comes to a referendum, they're meant to be once in a lifetime".
He added: "That's what Cameron said."
He continued: "If you want to be principled, if you promise to do it once you do it once. I can summarise my entire position like this, if you believe in democracy and if you promise it just once, just have it just once and when it comes down to it if you don't win that way, then just deal with the situation."