UK Liberal Democrat Party leader Tim Farron says Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has made the country a “laughing stock” outside of its borders, warning that “malevolent forces” are trying to hijack Brexit.
On June 23, nearly 52 percent of Britons voted in a referendum to end their country’s 42-year membership in the EU.
Speaking at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in Manchester on Wednesday, Farron blasted Brexit’s main leaders such as Nigel Farage, former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, and UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, saying they did not represent Britain.
“We’ve been made a laughing stock abroad,” he fumed. “We’ve had to watch the shaming pictures of Nigel Farage sneering on our behalf in the European parliament.”
“We are in danger of letting malevolent forces hijack the result [of the referendum],” he said. “Plenty of my mates voted leave and I can tell you that the overwhelming majority of those who did vote leave are utterly appalled that Farage, [Marine] Le Pen and their ilk now seek to claim the result as a victory for their hateful brand of intolerance, racism and insularity. Britain is better than that.”
Le Pen, who leads France’s far-right Front National, has called Brexit “the most important moment since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
“We mustn’t allow the faces of Farage, and Johnson, [Brexit secretary David] Davis and [international trade secretary Liam] Fox to represent Britain. They don’t,” Farron continued.
The Lib Dem leader told the audience at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce that forces of “tolerant liberalism and intolerant, closed-minded nationalism” were reshaping the UK politics.
Farron, who has promised to make the UK a member of the EU again, believes the Brexit vote “is reversible.”