European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt has joined the Liberal Democrats on the campaign trail, saying they offer an “alternative to nationalism”.
Mr Verhofstadt joined Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable canvassing in London on Friday as he predicted a Remain surge in upcoming European Parliament elections.
Mr Verhofstadt insisted his presence was not foreign interference in the UK’s elections as he was “a Lib Dem” and backing the party because it opposed Brexit.
Great to be with @vincecable & his team of motivated, passionately pro – European @LibDems candidates in Camden. Liberal Democrats are the strongest remain party in the UK. They have the momentum to send a message that will be heard across Europe at the #EUelections2019 pic.twitter.com/zSndkqhqXd
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) May 10, 2019
Mr Cable said he was campaigning to combat “ugly populism”.
Mr Verhofstadt said: “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.
“What I think is there will be a huge support for Remain.
“I’m not here as a Brexit negotiator, I’m here as the leader of the liberals and democrats for Europe.”
Great to have the President of ALDE @guyverhofstadt out canvassing with us for our European election campaign.
Liberal Democrats are running this campaign as an unapologetically pro-Remain party. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to #StopBrexit > https://t.co/dGhOFbnixs pic.twitter.com/UvXYpF4mh7
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 10, 2019
Asked if his presence could be seen as foreign interference, Mr Verhofstadt said: “This is Europe. Europe, it’s all Europe.”
Mr Cable said: “We are fighting nationalism.
“We are patriotic people in our different countries, but we are fighting nationalism.”
The Lib Dem leader said his party was standing up “to the ugly populism that is now happening” as it campaigned ahead of the May 23 Euro poll.