Vince Cable lays into Brexit-supporting pensioners for "shafting young"

Vince Cable Speech

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has blasted the Brexit-supporting elderly for "shafting the young" and accusing them of being "martyrs" to leaving the EU willing to sacrifice others as well as themselves.

"The old have comprehensively shafted the young. And the old have had the last word about Brexit, imposing a world view coloured by nostalgia for an imperial past on a younger generation much more comfortable with modern Europe," he said, writing in the Mail on Sunday.

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​"The martyrdom of the old comes cheap, since few have jobs to lose," he continued, citing a poll by YouGov published earlier this week, suggesting more than a third of Leave supported would sacrifice their own job or a family members' to get out of the European Union.

"And even if the country were to become poorer, their living standards are largely protected by the 'triple lock' on the state pension and many can rely on occupational, final salary, pensions which are closed to younger people."​

He derided the "badge of honour" mentality of Brexiteers in their acceptance of economic pain "as a price worth paying for 'taking back control'".

Read more: Government to publish proposals for smooth Brexit transition

Cable, himself 74- years-old, also said he believes Brexit may not even happen because the process is so difficult. And he called the chancellor Philip Hammond and business secretary Greg Clark "the grown-ups" in government, but said they have "lost the argument" for a transition period after Prime Minister Theresa May confined a "hard stop" to free movement.

"No 10 confirms that freedom of movement will end in 2019. Therefore, the single market ends. There will be no transition. The cliff edge draws closer. For the Brexit martyrs, paradise beckons."

The newly returned Lib Dem leader also blasted "sinister" comments made by Iain Duncan Smith that trade envoys, 21 of whom will champion trade ties with countries across the globe, should be sacked for voicing anti-Brexit sentiment.

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"This is how McCarthyism started. At this rate, we will have Brexit thought crimes before long. Perhaps it is not surprising that the Brexiteers are becoming desperate," he said.

Full story: Vince Cable lays into Brexit-supporting pensioners for "shafting young": City A.M.