'The former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister Ed Davey launched his bid for the party leadership on Thursday, pledging to fight a no-deal Brexit by working with remainers in parliament to make revoking article 50 the legal default if no agreement on leaving the EU is reached by October.
Davey, the former secretary of state for energy and climate change, said he would make stopping Brexit the cornerstone of his leadership, but also said the party must broaden its appeal and that he would do so by focusing on the environment.
The MP, who regained his Kingston and Surbiton seat at the 2017 general election, is likely to be in a two-horse race with the party’s deputy leader, Jo Swinson, to replace Vince Cable when he steps down in mid-July. Swinson is expected to announce her candidacy later this week.
Davey said he would not wait for the results of the leadership contest to begin work with other remain MPs on finding a legal route to stopping no-deal – a prospect boosted by comments made by the Speaker, John Bercow, who made it clear on Wednesday he did not believe no-deal could occur without MPs’ consent.
“We want to pass a law that if you got to the cliff edge that the default would be revocation, not crashing out,” Davey said. “People who realise no-deal is a disaster ought to vote for that legislation – I include people in the current cabinet.”
The MP said he saw another radical route to stopping no-deal – a vote of no confidence in the government and the formation of a unity government to deliver a second referendum. “I would not go for a general election immediately – the Queen has to first determine if anyone else can form a government,” he said.'
Read more: 'We have to stop no-deal': Ed Davey kicks off Lib Dem leadership bid
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