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Sir Vince Cable sneered at Brexit voters today by claiming they were mostly old people scared of immigration or poor people in second tier northern towns.
The man almost certain to be crowned Liberal Democrat leader next week lashed the coalition who secured the historic Brexit vote last summer at a Westminster lunch.
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Sir Vince, who at the weekend predicted Brexit might never happen, claimed many people wanted to Europe out of a misplaced sense of nostalgia.
And he repeated his insistence that the Liberal Democrat pledge for a second referendum would eventually find favour with voters fearful of Brexit.
Sir - Vince - Brexit - Views - Today
Sir Vince was grilled on his Brexit views today and said he spent most of the referendum battle touring leafy shires in the south of England.
Describing the Brexit voter he met, Sir Vince jibed: 'They were overwhelmingly elderly people who were obsessed by the worry of 80 million Turks coming to their village.
'Immigration - Issue
'Immigration was a massive issue for them though they never actually encountered any.
'I'm putting it slightly facetiously but I think that age group, which was a very powerful one, mostly Conservative voting, there was a sense of nostalgia. The Britain they had been brought up in and loved and felt comfortable with was no longer there.
'That was why they voted the way they did.'
The former Cabinet minister claimed people in the north split depending on whether they lived in a 'first tier' city like Manchester or a smaller town like Bradford.
Addition - 'left - Tier - Cities - North
He said: 'There were in addition to that undoubtedly what are called the 'left behind'. Not the first tier cities in the North of England like Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and others were on the edge or pro Remain.
'But some of the smaller towns - Blackburns, the Blackpools, the Hartlepools, where there is a residue of bitterness about economic failure and decline...
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