Vince Cable says he 'welcomes people with dark faces' as he condemns Nigel Farage's infamous referendum campaign

Ashley Cowburn

Vince Cable has said he “welcomes people with dark faces”, as he condemned Nigel Farage‘s infamous Brexit referendum poster in a heated debate ahead of the European elections.

Accusing the Brexit Party leader of whipping up antagonism against foreigners, the Liberal Democrat leader tackled Mr Farage over his previous rhetoric on immigration.

But Mr Farage insisted he was “far from racist”, and said he “utterly rejected” any suggestion he was attempting to “stir anything up”.

During a debate hosted by The Daily Telegraph – ahead of Thursday’s European parliament elections – Sir Vince told the former Ukip leader: “You have played a role in whipping up this antagonism to foreigners.

“In the referendum, you told us that next year, 2020, Turks are going to be free to come to this country. A lot of people were alarmed by something that is patently untrue.”

Referring to the widely-condemned “Breaking Point” poster that Mr Farage unveiled during the Brexit referendum, he continued: “You put out that advertisement, the hoarding, showing immigrants who had dark faces. I welcome people with dark faces. I was married to one.

“But people coming in from Europe are Europeans. It was giving a totally false picture of what immigration actually amounts to.”

In the debate, Mr Farage insisted: “Far from being racist, actually, we really are more internationalist than those who want our whole future decided by the EU.

“All I have ever argued with immigration is that we should have a free, fair system that stops discriminating against India and against Australia in favour of Romania, or anywhere else.

“I utterly reject the idea that I am trying to stir anything up.”

Their exchange came as the Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake suggested the prime minister could be gone within days, as he claimed the Conservatives will be thrashed at the European elections on Thursday.

Mr Brake said he could not see “any circumstances in which her deal is not going to be defeated”, adding: “If anything, the Brexiteers have hardened their position, that would be my interpretation of what they’re saying, so her bill goes down at second reading and that’s clearly it for her.”

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