September 16, 2019 - 7:30am

Niall Hodson is a Lib Dem councillor from Sunderland – which voted 61-39 in favour of Brexit in 2016 – and he took to the stage at the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth to argue *against* the adoption of the new Lib Dem policy of revoking Article 50 and cancelling Brexit without a referendum.

The policy was overwhelmingly supported and he won’t make the mainstream news reports – but it’s a powerful warning which he delivered with good humour. He even got some applause at the end. Here are his key arguments:

Now, when I go on the doors in Sunderland – and I have knocked on thousands and thousands of doors in Sunderland – people say something to me again and again… “It’s the will of the people. This is the will of the people. You’re trying to overturn the will of the people….” The point remains, they’re not completely wrong, and I don’t think we’re acknowledging that…

Do we really need to be piling on more and more Remain votes in London constituencies? What are we offering to the North, to the South  West, to Wales, because I don’t think it’s an awful lot with a motion like this…

This strikes me as an undeliverable promise. And you may remember as Liberal Democrats, we’ve had one of those before. If we end up in a coalition … we aren’t going to be pushing through revoking article 50… I don’t want to be in a position again where the Liberal Democrats have promised something and done something else.

- Niall Hodson

Freddie Sayers is the Editor-in-Chief & CEO of UnHerd. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, and founder of PoliticsHome.