"I'm beginning to think Brexit may never happen," a prospective leader of the Liberal Democrats has said.
Sir Vince Cable, who returned to parliament after winning back his Twickenham seat in last month's General Election, said: "I think the problems are so enormous, the divisions within the two major parties are so enormous, I can see a scenario in which this doesn't happen."
BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 9, 2017
Speaking on Sunday morning on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, he continued: "Certainly our policy of having a second referendum, which didn't really cut through in the General Election, is designed to give a way out when it becomes clear that the Brexit is potentially disastrous."
His comments have sparked a backlash among Tory MPs.
John Redwood, MP for Wokingham, said Cable's comments were "completely wrong".
"I think he's trying to sell our country down the river in the way that the Liberal Democrats normally do," he said.
Meanwhile, Laurence Robertson, Conservative MP for Tewkesbury, tweeted that Cable's comments were the reason people do not vote for his party.
LibDem Vince Cable says Brexit may not happen. They never learn- this, not the voting system, is why people don't vote LibDem— Laurence Robertson (@lrobertsonTewks) July 9, 2017
The 74-year-old Lib Dem veteran and the party's former business secretary, threw his hat in the ring to become its leader after Tim Farron unexpectedly quit in the wake of the snap General Election.
"I'm happy to take the job if that's what comes along," he said.
No other politicians have so far announced their candidacy challenging Cable.
"I'm actually very optimistic on what I - and a very good team of colleagues - can achieve. I think on the big issues of today, like Brexit, we're in exactly the right position, a long-standing principled position, that will become increasingly aligned with the mood of the country as the economy deteriorates. So I'm very optimistic about what we can do," he said.
Recent research suggests the tide is turning away from Brexit among the population, A poll last Sunday found the country would vote to Remain, reversing last years actual EU referendum results, if a vote were to be held now.