Brexiteers get an “erotic spasm” from the thought of leaving the EU, according to Lib Dem leader Vince Cable.
The insult is “a colourful metaphor”, Sir Vince said, intended to highlight the economic damage he says hard Brexiteers are intent on wreaking on the UK.
The veteran MP will use the phrase to mock hardline Brexiteers and demand a U-turn in his closing speech at the party’s autumn conference.
Sir Vince will say: “For the ‘true believers’ – the fundamentalists – the costs of Brexit have always been irrelevant.
“Years of economic pain justified by the erotic spasm of leaving the European Union. Economic pain felt – of course, not by them – by those least able to afford it.
“The public don’t mind what these people dream about behind closed doors – so long as their dreams don’t become nightmares for the rest of us.”
Sir Vince will insist that Prime Minister Theresa May, who campaigned for Remain, does not believe in Brexit and has put her party before her country in an attempt to unite warring factions in the Conservatives.
Nevertheless, Mrs May has suffered a series of cabinet resignations over her Chequers plan, which has moved towards a softer Brexit after tough negotiations with the EU.
“She is dutifully delivering a policy she doesn’t really believe in – failing in negotiations, losing public support,” Sir Vince will say.
“And all to appease a dwindling group of angry people in her party who will denounce her as a traitor, whatever she comes up with.
“But, when we feel sorry for the country’s Prime Minister, something is seriously wrong.
“Our sympathy can only extend so far, while she puts the interests of the country second to the whims of the extremists in her party.”
Sir Vince, who has announced he wants to hand over the reins of his party to the next generation, said Mrs May also needed to look at her leadership on Brexit and consider another vote.
“Even now, Theresa May could shock us all by displaying true leadership,” he said.
“She could admit that the Brexit project has gone badly wrong by conceding that the deal – any deal, or no deal – that she will bring back from Brussels is not going to be better for Britain than remaining in the European Union.
“Instead of kow-towing to her enemies in the Conservative Party, she could lead her party and the country by opening her mind to a ‘people’s vote’ on the final deal.”