A LIB Dem MEP hopeful has said leaving the EU would be “the worst of all worlds”.

Chris Bowers, who is running for the South East in the European Parliament elections on Thursday, said the idea the UK is better off outside the EU is “preposterous”.

However, unlike the Greens and Change UK, the candidate declined to trade barbs with fellow pro-EU parties.

He claimed the Lib Dems had always wanted to set up a pro-

Remain alliance, a claim which the Green Party rejects amid infighting in the pro-EU camp.

Mr Bowers said: “I don’t want to get in a shouting match with the other parties. We could get 16 seats altogether if we had one pro-Remain party running in the whole of the UK.

“We’ve always wanted an alliance, our leader Vince Cable has pushed for one, but the other parties declined.

“Still, with our share of the vote in the South East, we could get two or maybe even three seats here.”

Mr Bowers added the Lib Dems “aren’t scared” of openly campaigning for a second referendum, despite the rise of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.

The Lib Dem candidate, who has stood for Parliament in Brighton Pavilion several times, called Mr Farage a “clever operator”.

He said: “Three years ago he made a load of promises and slowly they backtracked and said they weren’t possible, which ultimately got a lot of people angry.

“Now he’s doing it again, and he’s got a lot of support.

“Support for Brexit is very unsafe. Vote Leave were fined £60,000 for overspending and I think it’s clear they misled people.

“Leaving the EU would be the worst of all worlds. The idea that we could be better outside the EU than in it is preposterous.”

Mr Bowers also criticised Labour for its inconsistent position on Brexit, a charge echoed by Change UK candidate and former Brighton and Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan.

He said: “The majority of the membership and their MPs clearly want a second vote, but the leadership doesn’t share their view.

“Labour is a Leave party at the end of the day.”

Current polling trends show the Brexit Party firmly in the lead, with Labour lingering behind.

Though the Conservatives are languishing in third place, the Lib Dems have been tipped to overtake them.

One poll last week showed the Green Party above the Tories heading into the EU elections.