There are just 7 days to go to the General Election and polls suggest the result could rest with undecided voters. Weighing up the Brexit dilemma with Party loyalty and shifting internal Party politics isn’t easy. British Election Survey found that 50% of us strongly identify with an EU referendum side, while only 17% identify to the same degree with a political Party. Yougov have reported that consequently, 13% of us (7% of men and 19% of women, reflecting gender differences in voting tendencies) are yet to decide who to vote for. What’s clear for many is that their vote must go to a Party that represents their often much clearer views on Brexit. So here’s what all of the major Parties have to say about our future with the EU:
The Conservatives’ 100 day Brexit
Today, Boris Johnson appeared on This Morning to explain how “very excited” he is about Brexit. He said that if elected with a majority, “we can be out by 31st January” and promised that a new trade agreement with the Union would be agreed “by the end of next year”. Boris has been at the forefront of the Leave campaign since the referendum began. Much of his Brexit narrative is repeated throughout the Conservative manifesto, with the phrase “Get Brexit Done” appearing 23 times throughout its 59 pages.
Labour’s final say vote
If elected, Labour have committed to immediately legislating for a final say vote. Labour’s plan is to negotiate “a sensible deal” within their first three months in office, focusing on creating a new customs union, a close single market relationship and guaranteeing rights and protections. Then, Labour will trigger another EU referendum, to ask you whether you want to remain a member of the Union or leave with their proposed deal. Jeremy Corbyn has said that he will “be an honest broker and not campaign for either side in the final say referendum”.
The Liberal Democrats to stop Brexit
The Liberal Democrats have committed to unequivocally oppose Brexit. If elected, they will revoke Article 50 and ensure the UK remains a member of the EU. In other circumstances, the Liberal Democrats say they will “continue to fight for a people’s vote with the option to stay in the EU”. The Liberal Democrats have sought to become to party of Remain throughout this election, adopting “stop Brexit” as their manifesto title and campaign slogan, and penning “EU” 87 times throughout their election manifesto. They believe that the UK should remain “at the heart of the European Union”.
SNP for Scotland to remain
Ultimately, the SNP’s objective is to secure an independent Scotland that is a full member of the EU. To reach this goal, the SNP have been campaigning to remain and are dedicated to securing another referendum on Brexit and for Article 50 to be revoked if it is the only alternative to a no-deal Brexit. In 2016, Scotland voted in favour of staying in the EU by 62% to 38%, with all 32 council areas backing Remain.
The Green Party will transform the EU
The Green Party have always been dedicated to remaining a member of the EU, with a focus on securing a people’s vote with ‘Remain’ on the ballot. But that’s not all. The Greens want to transform the European Union. They want to allow members of the EU to initiate Europe-wide legislation (something they don’t currently have the power to do), allow groups of EU citizens to propose reforms to EU treaties, increase transparency of European institutions including the European Central Bank and, amongst other things, Reform European refugee policy.
The Brexit Party
The Brexit Party wants what it says on the tin: Brexit. It will push for what Nigel Farage calls a “Clean-Break Brexit… that we were promised three and a half years ago”. A clean-break Brexit means leaving the EU with no deal. Nigel Farage told the European Union in September that only after a no deal Brexit is reached can the “grown-up conversations about trade and about the way forward… begin”.
The only thing that’s clear about this election is that it means much more than the usual General. Your vote will help to determine your parliamentary representative, the makeup of parliament and the mandate with which it will determine our future with the European Union for generations to come. Weighing up how well each party aligns to your social, economic, political and now Brexit preferences is a difficult decision but one more meaningful than ever to make.
The Whitehouse team are experts in the potential impact of Brexit, providing political consultancy and public affairs advice to a wide range of clients, not only in the United Kingdom, but also across the member states of the European Union. More information about our Brexit experience can be found here, or, if you have any questions, please contact our Chair, Chris Whitehouse, at firstname.lastname@example.org.