What the 2019 Liberal Democrat manifesto says about Brexit

The giveaway clue is the title of the document issued today – Stop Brexit: Build a Brighter Future.

The introduction to the manifesto then summarises the party’s position thus:

“We are unashamedly fighting to stay in the European Union, and we are the strongest party of Remain. We believe that our best future as a country is as a member of the European Union. Any form of Brexit will damage our economy, put jobs at risk, hurt our NHS and put our family of nations under enormous strain. There is no Brexit deal that will ever be as good as the deal we currently have as a member of the European Union.”

And just in case you hadn’t got the message, the first substantive chapter of the manifesto is a two-and-a-half page chapter entitled… ‘Stop Brexit’. It opens by saying:

“Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit and stay in the European Union. For over three years Liberal Democrats have led the fight to stop Brexit. We campaigned to stay in the EU in 2016 and we unequivocally believe that the UK is stronger as part of the EU.

“The election of a Liberal Democrat majority government on a clear stop Brexit platform will provide a democratic mandate to stop this mess, revoke Article 50 and stay in the EU. In other circumstances, we will continue to fight for a people’s vote with the option to stay in the EU, and in that vote we would passionately campaign to keep the UK in the EU.”

The document claims that “electing a Liberal Democrat government is the only way to get the Brexit process over” and that under a Conservative government there remains “a very high chance of Britain crashing out and trying to survive
on so-called ‘WTO terms’”.

The manifesto asserts that “there is no doubt that full membership of the EU is good for the British economy” and that Brexit will prevent “the smooth flow of goods that complex industrial supply chains require”, claiming that “UK manufacturers are already reporting that export orders have dried up”. It goes on to claim that “there is no prospect of replacing lost EU markets with free trade agreements with other countries thousands of miles away”.

The document states that “by stopping Brexit, Liberal Democrats will protect and maintain freedom of movement, safeguarding the rights of UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU and EU citizens in the UK”. It goes further on citizens’ rights and proposes that EU citizens in the UK “should be afforded the right to full participation in civic life, including the ability to stand for office and vote in UK referendums, European elections and general elections as well as local elections”. The Lib Dems say they would extend these rights to all EU citizens who have lived in the UK for five years or longer. On this issue, they add: 

“To ensure that EU citizens are not denied their vote in any election or referendum, we will also implement urgent electoral law reform, in line with the Electoral Commission’s 2014 recommendations, including introducing a legal requirement for councils to inform citizens of the steps they must take to be successfully registered and making the necessary changes to ensure that the UK has an automatic system of inclusion in elections.”

The chapter concludes by describing Brexit as a “national humiliation” and claiming that staying in the EU would result in a “Remain Bonus of £50 billion to invest in public services and tackle inequality”.



The post What the 2019 Liberal Democrat manifesto says about Brexit appeared first on BrexitCentral.

* This article was originally published here


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