General Election – Brexit

In the second part of our election breakdown, we look at a topic which has come to the fore over the last year, and is now seen as one of the make or break issues in the election.

  • Last updated Aug 12, 2019 3:28:53 PM
  • by Jack J Collins, Editor of AllAboutLaw.co.uk
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Image courtesy of Josh Krohn

Brexit is going to affect every single person in the UK in some way or other, and so it’s crucial to look at what each party wants to do with the showdown talks and the deals it makes with the EU. Here’s what they are promising.

Conservatives

  • No second referendum
  • Leaving the single market
  • Hard Brexit

Whilst Theresa May campaigned for Remain, she is now fully behind the Brexit processes and says there can be no going back on the decision made in the referendum.

In fact, the reason May gave for calling this election was that she wanted to get the mandate of the people and strengthen her hand in EU negotiations. May plans on completely withdrawing the UK from the European single market and building a new trade deal.

Whilst the Conservatives were split over the referendum, with two clear sides, more MPs actually backed Remain than Leave in the end. That said, when it came to invoking Article 50 back in February, only one Tory went against the party, showing that they have come round to support May’s hard Brexit campaign.

Labour

  • No second referendum
  • Prioritise trade with the EU, stay in the customs union
  • Replace Great Repeal Bill with EU Rights and Protections Bill

Sir Kier Starmer is the Shadow Brexit Secretary, and he has fundamentally ruled out a second referendum under a Labour government, stating instead that the Labour Party would accept the will of the people on the condition that certain conditions were met, such as workers’ rights being enshrined and access to the single market.

In fact, Labour is very much in favour of a soft Brexit, which would look to prioritise trade with the EU, staying in the customs market and giving EU citizens a guarantee that they would be allowed to remain in the UK.

There’s also the matter of the Great Repeal Bill, which Labour want to get rid of, replacing it with an EU Rights and Protections Bill. Labour’s alternative would be able to transfer the securities of workers’ rights and environmental rulings into UK law in a more secure manner.

Liberal Democrats

  • Commitment to another referendum on the Brexit deal
  • Completely opposed to a hard Brexit
  • Remain in the single market

The Lib Dems have stood as the ‘party for the 48%’ – centering their campaign around the idea of a second referendum on Brexit which would include an option to reverse the decision and remain in the EU.

Tim Farron has explicitly said that campaigning against May’s ‘Hard Brexit’ will be the main focus of his campaign and he has demanded that the UK remain in the single market, as well as asking for a vote on the final deal between the UK and the EU.

Green Party

  • Second referendum on Brexit deal
  • Allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in Brexit referendum
  • Full opposition to hard Brexit

Caroline Lucas has called for a complete second referendum on the deal that Westminster strikes with Brussels, and they want 16 and 17 year olds to be able to vote in this referendum as it is something which affects their futures.

The Greens have promised a full opposition to a hard Brexit and would ultimately like to see the decision reversed.

UKIP

  • Ensuring the government does not backtrack on Brexit
  • Full independence from single market and customs union
  • Vowed to ‘hold the government’s feet to the fire’ on Brexit

UKIP’s anti-EU message is the same as ever, and Paul Nuttall has argued that he will not let the government slide away from the people’s decision in the June referendum.

Nuttall said that UKIP will ‘hold the government’s feet to the fire’ in all things related to the EU, and as you might expect, the party are in favour of a full, hard Brexit where Britain leaves the single market, customs union and all other entities based in Brussels. 

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