Tag Archives: european elections 2019. liberal democrat manifesto

Stopping Brexit and beyond – the Lib Dem European election manifesto is out!


The very first line of the Liberal Democrats’ European election manifesto says exactly what we want to do:

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit and stay in the European Union.

For the first time in a long time, we are off the leash. We are fighting an election saying exactly what we want and not dressing it up in nuance and equivocation.

We’ll look at each section of the manifesto in more detail over the next few days. It looks at what our MEPs will do if we succeed in stopping Brexit. Which is a good idea, because if we do manage to stop this nonsense, we’ll need to get a lot better at communicating what they are doing and how that benefits all of us.

The introductory section packs a punch, setting out our internationalist values:

The Liberal Democrats’ vision for Britain is a country that has remained at the heartof a dynamic European Union. A country where everyone can afford somewhere tolive, in a safe, clean and friendly neighbourhood. A country where high-quality health and social care, good-quality childcare, lifelong education, reliable transport and clean air are all part of a contract between government and citizens. A country with a new politics – taking on entrenched power and privilege and delivering a fair deal for everyone.

I like the use of the word friendly, there. It’s a very warm, active word. It conjures up images of people talking to each other, helping each other out, of kindness. It’s a powerful concept and so much better than the horrible politics of “it’s their fault you haven’t got.”

Turning to the Government and official opposition, the manifesto does not mince its words:

Theresa May doesn’t care about Remainers – and doesn’t care about those who voted leave either. For almost three years she has been obsessed with trying to buyoff the right wing of the Conservative party…

…The deal she has put on the table shows just how damaging and costly Brexit will be, in contrast to the lies peddled by the Leave campaign. It is also clear that many of the reasons driving people to vote leave – worries about funding of the health service, anger at rising inequalities across the country, the feeling of being left behind – will not be solved by Brexit; indeed, they will all be worsened.

The Conservatives have spent half a decade trying to please UKIP and Nigel Farage. Jeremy Corbyn has his own Brexit vision: instead of opposing it, he wants to deliver it. The fact is that whether Labour Red or Tory Blue, Brexit is bad for the UK.

The manifesto goes on to set out what would happen if we did manage to stop Brexit. It includes calls for Europe to adopt a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050, for an emergency £7.5 billion Support Fund for those affected by Brexit uncertainty and the extensions of rights for EU citizens in the UK including the ability to stand and vote in elections.

Ahead of the launch tonight, Vince said:

Posted in Op-eds | 50 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTony Greaves 19th May - 10:09pm
    Thanks for posting this - it's reminded me to put it in my diary!
  • User AvatarMichael 1 19th May - 10:04pm
    @Jayne Mansfield Jenkins made, as one would expect from him made a very elegant argument for his system and there have been top-up systems introduced...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 19th May - 9:04pm
    @John Marriott Heseltine did mention standing as a "Conservative and National Liberal", I think, in a recent interview but it was I think more a...
  • User AvatarGlenn 19th May - 9:02pm
    The second one isn't me
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 19th May - 8:39pm
    @ Glenn, Have you started talking to yourself?
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 19th May - 8:25pm
    Good points Katharine. We should only promise what we are certain we can deliver. At the same time there has to a vision of a...