In June last year, the EU referendum saw ‘leave’ voters win by a small percentage, leaving the country divided and seeing the then-Prime Minister, David Cameron, resign. Here’s what we know so far about where the main political parties in the UK stand on Brexit.
The Conservative Prime Minister and former Home Secretary Theresa May previously supported the ‘remain’ side in the EU referendum, but after the votes were counted, she made it clear that she will uphold democracy, saying that there will be no turning back. ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is one of her catchphrases; she called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations, in which she has plans to strike a new trade deal and withdraw Britain from the single market. As a party, there were more Tory MPs in favour of Remain during the referendum, but like their leader, they have switched sides after the vote. Listen out for more of their common phrases and have some fun with the election by playing Snap Election Bingo from Ladbrokes.
The Tory’s main rivals Labour similarly backed Remain and campaigned against Brexit during the referendum, but now agree that the decision by UK voters to leave must be honoured and upheld. However, contrary to the Conservatives, Labour plan to negotiate with the EU to remain in the single market and promise to guarantee the continued rights of EU citizens living in the UK, along with the rights of UK citizens who are still living in the EU. Although the party has rejected the idea of a second referendum should they win the election, they will allow MPs more of a decision regarding what happens once negotiations are complete.
This political party is very strongly pro-EU and their manifesto pledges to fight to stop what they describe as a ‘disastrous’ hard Brexit. They promise to work to protect the existing aspects of EU membership and are also suggesting a second referendum, which will be held on the basis of the deal struck between the UK and EU.
The Green Party
Similar to the Lib Dems, the Green Party has also called for a second EU referendum once the UK comes to a Brexit deal with Brussels. They have promised a full opposition to what they see as an ‘extreme Brexit’ and want the current rights of EU citizens living in the UK to be protected at the least.
As the party that overwhelmingly backed Leave during the EU referendum, UKIP is hoping to take votes from Labour in areas that mainly voted to Leave, and have promised to ‘hold the government’s feet to the fire’ when it comes to Brexit.
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