Published on Tuesday 25 April 2017 in Van News
Brexit means Brexit. No matter which way you look at it, this year's snap General Election is going to be all about the UK's decision to leave the EU. But which party will represent your views the best? Vanarama Content Editor Tom Roberts takes a look at the party positions on Brexit so you don't have to.
Let's get right into it then. Where do the key parties stand on Brexit – arguably the single most important issue of the election – and are they the party for you? I'll deal with the parties one-by-one, starting with the currently-in-charge Conservatives and beyond.
Despite campaigning to remain in the EU, PM Theresa May is now committed to leave. She has called the election to make her position stronger in negotiations arguing that a bigger majority will make it easier to get what she wants from the EU, while not having to deal with opposition in Parliament. Her plans include leaving the single market completely.
Why vote for them? On the one hand, a huge victory for the Conservatives would show the country uniting behind her vision for Brexit and strengthen her negotiating position. On the other hand, it will upset the 48% of the population that voted in the referendum to remain in the EU.
The Labour Party
Labour wanted to remain part of the EU, but now says the decision should be respected. However, they want access to the single market and workers' rights, going so far as to commit to a "day one" guarantee the rights of EU nationals working and living in the UK.
Why vote for them? They accept the results of the referendum, and now want to work for a solution that will please both sides of the argument. In their view, we're going to leave, but let's make sure we protect our interests.
The Liberal Democrats
If you're pro-EU, then the Lib Dems are probably the strongest supporters of staying a part of it, and have called The Conservatives' plans a "disastrous hard Brexit". They want access to the single market, free movement, and another referendum to be held on the final leaving deal.
Why vote for them? The want to fight with "every fibre of their being" to protect some of the things we enjoy as members of the EU. It's as simple as that.
Now the UK is actually leaving the EU, UKIP has re-styled itself as a watchdog to keep the Government on track.
Why vote for them? This party was set up with UK independence as its core aim. We're leaving now, so they want to make sure it happens.
Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, wants Scotland – which voted to remain in the EU – to get a special deal with the EU once the UK leaves. She also wants a second referendum on Scottish independence to take place before Brexit happens.
Why vote for them? All of the SNP's MPs voted against Article 50, and will remain opposed to Brexit throughout the campaign and beyond.
The Green Party
Leader Caroline Lucas wants a second referendum on the final deal reached.
Why vote for them? They are promising to fully oppose an "extreme Brexit".
The party wanted to remain in the EU, but accepts that Wales voted to leave the EU.
Why vote for them? They want single market access to help preserve Welsh jobs.
Democratic Unionist Party
The party wants to leave the EU, but keep "mutual access to our markets to pursue common interests".
Why vote for them? They want to maintain a good relationship with Europe once we leave.
The SDLP campaigned to remain a part of the EU, and its MPs voted resolutely against Article 50.
Why vote for them? They believe Article 50 was against the will of people in Northern Ireland – who voted to remain in the UK, and will maintain their vocal opposition to leaving.
The party has said the Conservatives are imposing Brexit on Ireland.
Why vote for them? They remain vocal in their opposition to Brexit and want Northern Ireland to gain a special status inside the EU.
There were mixed opinions in the Ulster Unionist ranks over whether to remain or leave.
Why vote for them? They back the result of the referendum, but want to access the single market and have no hard border with the Republic of Ireland.