Liberal Democrats have released a manifesto for the upcoming European elections under the uncompromising title “Bollocks to Brexit”.
Leader Sir Vince Cable said his party were going into the May 23 poll as “the strongest Remain voice”, with an “unambiguous and honest” message of halting the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Campaigners who find the Anglo-Saxon terminology on the manifesto cover a little too earthy will be able to use an alternative edition with the more polite message “Stop Brexit”.
Sir Vince said that the manifesto amounted to a “blueprint for what the UK could achieve if Brexit was stopped”.
It includes calls for:
– Europe to adopt a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050;
– An emergency £7.5 billion support fund for those affected by Brexit uncertainty;
– The extensions of rights for EU citizens in the UK including the ability to stand and vote in elections.
The manifesto includes a reference to Gibraltar and the party’s line-up for the forthcoming election includes a Gibraltarian candidate, Luke Stagnetto.
“These are the only elections where Liberal Democrat representatives can be elected for Gibraltar – as part of the South West region,” the manifesto states.
“The people of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly for the Liberal Democrats in the 2014 European elections (67%) and we pledge to continue to support their rights in Europe and to self-determination.”
Speaking ahead of the official launch of the document, Sir Vince said: “Brexit is a failed project, which must now be stopped so our country and the whole of Europe can get on with dealing with the big challenges we face.”
“The Conservatives have let their internal feud divide the country while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has sat out the biggest issue facing our country in decades.”
“Liberal Democrats are unambiguous and honest: we want to stop Brexit.”
“Only as members of the EU can we take the big steps we need on climate change, protect consumers and build a strong economy.”
“Our manifesto sets out a clear and positive vision for the UK within the EU, and we can achieve it by stopping Brexit.”
“The Liberal Democrats, with over 100,000 members and 2,500 councillors across the country, are the strongest Remain voice going into the European Elections.”
“Every Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit.”
Liberal Democrats are facing a battle for pro-Remain votes in England with the Greens and the new Change UK party set up by defectors from the Conservative and Labour parties, after proposals for a joint ticket came to nothing.
In Scotland and Wales, the SNP and Plaid Cymru are also standing on pro-EU platforms.