Speaking on Twitter, Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats – who have always been unequivocally pro-European integration – announced today that at the next General Election, they would stand on a platform of remaining in the EU. There are two possible ways this could happen:
- The next Conservative Leader either forces a vote of no confidence in himself, passes a vote in Parliament for an early General Election, or repeals the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – these would all mean an early General Election, which would probably happen before leaving the EU actually happens, causing the Lib Dems to just ignore the result.
- The UK leaves the EU and the Lib Dems campaign on a platform of re-joining the EU
This move has been identified as incredibly risky, and would either bring great successes to the Liberal Democrats in areas like Lewes, which voted to Remain and where they used to have seats, or it could alienate voters in places like Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency, which is part of Leave-voting Sheffield.
We contacted Pippa Hepworth, North West Regional Chair of the party’s youth wing, the Young Liberals, for comment:
“I am so proud to be a Liberal Democrat right now. I am glad that our party is united on this issue and making this pledge has and will give the 48.1% a reason not to lose all hope! Personally, I think Tim’s announcement has been the silver lining to the cloud currently over my head, it’s given me hope a for future restoration of our role in the EU, and the confidence to not stop campaigning for what I believe in.”
“For many millions of people, this was not just a vote about Europe. It was a howl of anger at politicians and institutions who they felt they were out of touch and had let them down.
“The British people deserve the chance not to be stuck with the appalling consequences of a Leave campaign that stoked that anger with the lies of Farage, Johnson and Gove.
“The Liberal Democrats will fight the next election on a clear and unequivocal promise to restore British prosperity and role in the world, with the United Kingdom in the European Union, not out. If you agree with us, join us to make this happen.”