Lib Dems are committed to keeping Britain in Europe

We are the only party that is united and wholehearted in our support for Britain future being at the heart of Europe - Tim Farron Read more

If elected, I would vote against triggering 'Article 50'


The high court has today ruled that only Parliament can trigger 'article 50' to leave the EU.  Until now, Prime Minister Theresa May had claimed that she could trigger article 50 using the Royal Prerogative.  She believed that she could leave the EU without winning a vote of MPs.

If elected to Parliament in an early General Election, I would vote against triggering article 50.  Leaving the EU would be a disaster for Britain, its people, the economy and the jobs it supports.  We would be worse off if we left.  But that doesn't mean we should ignore the genuine concerns of the people who voted to remain.

The referendum was very close.  52% to 48%.  So neither a Hard Brexit nor a Hard Remain properly reflects the view of the whole population.  Large sections of the public are concerned by the effects of immigration.  The pressure on jobs, on the wages of the low paid, on housing and on schools.  They feel left behind by the widening gap between the extremes of society.  But these genuine concerns cannot be fixed by Brexit.  Jobs and wages will be harmed by the damage caused leaving or watering down our free trade with Europe.  And we will be less able to afford to build the houses and school places we need with a weakened post Brexit economy.

I believe we are better off in Europe.  But we must tackle low pay, housing shortages, education pressures and unemployment.  Government should build a Britain that works for everyone.  By leaving people behind we have created this Brexit crisis for ourselves.  Leaving the EU cannot fix it.  So we must build a society where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, where everyone believes the country works for them.  But a Britain that remains open and tolerant.


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