Liberal Democrats are passionate about building a Britain that is open, tolerant and united. We believe that Britain’s relationship with its neighbours is stronger as part of the European Union. Whatever its imperfections, the EU remains the best framework for working effectively and co-operating in the pursuit of our shared aims. It has led directly to greater prosperity, increased trade, investment and jobs, better security, and a greener environment. Brexit poses a real threat to jobs, security and funding for the NHS. That's why we oppose it.
The Conservatives are campaigning for an extreme Brexit. This means leaving the Single Market, ending freedom of movement, and abandoning the Customs Union. This will be bad for the economy, jobs and our country’s security. At the end of Brexit negotiations, there will be a decision on the deal. The Conservatives want the decision to be taken by politicians. Liberal Democrats believe the British people should have the final say. The people should be able to reject a bad deal.
So on June the 8th, we are asking you to think very hard about what will be best for you, your friends and family, and the area you live in. Another Tory MP, to bolster the Conservatives' majority? Another member of Labour’s hopeless and failed opposition? Another nationalist MP who only wants to break up the UK? Or a strong and passionate voice sticking up for your area, challenging Theresa May’s Conservative government and holding it to account as part of a real opposition?
We love this country. It is optimistic, good-humoured and confident. It is open, fair and finds strength through its diversity. It isn't inward looking or mean-spirited. Our young people are bright, creative and want a world that is clean and green and that the rest of us haven't wrecked.
That’s why, when the terms of our future relationship with the EU have been negotiated (over the next two years on the Government’s timetable), we will put that deal to a vote of the British people in a referendum, with the alternative option of staying in the EU on the ballot paper. We continue to believe that there is no deal as good for the UK outside the EU as the one it already has as a member. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats in this election is a vote to give the final say to the people.
This is how we will keep Scotland inside both the UK and EU single markets and are the only party in Scotland standing up for that.
During negotiations, we commit ourselves to use our strength in Parliament to press for keeping Britain as close as possible to Europe. Our priorities will include:
- protection of rights for EU citizens and UK citizens.
- Membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.
- Support for the principle of freedom of movement that recognises the vital importance of EU workers to the British economy, including public services.
- Defending social rights and equalities
- Maintaining environmental standards
- law enforcement and judicial co-operation
- British business and jobs
- Science and research funding
- Travel and tourism