There's only one way to end Brexit mess for good – vote for us and we'll revoke Article 50

It was not a final decision, but the start of a process – a process that has taken far longer and cost far more than we were ever told it would

Ed Davey
Tuesday 10 September 2019 12:34
Revoke Article 50 as no time left for second referendum, says Change UK's Chuka Umunna

Liberal Democrats have been fighting to stop Brexit for more than three years. We have argued, and still argue, for a Final Say referendum to let the British people sort out the impasse in Parliament.

I still think we can win that second referendum in this Parliament. But, if we don’t, then it looks like the other parties will try to settle Brexit by a general election. And that’s why I am looking forward to debating our response to a Brexit general election at our party conference this weekend.

If voters back is at the next election, Liberal Democrats will make the Brexit mess stop. Immediately. We will revoke Article 50, and keep the UK in the EU.

Liberal Democrats are proud to be the main UK political party leading the Remain campaign. Being pro-EU is in our DNA: internationalism, tearing down walls rather than building them, is at the heart of who we are as a party. At a time when nationalism and authoritarianism are rearing their ugly heads we will speak up and defend these values with all our might.

Choosing to adopt a policy of a People’s Vote with the option to stay in the EU after the referendum result was a bold decision – but it was the right one. The ballot paper we were all faced with in 2016 did not have any details about what Brexit would look like; about what it would mean for the Irish border, for our NHS, or for EU citizens.

It was not a final decision, but the start of a process – a process that has taken far longer and cost far more than we were ever told it would

So whatever for Brexit eventually takes (and at this stage that's anyone’s guess) it must be put back to the people. That is why we have always argued for a Final Say on the deal, and it is why we are now arguing that if, instead of a referendum, the other parties insist on a general election, then a Liberal Democrat majority government, elected on an unequivocal "Stop Brexit" manifesto, would move immediately to revoke Article 50.

If we win that election it would give us a clear democratic mandate to bring an end to this mess and stop Brexit. We will have gone back to the people. Labour and the Tories will put their red and blue versions of Brexit forward, and the Liberal Democrats will be clear about stopping Brexit and keeping the UK together.

We are ready to go. This year alone we have fought the local elections, the European elections, and a number of by-elections on our Stop Brexit message and we have done incredibly well. We have gained councillors, MEPs, an MSP, and many fantastic new MPs too. We are the UK’s biggest, strongest Remain party, and we’re a long way from done.

Working with Remainers across the country and from different parties we have fought tirelessly to stop a catastrophic no-deal. But we are clear that the fight does not stop here. Liberal Democrats will not rest until we have stopped Brexit.

Under Theresa May and Boris Johnson, aided and abetted by Jeremy Corbyn, Brexit has become a national embarrassment. Corbyn is a lifelong Brexiter and Johnson a lifelong charlatan. Neither should be trusted with the future of this country.

I look forward to debating this motion at our party Conference this weekend. Under this new policy, a Liberal Democrat majority government with Jo Swinson as our prime minister will not renegotiate Brexit. We will bring an end to this mess. We will keep the UK united and in the EU. When we go to the polls in a General Election, we will be clear: vote Liberal Democrat to stop Brexit.

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