I have to thank the stupidity of a friend for motivating me to write this article. The other night, we were casually multi-tasking by playing FIFA and talking about the snap general election (as you do), when he suddenly said he’s voting Conservative. I should point out that this wasn’t my problem. My problem was his reasoning: “Because they’re most likely to win.” What? Pause the game. I wondered how such a myopic answer could exist. Politics is not about glory hunting, but about finding the best compromise between opposing viewpoints – a principle entirely lacking in his reasoning.
In the upcoming snap general election, whoever you vote for, I urge you to vote for what you believe in – whether that’s Theresa May’s Conservatives, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, or some independent pledging to reduce the price of Freddos (there’s always one). If you are part of the 48 per cent who voted against Brexit – or, more specifically, part of the 21 per cent who want to reverse the entire Article 50 process – then you must at least consider voting for the Liberal Democrats. Corbyn’s Labour isn’t doing enough to stand up to these deluded Tory Brexiteers, who, if given a landslide supermajority in the next election, will pursue a hard Brexit.
All that the Tories offer (which Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer uncritically gave the nod to) is a parliamentary vote on the final deal, in a kind of take it or leave it ploy, whereas the Lib Dems pledge to force a referendum on the terms of Brexit. Prime Minister May claims this snap general election will provide her and her party with a mandate to finalise Brexit, if they are to secure a further five years. But the only true mandate on any resulting Brexit deal that can be gained is by bypassing the distorting effects of representative democracy and letting the British people decide via referendum. Moreover, this will ensure that whoever has the keys to No 10 from the 8th of June keeps one eye on the desires of the whole of the UK during the negotiation process, and not just on the 52 per cent who wanted to sever our relationship with the EU. Brexit should not be dictated by the tyranny of the majority.
You may understandably have reservations about Tim Farron’s ability to stop a hard Brexit. After all, the Lib Dems are currently polling 12 per cent, compared to the Conservatives’ 48 per cent and Labour’s 25 per cent. However, the Lib Dems are a reviving threat to the Tories: they had a surge in membership by 1,000 in the hour following May’s U-turn snap election announcement; they have been electorally strong in council elections; and their anti-Brexit stance brought them their ninth MP in the Richmond Park by-election last year.
If you want to stop a hard Brexit which will cost the UK £200 billion over 15 years (cue more cuts to our already-in-the-gutter public services) and which only 32 per cent of Britons think will be good for Britain, then turn to the Lib Dems. They are the only party who can stop a calamitous hard Brexit. If you are a Remainer or are experiencing Regrexit, the 8th of June is your chance to make the best of a bad situation. Make sure you vote. And maybe even consider casting that vote for the Liberal Democrats.
You can register to vote at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote