Anti-Brexit Parties Plan ‘Remain Alliance’ as Leavers Fail to Agree Pact

Britain's opposition Liberal Democrats party Leader, Jo Swinson, speaks during an event to launch the Liberal Democrat 2019 General Election campaign, in central London on November 5, 2019. - Britain goes to the polls on December 12 to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) …
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The leaders of the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and Plaid Cymru are reportedly close to agreeing to a Remain Alliance. The alliance seeks to swing up to 60 seats across the country to a Remain-backing MP.

Adam Price, leader of the pro-EU Welsh separatist party Plaid Cymru, said that he has held “positive discussions” with the leaders of the other two parties. The alliance would see two of the three parties stand down in certain constituencies in favour of the third party if it has the best chance of beating the Conservatives.  

Mr Price said during Plaid Cymru’s election campaign launch in comments reported in the i newspaper: “We’ve had extensive discussions, very positive discussions, over many, many weeks and months.

“We hope to be able to reach an agreement, but obviously we are still consulting with our local parties etc., and we hope to make an announcement, if we’re able to do so, very soon.”

The Liberal Democrats have also reportedly agreed to stand aside in Brighton Pavillion and the Isle of Wight for the Greens, according to The Times. Similar deals could be struck to give the Lib Dems a free run in Richmond Park and St Albans, and for Plaid Cymru to be the sole Remain party standing in Ceredigion.

Labour is not included in this proposed alliance because, while it favours a second referendum, party leader Jeremy Corbyn is not as rabidly pro-Remain as the prospective alliance, with the Liberal Democrats pushing to revoke the Article 50 treaty mechanism which triggered the Brexit process, cancelling it altogether.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson confirmed reports of the alliance, telling Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that talks were ongoing.

“The specifics of announcements will be made in due course, but it’s well understood that these discussions have been taking place,” Ms Swinson said.

“I wouldn’t necessarily assume that the numbers are accurate. I think it’s fair to say that in the vast majority of constituencies the party of Remain that is going to be best-placed to win that seat will be the Liberal Democrats,” she added.

Ms Swinson launched the Liberal Democrat campaign on Tuesday, claiming that she was running for prime minister.

“I am excited to stand as your candidate for prime minister, because a Liberal Democrat government will stop Brexit and build a brighter future,” she said.

Highlighting the liberal-progressive party’s open borders position, she continued: “Immigration is good for our country. It’s good for our public services. We all benefit from people coming here and contributing to our society… It’s about recognising that our humanity does not stop at our borders.”

Reports of a Remain Alliance come as the Conservatives and Brexit Party continue to fail to agree to a pro-Brexit pact. Tory “Spartan” Brexiteers are rallying around Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s exit treaty and appear to oppose the alliance with the Brexit Party which they previously supported.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage unveiled on Monday night hundreds of candidates, saying he will challenge the Tories across Great Britain if a deal is not struck.

The failure of the Leave side to agree to a strategic pact while the Remainers appear to be well on their way to doing so could be problematic on December 12th, election day. Politics professor and author Matthew Goodwin highlighted on Tuesday that while 77 per cent of Remain voters have said that they are absolutely certain to vote, just 64 per cent of Leavers said they feel the same.

However, The Times reported on Monday that the impact of the Remain Alliance — comprised of what are essentially fringe parties — would be a fraction of what it predicts. Polling specialist Sir John Curtice said that rather than snatching some 60 seats from other parties, the alliance may swing just six.

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