UK Liberal Democrats to Campaign to Bring Back EU Free Movement

ESHER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Liberal Democrat Ed Davey meets activists during a rally on December 11, 2019 in Esher, England. Leaders of all the British political parties have entered their last day of campaigning for the general election before voters go to the polls tomorrow. (Photo by Chris J …
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The leader of the Liberal Democrats, which branded the Leave vote a “national humiliation”, is campaigning to bring back freedom of movement with the EU, opening up migration to an unlimited number of Europeans to live and work in the UK.

Ed Davey took over as leader of the Liberal Democrats after the party’s embarrassing losses under former leader Jo Swinson, who campaigned to force the UK to stay in the EU if they won enough seats to take control of Parliament. Without regret, after Swinson had lost her own constituency in the December 2019 poll, she said that she was “proud that Liberal Democrats were the unapologetic voice of Remain”.

As recently as May 2020, Davey was pressuring the government to delay the UK leaving the EU’s institutions — which occurred as scheduled on December 31st, 2020 — by up to two years because of the pandemic.

Now that the UK is fully independent, Sir Ed told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the party, which once formed a coalition with the Conservative Remainer David Cameron’s administration from 2010 to 2015, will not campaign to rejoin the bloc — but will push to reopen the borders with hundreds of millions of its citizens, allegedly for the benefit of Britons.

“We are not a rejoin party, but we are a very pro-European party. We believe it is in the interest of the British people, for jobs, small businesses, exporting, Scottish fishermen, for our security and for our police services that we have the closest possible relationship with our European partners, and we’ll be arguing throughout the next few months and years that Britain needs to have a far more pro-European position,” Davey said on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

Marr asked whether the UK should negotiate with the political superstate to reintroduce free movement, the Liberal Democrat leader said: “Yes, I think we should do. Free movement is a huge freedom for British people. British people work across the European Union, they travel, they live, they bring up families across the European Union.

“It is a huge freedom for our young people. I think one of the sadnesses of taking away free movement is it’s very illiberal – it is taking away that freedom from all our British people.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has distanced himself from campaigning to bring back freedom of movement, and last year said that the Brexit question was settled. But earlier this month, former shadow minister Rosie Duffield said that the “majority” of the party is “desperate” to rejoin the EU, and implied that that could become party policy under a new leader.

“I’m not giving up. All the groups that I was involved with are already calling themselves ‘Rejoiners’. They’re starting to think about that. I think, maybe it’s a little bit too soon, but we might as well start to build a movement,” Duffield said.

The former teaching assistant said the Labour MPs who backed a second referendum “haven’t gone away”, and that they would “try and shift the leadership, as and when it needs to, to shift towards rejoining”, suggesting even that a future Labour government with a more pro-EU leader should also consider joining the euro currency.


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