A Campaign Trail Update

Where British Political Parties Stand on the Ever-Present “Brexit” Dilemma

         To start, the idea of European Parliamentary elections in the UK was not even considered as legitimate until the last month-or-so, and not a concrete event until just about a week ago! As crazy as the recent developments may be, this course was chosen, and the fight is on to re-shuffle the balance of power between Jeremy Corbyn’s Labours, Theresa May’s Conservatives, and the other rising political powers in Britain. The UK Greens and UKIP are smaller, but anticipated, players in the election, with the addition of Nigel Farage’s folks and a likely large bloc of abstentions.

         Whereas it is simple to understand the benefits to “Brexiteers” of the upcoming Brexit negotiations in the EU framework, it is less clear as to how “Bremainers” and those British politicians who could be on-the-fence use Brexit to advance their agenda. MEP Nigel Farage (the aforementioned “Liar”), after remaining largely out of the spotlight post-Brexit, has created a new Brexit Party for these upcoming EU elections. Farage’s party, along with the Conservatives and UKIP are the major parties in favor of proceeding with Brexit and fully leaving the EU. Predictably, the Greens are against the entirely of Brexit, and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), of which the Labour Party is included, skirts a line between the two. S&D’s position is one of a preferred confirmatory vote across Britain to either continue with the terms of Brexit or decide against it. As of now, most within the coalition believe that a customs union with the EU is a salvageable aspect of the UK-EU relationship, respecting the Brexit vote outcome.

       It should be mentioned that these stories highlight the importance of the people’s say – your vote. It is truly said in every election, and especially in the 2017 French elections, Brexit referendums, 2016 U.S. Presidential election, but there is truth there. The power of the individual expressing themselves could not manifest itself to a further place of populism than in Trump and in Brexit. Come these May 23rd EU elections, there is a chance to reject those nationalist, populist, and nativist ideas and instead place the future of Europeans in a safer, cleaner, more equitable Union.

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