Statement from our Chair on general election plans - European Movement
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Statement from our Chair on general election plans

Message from our chair, Stephen Dorrell, on our plans for the upcoming election.

Our central message in this election is that Europe trumps party. We say that not because we are citizens of nowhere, but because we believe that the drift towards nationalist isolation represents a fundamental threat to British interests.

Over the last seventy years there have been disagreements between the parties over both domestic and foreign policy, but no mainstream party has questioned the principle that our interests are best served by full and active engagement in the affairs of the continent in which we live.

That is not just a matter of economics. Britain has argued for the development of both the European Customs Union and, more importantly, the European Single Market – because both these projects underwrite the economic success of all European societies, including our own. But our engagement with Europe is about much more than that.

When Churchill spoke at the foundation of the European Movement in 1947 he said:

“Mutual aid in the economic field and joint military defence must inevitably be accompanied step by step with a parallel policy of closer political unity. It is said with truth that this involves some sacrifice or merger of national sovereignty. But it is also possible and not less agreeable to regard it as the gradual assumption by all the nations concerned of that larger sovereignty which can alone protect their diverse and distinctive customs and characteristics”.  

If that was true in 1947, how much more true is it in today’s world of instant communication and globalization?

But it is precisely that principle which is threatened by Brexit.

That is why the European Movement is joining with others to argue that, in this election, our future relationship with the rest of Europe is more important than party label.

We accept of course, as a matter of fact, that Article 50 has been triggered and Britain is engaged in a negotiation to leave the EU. We do not accept, however that this outcome is either inevitable or desirable.

The General Election will create a new mandate for the new Parliament. We believe that this mandate should require the Government to demonstrate, every step of the way, how they believe the Brexit process benefits Britain’s national interests; we also believe that it should require every member of the House of Commons to maintain an open mind about the outcome.

During the campaign we shall therefore challenge all candidates to show that they maintain an open mind about the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, and that they are willing in principle to vote for Britain to remain a member of the EU if it becomes clear that this is the best way to secure Britain’s national interest.

Speaking personally, I am what I have always been – a One Nation Conservative. But I cannot support candidates who rule out continued membership of the EU before seeing what alternative is available.

I therefore call on supporters of all political parties, and of none, to join with the European Movement in challenging all candidates to commit themselves publicly to maintain an open mind about the Brexit negotiations and to be willing in principle to support our continued membership of the EU if they believe this is the best way to secure Britain’s national interest.

Stephen Dorrell
Chair of European Movement UK

 

Our target seats are as follows:

CONSTITUENCY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT REASON FOR CAMPAIGNING
Belfast East Gavin Robinson Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Bishop Auckland Helen Goodman Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Brecon and Radnorshire Christopher Davies Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Bristol North West Charlotte Leslie Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Carshalton and Wallington Tom Brake Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Chingford and Woodford Green Iain Duncan Smith Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Chipping Barnet Theresa Villiers Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Eastbourne Caroline Ansell Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Edinburgh South Ian Murray Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Enfield Southgate David Burrowes Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Exeter Ben Bradshaw Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Gower Byron Davies Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Hazel Grove William Wragg Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Hendon Matthew Offord Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Hove Peter Kyle Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Ilford North Wes Streeting Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Kensington Lady Victoria Borwick Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Kingston and Surbiton James Berry Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Leicester West Liz Kendall Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Lewes Maria Caulfield Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Newcastle upon Tyne North Catherine McKinnell Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
North Norfolk Norman Lamb Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Oxford West and Abingdon Nicola Blackwood Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Penistone and Stocksbridge Angela Smith Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Pontypridd Owen Smith Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Sedgefield Phil Wilson Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Sheffield Hallam Nick Clegg Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Southampton Test Alan Whitehead Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
St Ives Derek Thomas Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Sutton and Cheam Paul Scully Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Thornbury and Yate Luke Hall Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Vauxhall Kate Hoey Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Wakefield Mary Creagh Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Wells James Heappey Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
Wirral South Alison McGovern Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Wolverhampton South East Pat McFadden Strong Remain candidate under threat from Brexit candidate
Wycombe Steve Baker Hard Brexit MP challenged by Remain candidate
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Showing 2 reactions

commented 2017-06-12 12:47:20 +0100
I have had strong reservations about leaving the EU despite irritation about the silly, bitty things they want to interfere with, but I viewed leaving with horror feeling that chaos would ensue. I am happy to read the knowledgeable message from from your chair, putting into words many of my unspecified fears. I value the environment, farming, fishing, human rights all buttressed by the economy. Simon Schama said in a TV interview we need social decency. I agree!
commented 2017-05-17 13:21:41 +0100
Name the parties. Time to be explicit.