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Sunday, April 23, 2017

No Coalitions, no compromises

Tim Farron yesterday, positioned the Liberal Democrats as an independent force determined to fight for the country's best interests by opposing a hard Brexit, without being shackled to the interests of any other party.

As the Observer reports, Farron ruled out any form of coalition with the Tories or Labour after the general election. Instead he set out a bold ambition to attract enough Remain voters to form the main opposition party in parliament:

In a dramatic shift of strategy for a party that entered coalition with the Conservatives in 2010 in the “national interest”, Farron said in an interview with the Observer that there will be “no deal, no deal with anybody” under any circumstances.

He insisted that both the Tories and Labour were intent on driving through a hard Brexit, which would include taking the UK out of the single market, and that his party had a duty to offer a distinct alternative, including a policy that would keep open a possibility of the UK staying in the EU.

“There is no way we can countenance any kind of arrangement or coalition with the Conservative party and likewise with the Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn,” Farron said. “He [Corbyn] accepted hard Brexit, he voted for it. He enabled it. It has put us in the situation we are now in.”

His message positioned the Liberal Democrats as the distinctive champion of remainers: “If you want to prevent hard Brexit, want to prevent us leaving the single market, if you actually want to give the British people the final say on the terms of the as yet unknown deal, which of course would allow people to vote to remain should they wish, and if you want actually a decent, proper opposition party in this country then we have this wonderful opportunity of an incredibly clear message that nobody else has. Those people who were on the losing side need someone to speak for them.”

This statement finally puts to bed all the speculation about what happens after the election and allows the Liberal Democrats to concentrate on their core messages.
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