Change UK sets out European election manifesto

Change UK has set out its European election manifesto, expanding on policies outside Brexit.

The new political party has outlined its vision for what remaining in the EU would look like for health, climate change, defence and the economy.

The Charter for Remain details how the UK could use its membership of the EU to push for change on domestic and international issues.

Speaking at the launch in Birmingham, Change UK leader Heidi Allen is expected to say her party is an alternative to the “broken politics” of the Conservative and Labour parties.

“Our politics is broken, with the two main parties so preoccupied with their own self-preservation that they are no longer working in the national interest,” she will say.

“Meanwhile, Brexit, the biggest symbol of our broken system, continues to consume our country and divide our communities.

“Politics doesn’t need to be like this. And today, we are setting out an alternative.

“We believe the best way forward for our country is to fight to remain in the EU – and to achieve that, we need a People’s Vote.”

Independent Group MPs
Independent Group MPs (left to right) Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Chuka Umunna, Heidi Allen and Ann Coffey (Yui Mok/PA)

However, Ms Allen said fixing Brexit was “just the start” and her party wanted to build on those foundations to tackle issues around prosperity, medicine, the environment and security.

The five pledges are:

– Remain in Europe – with a commitment that Change UK MEPs will seek to amend any Brexit deal presented to the European Parliament so it must be subject to a People’s Vote, not voting for any Brexit proposal if the British public themselves have not approved it.

– Remain Prosperous – with a pledge to fight Brexit austerity and support continued free movement across the EU area.

– Remain Healthy – voting to reinstate the UK as a full decision-maker in the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and retaining vital healthcare professionals essential for our NHS.

– Remain United on Climate Change – with a stretch target ambition for reaching carbon “net zero” emissions by 2045, transition from petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, and phase out of non-essential single-use plastics by 2025.

– Remain Stronger in the World – supporting multilateral institutions including the EU, but also Nato and the United Nations, and seeking new institutional solutions to tackle global challenges including tax avoidance, internet safety and climate change.

Ms Allen will add: “Today we are setting out a positive vision for how Britain can remain prosperous, by retaining freedom of movement.

“How Britain can remain healthy, by reclaiming our leading place in the EMA and being open to the international talent our NHS needs to continue to excel.

“How we can remain united on climate change, with an ambition to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2045, and how we can remain stronger in the world, by proudly resuming our status as a leading member of the global community.

“We believe it’s time for change. It’s time for Change UK.”

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