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General Election 2017: the national Party Manifestos

What they say about the EU Customs Union, the Single Market, and a possible "No Deal" with the EU

The Conservative and Unionist Manifesto

“We will make sure we have certainty and clarity over our future, control of our own laws, and a more unified, strengthened United Kingdom. We will control immigration and secure the entitlements of EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU. ... We will pursue free trade with European markets, and secure new trade agreements with other countries. ...

As we leave the European Union, we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union but we will seek a deep and special partnership including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement.” (page 36)
And on the prospect of “no deal”:
"The negotiations will undoubtedly be tough, and there will be give and take on both sides, but we continue to believe that no deal is better than a bad deal for the UK. But we will enter the negotiations in a spirit of sincere cooperation and committed to getting the best deal for Britain. We will make sure we have certainty and clarity over our future, control of our own laws, and a more unified, strengthened United Kingdom. We will control immigration and secure the entitlements of EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU.” (pages 35-36)

The Labour Party Manifesto:

"We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union – which are essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. Labour will always put jobs and the economy first." (page 24) 

"Freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union. Britain’s immigration system will change, but Labour will not scapegoat migrants nor blame them for economic failures." (page 28)
And on “no deal”:
“Labour recognises that leaving the EU with ‘no deal’ is the worst possible deal for Britain and that it would do damage to our economy and trade. We will reject ‘no deal’ as a viable option and if needs be negotiate transitional arrangements to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ for the UK economy.” (page 24)

The Liberal Democrat Manifesto

"Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to give the final say to the British people in a referendum on whether to accept the deal or remain in the EU.

Keep the UK in the single market and customs union - trade must continue without damaging customs controls at the border. ...

Membership of the Single Market and Customs Union: We believe that any deal negotiated for the UK outside the EU must ensure that trade can continue without customs controls at the border; and must maintain membership of the Single Market, which smooths trade between the UK and the continent by providing a common ‘rule book’ for businesses and a common mechanism to ensure that everyone abides by the rules.

Freedom of movement. We support the principle of freedom of movement – to abandon it would threaten Britain’s prosperity and reputation as an open, tolerant society. Any deal negotiated for the UK outside the EU must protect the right to work, travel, study and retire across the EU. Any restrictions sought by the government must take account of the vital importance of EU workers to the British economy, including public services."

UKIP Manifesto:

"1 The Legal Test Parliament must resume its supremacy of law-making without restriction. Britain must be completely free from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and we must be free, if we wish, to relinquish our membership of the European Court of Human Rights.

2 The Migration Test Britain must have full control of immigration and asylum policies, and border control. We must be not be bound by any freedom of movement obligation, and we must be free to set and meet our own annual migration targets. ...

4 The Trade Test The UK must retake its seat on the World Trade Organisation and resume its sovereign right to sign trade agreements with other entities or supra-national bodies. We must have full rights to set our own tariff and non-tariff barriers consistent with WTO rules, and we must have left both the EU single market and the customs union."

The Green Party Manifesto:

"The Green Party supported the Remain campaign and continue to believe that membership of the EU makes our future more hopeful and secure.

We will demand that the terms of the final deal are closely scrutinised. We do not accept that either a "hard" Brexit or an exit from the EU without a deal is in the interests of the British people. We will be actively campaigning to safeguard jobs, uphold basic rights and put environmental protection at the heart of any future trade deals.

Our policies:

A referendum on the detail of whatever deal is negotiated for Britain's departure from the EU, with the option to reject the deal and remain in the EU.

Protect freedom of movement, press for remaining within the single market, and safeguard vital rights for people and the environment.

Immediately guarantee the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK and urgently seek reciprocal arrangements for UK citizens in the EU."