EU elections 2019: Where do the parties stand on Brexit and other key issues?

It wasn't meant to happen, but the UK's ongoing Brexit delay means voters will join the rest of the EU in having a say in the 2019 European elections.

The race has led to a mixture of pitches to secure support at the polls on May 23 to elect MEPs to the European Parliament - ranging from a single pledge card to a 24-page manifesto.

Unsurprisingly, Brexit dominates, with the main political parties split between calls for a second referendum, an immediate withdrawal or changes to the PM's existing exit deal.

Here, in alphabetical order profile, is where the main players stand on Britain's EU departure and all other key policy areas.

Brexit Party

The breakaway party founded by former Ukip leader Nigel Farage was established for the single objective of seeing through UK's exit from the European Union.

The party has issued a 'pledge card' rather than a manifesto, outlining its main priorities. It opposes any deal agreed by the Conservatives and Labour and pledges to "push for Brexit on World Trade Organisation terms", i.e. the 'no deal scenario'. It says the higher tariff WTO Brexit is a "huge opportunity - not something to fear".

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, campaigning at Sugar Hut in Brentwood, Essex. Credit: PA

The party also vows not to pay the £39bn divorce payment to settle EU debts, calling it a "ransom", and wants any elected MEPs to have a "major role" in Brexit negotiations.

The party is opposed to a second referendum, saying it is honouring the wishes of the 17.4 million people who voted to Leave in 2016's public vote.

The party has not issued a detailed list of other policies, but says achieving Brexit would see the UK "take control of our laws, borders and trade, invest in the future of our regions, take full control of our fishing" and "cut the cost of living".

Change UK

The breakaway group of 11 former Labour and Conservative MPs who formed The Independent Group in Parliament has rebranded as Change UK to run on an anti-Brexit ticket.

The party's candidates are campaigning for a 'People's Vote' - a second referendum on any Brexit deal - with the clear aim to overturn the first result.

Its manifesto is therefore a 'Charter for Remain'. The party says staying in the EU is the only way for Britain to remain prosperous and healthy, and occupy a strong position in the world.

Chuka Umunna speaks during a Change UK rally at Church House in Westminster, London. Credit: PA

The party wants to preserve free movement of people across the EU, "fight Brexit austerity" and "advocate fair trade deals for the UK as part of the EU".

The party has pledged to work to reform the EU. It also prioritises NHS funding and recruitment and makes a series of pledges to tackle climate change.


The governing party says it is "committed to seriously and responsibly delivering" Brexit and promises the public they can make a "vote to leave the EU with a deal as soon as possible" by backing Tory candidates.

Theresa May's party has pledged to continue to work on a Brexit agreement which can gain a majority in the House of Commons, after a trio of meaningful votes rejected the PM's EU-agreed deal.

Conservative MEP candidates flanked Theresa May at a low-key Tory campaign event in Bristol. Credit: PA

The party has not published a European election manifesto but has issued an official campaign leaflet, declaring it the "only party which can get Brexit done".

It says its "workable" Brexit deal will "take back control" of money, laws and borders, guarantee Britain leaves the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy and protect jobs, security and "our United Kingdom".

The Conservatives are opposed to a second referendum and are committed to getting a deal through Parliament before MEPs would sit in the European Parliament in July.

Green Party

The Greens have a three-pronged pledge at the European elections: "To get us out of the Brexit mess, to stop climate change before it is too late and to rebuild our communities."

Its manifesto calls for another referendum - with the aim of mobilising a "positive, pro-European movement" to vote to remain in the EU.

The party says staying in Europe is "part of the solution" to rebuilding Britain's communities, which have been "dismantled by privatisation" and "hollowed out by corporations".

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas speaks to students during a recent climate change protest in Brighton. Credit: PA

The party vows to "recharge the fight against climate change" and work towards a net-zero-emissions economy, to be Carbon Neutral by 2030, while tackling the arms trade and going nuclear free. It is campaigning to "transform" public transport in favour of trains over planes.

The Greens also pledge to "tax the rich" and fight corporate tax evasion and avoidance, to "end poverty everywhere" with fair pay protected by European legislation and to "stand with migrants" by expanding the refugee and asylum policy. It has also pledged to "put joy back into our politics".


Jeremy Corbyn's party is campaigning to honour the result of the 2016 referendum and work to leave Europe. It wants the UK to stay "close and cooperative with the EU" and in a permanent customs union, which puts it in opposition to Theresa May's EU-agreed deal.

The party has pledged to push for a general election if the Tories can't negotiate and present a deal it can support, with the fall-back option of a second referendum.

Jeremy Corbyn launched his party's campaign at the University of Kent in Chatham. Credit: PA

The Labour manifesto says it is the "only party trying to bring our country back together" and lists a series of policies to "transform Britain and Europe, for the many not the few".

These include ending austerity, investing in communities, protecting industries and worker rights, opposing or reversing privatisation and increasing tax among top earners and corporations, while protecting and promoting equality.

On climate change, the party pledges to move towards majority renewable energy by 2030 and zero carbon emissions by 2050 to make the UK a "leader for action in Europe", while banning fracking.

Liberal Democrats

The party's central aim is presented on the first page of its manifesto, with a banner proclaiming: "Stop Brexit." It wants to do so by holding a second referendum and campaigning for a majority remain vote to overturn the 2016 majority.

Its "Liberal Democrat Vision for Britain in Europe" focuses on tackling climate change (for Britain to be zero-carbon by 2045) and inequalities and developing the "best health and education systems in the world".

Sir Vince Cable during the launch of the Liberal Democrat campaign for European elections at the Dock Gallery in London. Credit: PA

The party are committed to freedom of movement within the EU, fighting discrimination and promoting equality and gender rights.

The Lib Dems also plan to work to make EU institutions more democratic and efficient, with greater transparency on negotiations and voting. The party vows to reform the Common Agricultural Policy and defend Britain's fishing industry.

The party also pledges to create an "emergency Brexit Support Fund" of more than £7.5 billion to support businesses affected by Brexit "uncertainty".

Northern Ireland parties

The Democratic Unionists and Ulster Unionists are both campaigning for Brexit to be fulfilled, but with the controversial Irish border backstop policy removed from Theresa May's EU-agreed exit deal.

Sinn Féin, conversely, wants to remain in the EU with Northern Ireland given special status.

Sinn Féin and the DUP are directly opposed on Brexit. Credit: PA

The Alliance Party backs another referendum in a bid to campaign to remain, while the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) wants Brexit stopped by revoking Article 50, which triggered the countdown to exit.

The race in Northern Ireland includes candidates from the Conservatives, Green Party and Ukip.

Plaid Cymru

The Welsh party wants a "Final Say" referendum, pitting a Brexit deal against the choice of Wales remaining in the EU.

It will campaign for the latter.

Its ultimate goal remains for Wales to "have its own voice" and become "a member in our own right".

Adam Price won the Plaid Cymru leadership contest last September. Credit: PA

The party's manifesto includes green plans to use 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and a call for a five-year, £5 billion "transformative economic plan" to spread prosperity across the nation and reach more deprived communities.

Plaid Cymru also pledges to keep youth access to European exchange programmes and the EU railcard, plus an update to the Welsh migration system with a new advisory service.


The Scottish National Party is campaigning for another EU referendum, with its preferred option to remain on the ballot paper.

Nicola Sturgeon has accused Westminster of ignoring the "overwhelming vote in Scotland" in 2016 to stay in the EU and committed her party to working with other parties to "stop Brexit". The party said it will support the revoking of Article 50 if no other alternative to a no-deal Brexit emerges.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the launch of the SNP European election campaign at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. Credit: PA

The SNP manifesto - entitled 'Scotland for Europe' - includes promises to push to reform the Common Fisheries Policy while making the Common Agricultural Policy "simpler, more flexible and focused on the outcomes that are delivered".

It also commits Scotland to being carbon neutral by 2040 and reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

The party has also called for another referendum on Scottish independence within two years of the UK leaving the EU. Its goal is for Scotland to become an independent, European nation.


The UK Independence Party is campaigning under the banner: "Vote UKIP: Vote to make Brexit happen."

The party's manifesto claims Brexit is being "betrayed by the political class in Westminster" and pledges to block a second referendum so the 2016 result can be "honoured and implemented".

Ukip leader Gerard Batten at the party's campaign and manifesto launch in Middlesbrough. Credit: PA

Ukip wants the UK to adopt a "unilateral and unconditional withdrawal" from the EU, condemning the PM's Withdrawal Agreement as a "complete surrender".

The party vows to achieve Brexit by rejecting the "trap" of Article 50, repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and offer the EU tariff-free trade or WTO rules. It also pledges reciprocal rights for UK and EU citizens.

Ukip also vows to "repeal or amend EU derived legislation", promising that - if elected - its MEPs will vote against all EU legislation "on the basis that the EU has no legitimate right to legislate over the British people".

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