The Liberal democrats have today launched their manifesto, detailing their vision for a “brighter future” for Britain. With June 8th rapidly approaching, the centrist party have now outlined the measures that they will implement should they win the general election. Here is a brief overview of some of the key points to take away, with a focus on the legal and justice related measures.
Unashamedly pro-European, the Liberal Democrats have been at the centre of the fight against Theresa May’s perceived “hard Brexit” plan. The manifesto includes a commitment to a second referendum of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, with the fall-back option being to remain in the EU. They further aim to keep Britain in the single market and protect the rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK.
The Liberal Democrats have embraced constitutional change in the UK with today’s manifesto, promising further devolution to Scotland and Wales in a move to decentralise the political system. Additional measures such as lowering the voting age to 16 and reforming the House of Lords demonstrate their desire to end what they call “over-centralised, unrepresentative politics.”
Justice and Rights
The manifesto also includes a number of interesting proposals for justice and legal rights. The Liberal Democrats commit to opposing any attempts to withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights, the regional human rights document that Theresa May has repeatedly railed against. An additional £300 million will be also be spent on local police forces, to combat rising violent crime. Progressive laws on the decriminalisation of sex work and cannabis are also included, with the cannabis law drawing inspiration from the recent experiences of the United States.
Calling for a “fight for a better world” the famously internationalist liberal democrats aim to end perceived isolationism in British foreign policy. They promise to suspend the controversial arms sales to Saudi Arabia for breaches of international humanitarian law, and maintain the 0.7% level of development aid. They further plan to resettle 50,000 Syrian refugees in the next five years.
This is just a small number of the numerous policies described in the manifesto, as Tim Farron’s party seeks to bounce back after disastrous results in 2015. Seen as the strongest supporters of the European Union, opposition to Brexit is central to the manifesto as part of the parties’ pitch to remain voters. The successes or failures of this strategy will become evident on the 8th of June, when the British people again go to the polls to elect a new government.
The full manifesto can be found here