Democracy In Europe endorses UK election dandidates

Written By: Yanis Varoufakis
Published: June 7, 2017 Last modified: June 7, 2017

As a cross-party movement the DiEM25 UK list supports candidates from a variety of parties which share a progressive agenda.

DiEM25 was formed to build a Progressive International across Europe. The UK, especially since Brexit prevailed in last year’s referendum, is a major battleground for European democracy. The way Brexit is handled will be crucial for the future of Britain but also for European peoples far and wide. DiEM25 could not be absent from this election campaign.

DiEM25’s own position on what should happen once Brexit won the June 2016 referendum is already on record. Following an internal two-stage vote that took place November 2016, DiEM25 members from across Europe opted from the following position:

We support negotiations between the UK and the EU leading to an interim EEA-EFTA UK-EU arrangement (i.e. Norway/Swiss-like) to come into force two years after Article 50’s activation and, subsequently, to a long-term agreement viz. the UK-EU relationship to be approved by the next Parliament (to be elected after Article 50’s activation).

More recently, once Prime Minister Theresa May called an election in search of a mandate for what we consider an ill-fated Brexit negotiation with the EU, DiEM25 UK members decided to demonstrate in practice DiEM25’s progressive, inclusive, transnational politics by identifying candidates across the UK that come close to DiEM25’s progressive agenda for Britain and Europe.

Our members have been active in selecting candidates that DiEM25 ought to support in different constituencies with a view not only to improve their chances of being elected but also to give an example of what DiEM25’s commitment to PRINCIPLED VOTING means.

Once DiEM25 UK members put together their recommended list of candidates, the complete list was put to an internal vote. Every DiEM25 member, from across Europe, had a vote in this. This is DiEM25’s weapon against the logic of Brexit, of the UK’s isolation from the rest of Europe: Every DiEM25 member, English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, French, Greek etc., gets to vote on our favourite UK parliamentary candidates. It is our way of illustrating the formation of a European demos that rejects both a one-size fits-all attitude for Europe and isolationism.

The results are now in! Below you will find the list of candidates that DiEM25 endorses for the 8th June 2017 UK general election. It includes candidates from the Labour Party (6); the Liberal Democrats (2); the Scottish National Party (2); Plaid Cymru (1); the Greens (1); the Scottish Greens (1); the National Health Action Party (1) and the Women’s Equality Party (1).

The fact that DiEM25 endorses even Liberal Democrats (like former Prime Minister Nick Clegg, whose connivance with David Cameron’s and George Osborne’s class war against poorer Brits was inexcusable and remains unforgiven) reflects Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system.

A proportional system would have, naturally, yielded a different set of recommendations. But, when progressive politicians, even if flawed in a variety of ways; e.g. Nick Clegg), are pitted against hard, xenophobic Brexiteers, it is within the realm of our PRINCIPLED VOTING philosophy to support them. Of course, we need to draw the line somewhere.

For example, the failure of a substantial body of dissent against toxic, nationalist Brexiteering to rise within the Conservative party makes it impossible for DiEM25 members to endorse Tory candidates. Our members have, nevertheless, singled out three Tories for their resistance to the Brexit juggernaut: Anna Soubry for her dissent to hard Brexit; Kenneth Clarke who, despite his uncritical support for the EU establishment, has been a courageous adversary to the isolationism of Brexiteers; and Baroness Warsi for upholding basic values of decency in the  House of Lords debates.

The fifteen DiEM25  parliamentary endorsees

  • Mhairi Black (SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire South)
  • Kelly-Marie Blundell (Liberal Democrat, Lewes)
  • Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat, Sheffield Hallam)
  • Patrick Harvie (co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party)
  • Kelvin Hopkins (Labour, Luton North)
  • Louise Irvine (National Health Action Party, South West Surrey)
  • Clive Lewis (Labour, Norwich South)
  • Rebecca Long Bailey (Labour, Salford and Eccles)
  • Caroline Lucas (Green, Brighton Pavilion and an Advisory Panel member of DiEM25)
  • John McDonnell (Labour, Hayes and Harlington and an Advisory Panel member of DiEM25)
  • Lisa Nandy (Labour, Wigan)
  • Sophie Walker (Womens’ Equality Party, Shipley)
  • Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru, Arfon)
  • Toni Giugliano (SNP, Edinburgh West)
  • Matt Kerr (Labour & Co-operative, Glasgow South West)