Fund the future - site banner : This link opens in a new window

Covid-19 (coronavirus):
UCU has produced advice for members. Read the latest UCU operational note here.  Find more information and updates here.

What are the UK's main political party positions on Brexit?

Note: this details the party positions at September 2018; please check their websites for their current positions.

Conservative Party icon Conservatives

The Conservative Party has committed to

  • leave the European Union on 29 March 2019
  • end freedom of movement and introduce an 'immigration system that works in the national interest'
  • end jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK. UK Supreme Court will be the highest legal authority
  • spend any 'Brexit dividend' on domestic priorities
  • no hard borders between Northern Ireland and Ireland or between Northern Ireland and Great Britain
  • a parliamentary lock on all new rules and regulations
  • maintain high standards on consumer and employment rights and the environment
  • leave the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy
  • continued security co-operation
  • ensuring any future contributions to the EU will only be to enable the UK's participation in activities judged to be in the national interest
  • ask the EU to accept a bespoke model that meets the unique requirements of the UK. 

Read more https//

Green Party icon Green Party

The Green Party has committed to

  • a referendum on the detail of whatever deal is negotiated for UK's departure from the EU, with the option to reject the deal and remain in the EU
  • protect freedom of movement
  • press for the UK to remain in the single market
  • safeguard 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.

Read more https//

Labour Party icon Labour

The Labour Party has committed to

  • replace the Brexit White Paper with negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of Single Market and the Customs Union
  • immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens living in EU countries
  • reject 'no deal' as a viable option and, if needs be, negotiate transitional arrangements
  • work constructively with the EU on issues such as climate change, refugees and counter-terrorism
  • stay part of Horizon 2020 and its successor programmes and welcome research staff to the UK
  • seek to ensure that Britain remains part of the Erasmus scheme so that British students have the same educational opportunities after we leave the EU
  • ensure all EU laws that benefit the UK (including workplace laws, consumer rights and environmental protections) are fully protected.
  • a 'presumption of devolution', where devolved powers transferred from the EU will go straight to the relevant region or nation
  • ensure no drop in EU Structural Funding until the end of the current EU funding round in 2019/20
  • no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Read more https//

Lib Dem icon Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have committed to

  • fight to prevent a 'hard' Brexit
  • put any deal to a vote of the British people in a referendum, with the alternative option of staying in the EU on the ballot paper
  • press for Britain to remain as close as possible to Europe
  • press for the UK to guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK, ending their ongoing uncertainty
  • call for the overhaul and simplification of the registration process and the requirements for EU nationals to obtain permanent residence and UK citizenship
  • urge the government to secure the same rights for UK citizens living in EU countries
  • ensure any deal means that trade can continue without customs controls at the border
  • support the principle of freedom of movement
  • ensure any deal negotiated for the UK outside the EU protects the right to work, travel, study and retire across the EU
  • do everything possible to protect Erasmus+ and other EU-funded schemes
  • fight to ensure that entitlements such as maternity leave and annual leave (currently based on EU law) are not undermined
  • campaign against any reduction in investment in UK universities and for their right to apply for EU funds on equal terms
  • retain traveler and tourist benefits such as the European Health Insurance Card
  • fight to ensure that the priorities and long-term interests of the nations of the UK are fully taken into account during negotiations
  • oppose any moves that threaten the political stability of Northern Ireland.

Read more https//

SNP icon Scottish National Party

The Scottish National Party has committed to

  • working with other parties and devolved administrations to ensure the UK government gets the best deal possible
  • arguing to remain within the European Single Market and Customs Union
  • powers returning from Brussels that already lie within devolved areas (inc as fishing and farming) remaining the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament and further powers, such as employment law, being devolved to Scotland to protect key rights
  • pressing the UK government to confirm the rights of EU nationals to remain, with rights of UK nationals living in the EU to be guaranteed in the same way
  • a Norway-style deal for Scotland after Brexit, even if the government negotiates for a bad deal for the whole of the UK. 

Read more https//

Plaid Cymru icon Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru has committed to

  • full and unfettered access to the Single Market for goods, services and capital
  • calling for powers already devolved to the National Assembly for Wales, but operating within an EU regulatory framework, to continue to be devolved in Wales
  • ensuring the rights of EU migrants already living in Wales and calling on EU to give a reciprocal guarantee to Welsh and UK citizens living in the EU
  • maintaining freedom of movement of people linked to employment. Believe that for students and researchers, continued free mobility across Europe is in the best interests of Wales and the UK as a whole
  • the UK's replacement for EU Structural Funds being allocated according to need, and its distribution devolved to the Welsh Government
  • Wales to continue to participate in international partnerships and research projects including Horizon and ERASMUS+ beyond 2020
  • EU students continuing to benefit from home fee status, to allow Welsh universities to continue to attract international students
  • ensuring universities are be able to continue to recruit international staff on current terms
  • any final agreement should not be finalised until it has the support of each UK nation or country.

Read more https//

DUP icon Democratic Unionist Party

The DUP has committed to

  • work towards a 'successful, outward-looking, knowledge based economy in Northern Ireland'
  • push for both maintenance of the Common Travel Area and a frictionless border with the Irish Republic
  • push for an 'effective immigration policy which meets the skills, labour and security needs of the UK'
  • work towards a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement with the EU
  • safeguarding the rights of British citizens in the EU and those from EU member states living here
  • continuing to attract international expertise and collaboration into NI further and higher education
  • retaining the ability to opt-in to EU funds where proven to be cost-effective and add value
  • continuing participation in funding programmes that have been proven to be of benefit and are open to non-EU members e.g. research funding
  • establishing UK wide skills and infrastructure funds to lead with an emphasis on regional specialisations.

Read more http//  

Sinn Fein icon Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein has committed to

  • push for the North of Ireland to be give a special designated status which would allow it to remain within the EU
  • ensure that the North has continued access to the EU Single Market
  • retain free movement of people and the Common Travel Area
  • maintain existing EU funding streams including research funding.

Read more http//

Last updated: 17 September 2019