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What do the parties say?


Conservatives

While David Cameron has aimed to secure a "better deal" for the UK within the EU, the Conservative Party has opted to remain neutral in the debate.

Cameron has stated that there needs to be reforms to the EU to make remaining in more beneficial to the UK. However, due to deep divisions within his party on the issue, the Conservatives have decided to remain neutral, meaning none of its resources or manpower will be used to back one side of the debate or the other.


Labour

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on EU membership has been well documented. He voted, in 1975, for Britain to leave what was then called the European Economic Community, believing membership negatively impacted UK worker’s rights.

This stance at the time wasn’t particularly at odds with the Labour Party at large. However, since the 1970s, Labour has positioned itself as the party in favour of the EU and further EU integration. To these ends Corbyn revealed he would join Labour’s campaign to keep Britain in the EU.


Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have always been strongly in favour of the EU, seeing Britain playing a far more positive role on the international stage by keeping its membership.

Leader of the Lib Dems, Tim Farron, has been particularly vocal in his support of remaining in the EU stating that his is the “one party united in its commitment to maintain Britain’s place in Europe.” Added to this, the Lib Dems also feel that the referendum should allow 16 & 17 year olds to vote.


Ukip

Ukip established itself as the ‘anti-EU’ party and is positioning itself very much in the ‘out’ camp. Some argue that the very fact the UK faces a vote on its EU membership is due to the growing popularity of Ukip prior to the 2015 General Election and its tireless campaigning against the EU.

Withdrawal from the EU, Ukip believes, would result in millions of pounds no longer being paid in membership as well as greater control over the UK’s borders.


SNP

Of all the regions in the UK, a poll revealed that Scotland has the most pro-EU citizens. It is therefore unsurprising that the SNP – now overwhelmingly the largest party in Scotland – supports Britain remaining in the EU.


Greens

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennet, said the Green Party stood for “Three yeses - yes to a referendum, yes to major EU reform and yes to staying in a reformed Europe".

The Green Party’s positive stance on EU membership is based on the belief that big issues such as worker’s rights and climate change can be better addressed from within the Union.


Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru is another party in favour of remaining in the EU. Leanne Woods, leader of the party, stated that if the UK was to vote for a ‘Brexit’ the country could face a potential constitutional crisis.

As with the SNP and Scotland, Plaid Cymru believes that the UK should only leave the EU if it is a decision supported by voters in each of the UK’s four nations.