Open Britain – This election proves there is no mandate for hard Brexit

A surge of pro-European voters at yesterday’s General Election have denied Theresa May the majority she wanted for an extreme, destructive Brexit, the Open Britain campaign says today.

The Prime Minister called for “a direct personal mandate for the hardest of hard Brexits”, the pro-European groups said, while voters “made clear their opposition to a future for Britain that would leave us poorer, less tolerant, and less secure.”

The cross-party campaign has directed thousands of its volunteers to 50 key seats over the course of the general election, both to campaign for pro-European incumbents and to support challengers to pro-hard Brexit MPs.

Remarkably, pro-European incumbents retained their seats in 26 of the 29 constituencies in which they were endorsed by Open Britain, including previously written-off seats like Ilford North, North Norfolk and Wakefield.

Open Britain volunteers also helped pull of spectacular gains for pro-European parties, such as in Oxford West & Abingdon, Bristol North West, Enfield Southgate, and Kingston & Surbiton.  

The result was in spite of the fact that the election campaign began with predictions of a Conservative majority of well over 100, giving them a mandate to pull Britain out of the Single Market and carry out an extreme and potentially chaotic Brexit.

Commenting, Roland Rudd, Chairman of Open Britain, said:

“We were told that this would be the Brexit General Election. It was, but not in the way many of us feared. 

“Far from overwhelming pro-Europeans in a hard Brexit surge, millions of pro-European voters have voted to utterly reject the Government’s hard Brexit agenda. The British people have made clear their opposition to a future for Britain that would leave us poorer, less tolerant, and less secure.

“I am proud of the role Open Britain played in this election, directing thousands of volunteers into the battlegrounds where they made a real difference. 

“The Government sought a direct mandate for the hardest of hard Brexits. That mandate clearly does not exist. On the contrary, it is clear that the only way forward that can unite our country is through a repudiation of the hard Brexit agenda.

“In the new Parliament, pro-Europeans of all parties must take this golden opportunity to pull together and fight to keep Britain an open, tolerant, prosperous country. That means membership of the Single Market and Customs Union; a fair deal for EU citizens living in the UK; the maintenance of our close security links with Europe; and a refusal to even countenance a Brexit with no deal at all.”

/ends 

Notes to editors:

The list of Open Britain’s key seats at this general election is below:

Incumbent

26 out of 29 Open Britain-endorsed incumbents were elected in the General Election: 

Edinburgh South LAB HOLD

Hampstead and Kilburn LAB HOLD

Tooting LAB HOLD

Brighton Pavilion GREEN HOLD

Richmond Park CON GAIN FROM LD

Ealing Central & Acton LAB HOLD

Hove LAB HOLD

Sheffield Hallam LAB GAIN

Leeds North East LAB HOLD

City of Chester LAB HOLD

Brentford & Isleworth LAB HOLD

Exeter LAB HOLD

Southport CON GAIN FROM LD

Nottingham South LAB HOLD

Pontypridd LAB HOLD

Wirral South LAB HOLD

Southampton Test LAB HOLD

Leicester West LAB HOLD

Ilford North LAB HOLD

Carshalton and Wallington LD HOLD

Newcastle upon Tyne North LAB HELD

Wrexham LAB HELD

North Norfolk LD HELD

Sedgefield LAB HELD

Penistone and Stocksbridge LAB HELD

Bishop Auckland LAB HOLD

Newcastle under Lyme LAB HOLD

Wakefield LAB HOLD

Wolverhampton South East LAB HOLD

Challenger:

Six Open Britain-endorsed challengers were elected in the General Election:

Vauxhall LAB HOLD

Kensington RESULT NOT YET KNOWN

St Albans CON HOLD

Enfield Southgate LAB GAIN

Oxford West and Abingdon LD GAIN FROM CON

Bristol North West LAB GAIN FROM CON

Kingston and Surbiton LD GAIN FROM CON

Chipping Barnet CON HOLD

Hendon CON HOLD

Lewes CON HOLD

Wycombe CON HOLD

Gower LAB GAIN FROM CON

Chingford and Woodford Green CON HOLD

Sutton and Cheam CON HOLD

Belfast East DUP HOLD

Brecon and Radnorshire CON HOLD

Hazel Grove CON HOLD

Thornbury and Yate CON HOLD

Wells CON HOLD

St Ives CON HOLD

Eastbourne LD GAIN FROM CON