Lib Dem manifesto pledges to take UK back into EU single market

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to take the United Kingdom back into the European Union single market.

The pledge is set out in the party’s general election manifesto which leader Sir Ed Davey launched at an event in London on Monday morning.

Speaking at his party’s manifesto launch, Davey vowed the Liberal Democrats would fix “our broken relationship with Europe” and rebuild “the ties of trade and friendship, boosting our economy and restoring Britain’s role on the world stage”.

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The Lib Dem manifesto states: “Once ties of trust and friendship have been renewed, and the damage the Conservatives have caused to trade between the UK and EU has begun to be repaired, we would aim to place the UK-EU relationship on a more formal and stable footing by seeking to join the single market.”

The Lib Dem leader began his speech on Monday by discussing his own experience as an unpaid carer — first for his mother, who was battling cancer when he was young, and now for his disabled son.

“When she died, I never called myself a young carer, I never thought of myself that way. I was just looking after my mum”, Sir Ed said.

He added: “I am proud that in this manifesto we commit to reversing those cuts and restoring proper support payments to parents like my mum.”

Davey also said his party would push to replace the first past the post voting system with a system of proportional representation.

He said the proposal would “transform the nature of British politics itself”.

Responding later to reporters’ question on the proposal to take the UK back into the EU single market, Sir Ed said the Lib Dems would place Britain “back at the heart of Europe.”

He added:  “We have made clear time and again that we are a pro-European party who believe that our country’s interests are best served by working with other countries in the mutual benefit.

“And as we say on that page [in the manifesto] we believe in the long term we need to be back at the heart of Europe.

“But we are being really clear that we are not going to pretend that is going to be easy. Regrettably the Conservative Party have so poisoned Britain’s relationship with our nearest neighbours, our allies, they have undermined trust and when I speak to European politicians, regrettably they don’t trust the United kIngdom any more and how sad is that?”

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