A new anti-Brexit alliance of three parties will target 60 seats in the December 12 U.K. election, in what the group’s leader said was a “country-first” strategy.
Unite to Remain is a pact between the Liberal Democrats, the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru and the Green Party in which just one candidate will stand in selected constituencies order to boost the Remain vote.
The full list of 60 seats will be revealed later Thursday morning, but Unite to Remain leader Heidi Allen revealed a few of the target seats on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program. She said the Greens will stand unopposed by the other parties in the pact in Isle of Wight and Brighton Pavilion (the latter the seat of the Greens’ former leader Caroline Lucas); the Lib Dems in Richmond Park and Cheltenham; and Plaid Cymru in Arfon.
Allen left the Conservatives over Brexit, joined Change UK and then moved on to the Liberal Democrats. She has announced she will not be standing at the December 12 election.
She said: “This isn’t easy, which is why isn’t has’t happened since the Coupon Election … in 1918 [when candidates for the Liberal Party who had supported the coalition government of David Lloyd George during World War I were issued with a letter of support signed by both Lloyd George and Andrew Bonar Law, leader of the Conservative Party]. ”
Allen said the big difference between this agreement and smaller ones in the past is that “we are facing that real danger of a no-deal Brexit or a hard Brexit through a Boris Johnson government and that sense of a common and shared purpose really focused minds.”
She added that this is “country-first stuff, its not about them winning and what they want to achieve, it’s about what’s best for the country.”
“This is not a normal election, this is about Brexit.”
Asked if she had tried to work with the Labour Party, Allen said “it just hasn’t been possible” at least in part because “Labour are not a Remain party unequivocally.”
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