Hastings and Rye candidates outline their stances on Brexit

The Hastings and Rye election candidates
The Hastings and Rye election candidates

The four candidates standing in Hastings and Rye at the General Election have outlined their stances on the Brexit debate.

The four people vying to be your next MP sat down with our reporter to answer a range of questions, including their biggest priorities for the constituency and their pitch to the voters.

Here, they each outline their stance on Brexit:

Sally-Ann Hart, Conservative:

If the Conservatives get a majority in December, they said they would deliver Brexit under the terms agreed by Boris Johnson with European Union.

Sally-Ann Hart said: “I campaigned to leave in Hastings and Rye in 2016 on the grounds of democracy and sovereignty. That, for me, was the most important thing. I understand for other people it might have been to do with immigration and other reasons but for me, it was democracy and sovereignty, because I want the people who impose laws and regulation on me to account to me and take responsibility for those.

“Looking back over the past 40 years, when the EU has taken away more and more sovereignty from countries and when Tony Blair signed the Lisbon Treaty, taking us into a closer federal union with the EU, that sewed the seeds of political discontent.

“I want to deliver Brexit and I think Boris’ deal is the right way to do it because I think it will give people certainty on free trade and having measures in place to stop a cliff edge.”

Peter Chowney, Labour:

Labour is proposing to renegotiate a deal with Brussels before putting that deal to a referendum alongside the option of remaining in the European Union.

If it came to that, Peter Chowney said he would campaign to remain.

Speaking of renegotiating with the EU, he added: “I think that’s just us getting a credible deal (out of Brussels) to put to the people. I would hope that Labour didn’t insist that their MPs all supported that deal because I don’t think I could do that.

“I can’t imagine any deal, in my view, that would be better than remaining. Because it would have to be so like remaining – being in the single market, customs union and the rest of it – well what’s the difference? You may as well stay in.

“Having said that, if a second referendum still went to leave then I’d support that in Parliament. I wouldn’t query it beyond that. There’s not much you can do about it then.”

Nick Perry, Liberal Democrats:

If the Liberal Democrats were to secure a majority in December, they would revoke Article 50, cancelling Brexit.

Nick Perry said: “We want to stop Brexit.

“We were the first party to campaign for a confirmatory vote on terms of the deal after the referendum back in 2016. We have led the fight for a people’s vote ever since. I think we have got to the point now where we are saying to the country ‘if you want to stop Brexit by Christmas you can vote in a majority Liberal Democrat government and that’s what we will do’. If we don’t become a majority government then we revert to our policy as it has always been which is a People’s vote on the terms of the deal.

“It would be quite a result if there was a majority Liberal Democrat government and I think if we have that front and centre of our manifesto and we get elected as a majority government then I think it’s reasonable for us to implement that policy.

“Let’s be clear, over the course of this parliament, we have put down amendment after amendment asking for a People’s Vote to be added to whatever the Government has been suggesting. Seventeen times we’ve suggested it in Parliament without the backing of the Labour party on any of it and no amendments from them.

“We have clearly got a track record of fighting for a People’s Vote. What we said was ‘if a General Election comes before a People’s Vote then we will be arguing the case to revoke Article 50.”

Paul Crosland, Independent:

“Originally a remainer, I always respect the People’s Vote. I would support, or oppose, Brexit in accordance with how it affects constituents’ lives. I meet and experience frustration with all the unknowns in this long-drawn out process. I believe that a vote for the Conservatives amounts to a vote for a hard Brexit if no better trading deal has been negotiated by December 2020, and I intend to inform EU resident friends more fully of the associated precariousness of their situation.

“What I’m really interested in are people’s deep needs for belonging, be that to a political tribe, an economic union or a Brexit rallying community, and what I am already promoting us all to find and nurture is what has been lost in our community as a result of this divide.”