London: A group of independent candidates who fought the June 2017 General Election on an anti-Brexit platform on Monday officially launched a political party that will tour the UK with its message to prevent Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU).
Renew, which launched its national campaign and candidate mobilisation programme in London on Monday, claims to have recruited over 1,000 supporters and more than 300 candidates from "outside the political system" all over the UK to stand in local and national elections on a "Rethink Brexit, Renew Britain" agenda.
"Renew has enjoyed overwhelming support for its centrist agenda and platform to address inequality from a position of strength as a full EU member," the party said in a statement.
"Renew aims to recruit 650 candidates to stand in every Parliamentary constituency in any future election and to campaign to Remain in the EU in any vote on the final deal," it notes.
The party’s first major challenge will be to contest the local elections scheduled for May this year, with the next General Election due in 2022. Renew, founded by former financier Chris Coghlan who stood as an independent candidate from Battersea in south London in June 2017, describes its mission statement as reversing Brexit and restoring Britain’s influential position in Europe.
"The Brexit referendum was a wake-up call that we are a nation divided, with deep discontent at inequality. Leaving the EU will only make things worse. We should reconsider Brexit, now we know more," said Sandra Khadhouri, a former journalist and UN worker who is one of Renew's three "principals".
The other principals of the party include James Torrance, an accountant and marketing professional who has worked in India in the past, and James Clarke, a start-up strategy consultant. They both stood as "stop Brexit" independent candidates in the June 2017 general election in an attempt to reduce the vote-share of pro-Brexit candidates from key London constituencies.
"We are heading out all over the country to listen to what you think we can do to renew our towns, our politics, our economy, our opportunities, and make sure we all have more hope for Britain,” the party said in reference to its plans for a "Listen to Britain" tour in the coming months.
A series of anti-Brexit campaigns have emerged in the UK in recent months, calling for a re-run of the EU membership referendum and putting pressure on MPs to oppose a Brexit agreement when it comes before Parliament later this year.
Best for Britain, backed by prominent Indian-origin anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, and a new youth group called Our Future, Our Choice is among some of the others campaigning against Britain’s exit from the EU.
Renew says its UK-wide tour is aimed at addressing what it calls the root causes of the 2016 Brexit referendum, in which 52 percent of the British public voted in favour of leaving the EU. It said it would also "look at better ways to manage immigration" – one of the central issues that is believed to have led to a Vote Leave victory in the referendum.
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Updated Date: Feb 19, 2018 21:56:31 IST