LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - June 1st 2017 - The Economist today published its endorsement of the Liberal Democrats in the UK’s snap election. Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is looking backward, to the failed, hard-left policies of the 1970s. Under Theresa May, the Conservatives are no longer the party of Margaret Thatcher. However much the two leaders differ in style and in their beliefs they “are united in their desire to pull up Britain’s drawbridge to the world.” The Economist believes that Britain needs a radical, free-market centre party and that, for all their faults, the closest available choice is the Liberal Democrats.
The endorsement will appear in print in the June 3rd edition of The Economist and online today at http://economist.com/endorsement2017
“Mr Corbyn poses as a radical but is the most conservative—and the most dangerous—candidate of the lot,” The Economist writes in its leader. Mrs May is much better, but her determination to slash immigration and meddle in business departs from 40 years of openness to business, investment and people.
“It is a dismal choice for this newspaper, which sees little evidence of our classical, free-market liberal values in either of the main parties,” The Economist writes. “Brexit will do least damage if seen as an embrace of the wider world, not simply a rejection of Europe. We want a government that maintains the closest ties with the EU while honouring the referendum and that uses Brexit to reassert the freedom of Britain’s markets and society—the better to keep dynamic firms and talented people around.”
The Economist’s leader acknowledges that the Lib Dems are “going nowhere” in this election. But the whirlwind unleashed by Brexit is unpredictable. Many moderate Conservative and Labour MPs could join a new liberal centre party, just as parts of the left and right have recently done in France. “So consider a vote for the Lib Dems as a down-payment for the future. Our hope is that they become one element of a party of the radical centre, essential for a thriving, prosperous Britain.”
“Britain’s missing middle” is the cover report of the June 3rd edition of The Economist. The leader endorsement and related stories are available online:
To to arrange an interview with The Economist's journalists on the UK snap election, please contact:
(UK) HollyDonahue@economist.com or +44 (0)20 7576 8379
(US) LaurenHackett@economist.com or +1 212 554 0639
About The Economist (www.economist.com) With a growing global circulation and a reputation for insightful analysis and perspective on every aspect of world events, The Economist is one of the most widely recognised and well-read current affairs publications. The paper covers politics, business, science and technology, and books and arts, concluding each week with the obituary. In addition to the web-only content such as blogs, debates and audio/video programmes available on the website, The Economist is available to download for reading on Android, Blackberry PlayBook, iPhone or iPad devices. The Economist Espresso, our daily briefing smartphone app, is also available for download via iTunes App Store or Google Play.