Is this what a 'blind Remain' looks like?
Change UK have told Left Foot Forward the party will not decide which group to sit with in the European Parliament until after the elections, if the party secure MEPs.
Many would expect the centrist party to join ALDE – the Liberal grouping. Labour MEPs sit within the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, while the Greens sit within the Greens–European Free Alliance, which includes progressive nationalists such as the SNP and Plaid Cymru.
However, a spokesperson for Change UK told LFF:
“There is some uncertainty about what those groupings will look like following the European elections. For example, President Macron has signalled he would like to see some change to the current groups. We don’t want to second guess what things will look like, but will take part in discussions and make a decision at the time.
Responding to recent criticism over an alleged ‘lack of policy’, the spokesperson added: “We will be publishing a manifesto during the campaign and won’t be rushed into making policy decisions which need to be properly thought through and evidence based. But it’s clear what our priorities are.
“We support a People’s Vote to give the public a final say and resolve the Brexit mess, and remaining as a member of the EU is the best way to deal with some of the biggest challenges facing us as a country: building a stronger economy, better jobs, saving our NHS, working with allies to improve our security and tackling the crisis of climate change.”
European Parliament groupings have a key role, as being part of a political group gives parties access to funding, and a stronger chance of getting their MEPs elected as chairs of the powerful parliamentary committees.
Party groupings also play a part in how much time MEPs have speaking during debates, and in drawing up policy through the groups’ foundations and think tanks.
Green Party South East candidate Vix Lowthion responded on Twitter:
No policy decisions, no EU group decisions, no previous electoral participation. A jump from a Blind Brexit to a 'Blind Remain'. Voters need and deserve more clarity than this wishywashy response from @TheIndGroup . What values do they stand for – the status quo?— Vix Lowthion (@VixL) April 24, 2019
The news comes in a week that has seen several Change UK candidates stand down due to making offensive comments.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Joe Lo is a Reporter for Left Foot Forward.