This point extends to the other parties too. The Liberal Democrats were fast out the blocks on a “stop hard Brexit” campaign line, and Labour are likely to say something similar. But considering this is undoubtedly going to be a Brexit-focussed election, and that Brexit will see potentially 5 years of negotiation between ourselves and 27 other countries, it is difficult to see what promises can be made. We have already told the other side what our overall objectives are and they have broadly agreed with them, so what wiggle room is there to change tack? The Lib Dems in particular look poised to run on a pro-free movement, pro-single market platform, which immediately brings the idea of EEA/EFTA membership to mind. This route is something which is being mentioned increasingly by representatives from Europe, too, particularly as transitional arrangement but potentially as a basis for a longer-term relationship. Campaigning explicitly on this strategy would be a clever and bold move by the Lib Dems, and whilst they are not expected to see enormous gains, this would certainly pique the interest of voters on both sides of the Brexit debate. The problem would persist however, of only being able to point to objectives, as the parties will be wary of making promises in their manifestos that may come back to haunt them.
All of this is kind of irrelevant though, given just how much this is the Conservatives’ election to lose, and in reality, the election itself is unlikely to either give us more detail about our future or to affect the Brexit process much, if at all. As more comes out from the parties and the final manifestos are released we’ll get analysis done of the Brexit side of things up here on this site. In the meantime, there’s some much wider debate around the election and other related issues like the French elections happening in our podcast (Episodes 9 onwards for election coverage). If this blog is failing to quench your thirst please have a listen, subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes if you can.