Among the seats that pro-European groups Open Britain, European Movement and Britain for Europe plan to attack during the campaign are those of Tory former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith and Labour’s Kate Hoey.
Open Britain said:
The three groups have today released their opening list of 40 key seats which they have identified as important in the 2017 General Election. The list will evolve and be added to as the campaign progresses and further key seats emerge. This opening list has been produced because of the demand from the thousands of activists who are keen to start campaigning and want to know where to focus their time and energy.
The 20/20 key seat strategy is divided into 20 constituencies where the incumbent is either supportive of hard Brexit or has not publicly opposed it and is being challenged by those who do; and 20 where the incumbent has consistently proven to be an outspoken opponent of hard Brexit since the referendum.
The precise nature of campaigning in each seat will be different, determined by factors specific to each constituency, but the groups’ activists are united in the collective motivation of ensuring that the Prime Minister does not have a blank cheque to pursue Brexit at any costs and in supporting candidates from all parties who oppose hard Brexit and who will provide proper scrutiny in Parliament as the Brexit negotiations proceed.
The full list is as follows:
|Constituency||Region||Party||Member of Parliament|
|Kensington||London||Conservative||Lady Victoria Borwick|
|Enfield Southgate||London||Conservative||David Burrowes|
|Oxford West and Abingdon||South East||Conservative||Nicola Blackwood|
|Bristol North West||South West||Conservative||Charlotte Leslie|
|Chipping Barnet||London||Conservative||Theresa Villiers|
|Kingston and Surbiton||London||Conservative||James Berry|
|Lewes||South East||Conservative||Maria Caulfield|
|Wycombe||South East||Conservative||Steve Baker|
|Chingford and Woodford Green||London||Conservative||Iain Duncan Smith|
|Sutton and Cheam||London||Conservative||Paul Scully|
|Belfast East||Northern Ireland||DUP||Gavin Robinson|
|Brecon and Radnorshire||Wales||Conservative||Christopher Davies|
|Hazel Grove||North West||Conservative||William Wragg|
|Thornbury and Yate||South West||Conservative||Luke Hall|
|Wells||South West||Conservative||James Heappey|
|St Ives||South West||Conservative||Derek Thomas|
|Eastbourne||South East||Conservative||Caroline Ansell|
Labour former Cabinet minister Lord Mandelson, an Open Britain board member, said: “As a former European trade commissioner, I have seen such negotiations from the inside.
“For Britain to get the best possible trade deal, it is totally counter-productive for Theresa May to go into them with a rigid set of red lines.”
Labour will say retaining the benefits of the single market and customs union will become top priority in Brexit talks if it wins on June 8.
It would guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK on day one of taking power without protections in place for Britons in Europe.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer will say Labour would ditch the Government’s negotiating plans for quitting the bloc.
A Bill to transfer relevant EU laws to Britain would also be replaced with legislation that would protect employment and consumer rights as well as environmental protections when powers are repatriated.
The party will insist that failing to reach a deal with Brussels is not an option and will promise to give Parliament a meaningful vote on the final agreement.
Sir Keir will say: “EU nationals do not just contribute to our society: they are our society. And they should not be used as bargaining chips.
“So on day one of a Labour government we will immediately guarantee that all EU nationals currently living in the UK will see no change in their legal status as a result of Brexit, and we will seek reciprocal rights for UK citizens in the EU.
“There could be no clearer signal that Britain is taking a new approach to Brexit than a Labour government immediately rectifying this injustice. And there could no clearer signal that Labour want a close and collaborative future relationship with our EU partners.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK “cannot possibly” remain part of the single market as it would mean “not leaving the EU at all”, while leaders across the bloc have warned that Britain cannot enjoy the benefits without agreeing to the rules, such as freedom of movement.
Sir Keir will say: “The white paper will have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the single market and the customs union as Labour know that is vital to protecting jobs and the economy.
“And we will approach negotiations in a completely different way to a Tory Brexit: negotiating for the many, not the few.
“Where Theresa May wants to shut down scrutiny and challenge, Labour will welcome it.
“We will work with Parliament, not against it. Because on an issue of this importance, the Government can’t hide from the public or Parliament. A Labour approach to Brexit means legislating to guarantee that Parliament has a truly meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal.”
“This will make sure that all EU-derived laws - including workplace laws, consumer rights and environmental protections - are fully protected without qualifications, limitations or sunset clauses. We will work with trade unions, businesses and stakeholders to ensure there is a consensus on this vital issue.
“A Labour approach to Brexit will ensure there can be no rolling back of key rights and protections.”