16/05/2017 22:31 BST

Lib Dems To Put Fighting 'Bad Brexit' At Heart Of 2017 General Election Manifesto

Tim Farron reveals policy programme on Wednesday.


Tim Farron will put fighting Theresa May’s “extreme” version of Brexit at the heart of the Liberal Democrat manifesto, which the party publishes on Wednesday.

The Lib Dems have pledged to hold a second referendum on the eventual deal the prime minister negotiates with Brussels - which would allow the public to vote to remain inside the EU.

Speaking ahead of his manifesto launch tomorrow, Farron said his party was offering a “brighter future” compared to the prime minister’s “cold, mean-spirited Britain”.

Farron has bet his election campaign on convincing many of those who voted Remain last year to back his party on June 8.

There are currently nine Lib Dem MPs, but the party has hopes of more than doubling that number next month with gains across the country including in south London, the south West of England and Scotland.

The Lib Dems said a “bad” Brexit deal, which leaves the UK outside the single market as May has proposed, would “wreck the future for our children, our economy and our schools and hospitals”.

The Lib Dem manifesto will set out a series of policies which the party said are designed to help children and young people.

The party has proposed a ‘Rent to Own’ scheme which would help people buy their first home for the same cost as renting. Under the plan, each monthly payment would contribute towards owning a share in the home which the renter would then own outright after 30 years.

The Lib Dems would restore Housing Benefit for 18-21 year-olds and create a discounted bus pass for 16-21 year olds.

Farron will also advocate giving 16-year-olds the right to vote in UK elections and referendums.

The manifesto will commit to investing almost £7bn in schools and colleges, doubling the number of businesses that take apprenticeships, tripling the early years pupil premium and extending free school meals to all primary school students.

Farron said: “Imagine a brighter future. You don’t have to accept Theresa May and Nigel Farage’s extreme version of Brexit that will wreck the future for you, your family, your schools and hospitals.

“In the biggest fight for the future of our country in a generation, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has let you down by voting with Theresa May on Brexit – not against her.

“The Liberal Democrats want you to have a choice over your future. You should have your say on the Brexit deal in a referendum. And if you don’t like the deal you should be able to reject it and choose to remain in Europe.

“We want to give all our children a brighter future in a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy. Not Theresa May’s cold, mean-spirited Britain.”