Pro-EU campaigners are hoping to unseat eight of the capital’s Brexit-backing MPs in a bid to avoid the “hard Brexit” they claim Prime Minister Theresa May is pursuing.
Mrs May has ruled out continued membership of the European Union Single Market and oversight of the EU’s courts, “red lines” that opponents say make securing a successful deal for Britain harder.
Open Britain, European Movement and Britain for Europe have published an ‘attack list’ of seats where they’re calling on volunteers to campaign against the incumbent MPs.
Opinion polls suggest May could be heading for a Commons majority of around 100, a result which would allow the PM to push through her Brexit deal with minimum opposition.
The three campaigns are hoping to reduce any pro-Brexit majority by targeting MPs likely to back May’s deal.
In London their list includes Tory MPs Ian Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers, David Burrowes, Lady Victoria Borwick, Matthew Offord, James Berry and Paul Scully and Labour’s Kate Hoey.
In addition to the ‘hit list’ the campaigns have published a list of anti-Brexit MPs they’re urging supporters to campaign for. In London this includes Labour’s Wes Streeting, who has a majority of just 589 in his Ilford North seat, and Liberal Democrat Tom Brake, who is defending a 1,150 majority in Carshalton and Wallington.
Labour Peer and Open Britain Board Member, Lord Mandelson, 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.
“With millions of jobs at stake, she must explore all options to secure the continuity of Britain’s trade and investment in Europe.
“Election candidates of all parties should be demanding that a hard Brexit is rejected and making clear that they will reserve judgement on the outcome until they see whether we get exactly the same trade benefits, as David Davis has promised.
“Nobody has to take a position on this now: they just have to ask the right questions and keep an open mind about the answers.”