Battleground Brexit: Leaders speak

As the country prepares to go to the polls on June 8, we look to the three main party leaders and ask why Lancashire business should vote for them?

Theresa May, Conservative

This election is about providing the strong and stable leadership this country needs to take Britain through Brexit and beyond. It’s about strengthening our hand in the negotiations that lie ahead.

And it’s about sticking to our plan for a stronger Britain that will enable us to secure that more stable and secure future for this country and take the right long term decision for the future. It’s about strong and stable leadership in the national interest.

And you only get that strong and stable leadership by voting for the Conservatives. Because that’s what Conservative government provides. And just look at what we’ve done.

When I took over as Prime Minister, there were predictions of immediate financial crash, of economic danger. But we see consumer confidence remains high, we see record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.

It’s about strengthening our hand in the negotiations that lie ahead
When I took over as Prime Minister people said the country was divided that it could never be brought together. But actually what I see today in this country is a unity of purpose – a desire for the Government to get on with the job of putting Brexit in to place and making a success of it.

And when I took over as Prime Minister, the country needed clear vision and strong leadership to ensure that we got on with that job of delivering on Brexit for the British people and that’s exactly what we did. We delivered that strong and stable leadership, we delivered the certainty that strong and stable leadership can give. That’s what leadership looks like.

It’s about building a stronger economy. It’s about creating well paid secure jobs. It’s about ensuring that there is opportunity for all.

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour

Under my leadership, Labour will stand up for you. We will deliver a better, fairer Britain where prosperity is shared and where the next generation are given the best start in life.

By investing in infrastructure, skills, new technology and the green industries, Labour will build a high-skill, high-wage economy.

We will invest to give you the best platform to succeed, with world-leading infrastructure: digital, transport and energy, as well as better access to growth capital, whether it is through loans or equity. Labour will grow the economy by setting up a national investment bank and regional development banks – including our ‘Bank of the North’ - to help unlock £500bn to fund major capital projects and finance growth.

We will support those striving to make a living through self-employment and in small businesses, not just because it is the right and fair thing to do, but because millions of jobs and the future of our country depends on it.
We will invest to give you the best platform to succeed
We opposed the Conservative Party’s attempts to increase National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed and will crackdown on the scandal of late payments to small businesses, by requiring any company bidding for a public sector contract to pay its own suppliers within 30 days.

Labour has a very different vision of how Brexit can work for Britain, and we have been clear that no deal is the worst possible deal. As Britain leaves the European Union, Labour will prioritise protecting jobs and the economy by retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union - unlike the Conservatives we won’t cut off UK businesses from their customers.

Only Labour has the ambition needed to deliver investment across the whole country and create decent, well-paid jobs so that people in every part of our country can live richer lives.

Tim Farron, Liberal Democrats

Lancashire business owners should vote Liberal Democrat because we are the only party offering a functioning economy. Labour is now so extreme that it lacks all economy credibility. But the Conservatives are now anti-business, too, because they want to rip Britain out of the world’s most lucrative market. Their hard Brexit will cost the UK economy up to £200bn over 15 years. You can’t have a hard Brexit and a strong economy.

We are the only party that believes Britain must stay in the single market. Even Labour voted for Theresa May’s hard Brexit. The Liberal Democrats are rapidly emerging as the party of business. In coalition, we raised the tax threshold and created a million apprenticeships. Our industrial strategy includes helping business by massively improving training.

We are the only party that believes we must stay in the single market
Our top priority is to reverse cuts to school, technical and further education funding – without that, any industrial strategy will be dead in the water.

We want to expand the British Business Bank (set up by Lib Dem Vince Cable) as a pillar of the economy, tackling the shortage of equity capital for growing firms and providing long-term capital for medium-sized businesses.

And we would set up a British Infrastructure Development Bank to fund our infrastructure, the development of the nation, with sustainability built into it. An initial £5 billion will be offered to support clean infrastructure projects, primarily in energy and housing.

Finally, we want to give real teeth to the Northern Power House. Theresa May has downgraded it. We will fight for Lancashire’s prosperity.