Since Kier Starmer’s interview last week, I have seen the subject of a new political party raised frequently, with Volt often being mentioned as an alternative to establishing a new party.
When considering such issues, we need to remember the cross-party nature of support for Rejoining the EU. Our support base is very diverse and comes from right across the political spectrum which is why any new political party needs to be tightly focussed on Rejoin and very closely associated issues.
Having spent some time looking at Volt’s website and researching them, whilst I see much that is welcome, they are not a single-issue party by any stretch of the imagination and are therefore unlikely to attract the widespread cross political spectrum support needed within the Rejoin community let alone the wider electorate.
One particular area of concern relating to the wider electorate is Volt’s federalist stance given the nature of some of the wider debate surrounding the issue of our EU membership over the last few years. Their stance on this issue may well be unpopular with the wider electorate, and furthermore, our opponents would undoubtedly seize upon this to demonstrate their concerns about federalism and the foundation of an EU “superstate” were well founded. When you consider some of the other obstacles that we will have to overcome with the electorate on our route to Rejoining, such as the need to adopt the Euro and join Schengen, this federalist stance would make a difficult job even harder.
There is also the issue of Volt not being a home-grown party. To the vast majority of us, including myself. this is not an issue in any way whatsoever. However, again, this may be an issue of concern for the wider electorate given the nature of much of the debate surrounding our EU membership. We need to look at this issue from the perspective of the wider electorate, not our own perspective, and again, this may give us yet another difficult obstacle to overcome. A home-grown single-issue party putting the case for our EU membership to be in our best interests as a country would be an easier proposition to sell to certain sections of the electorate.
For these reasons Volt does not therefore offer a viable route forward for us as a movement, indeed their federalist stance in particular could actually end up hindering us in achieving our goals. That said as a movement we should encourage Volt’s stance on our EU membership.