Brexit, Spending and Security: British Voters on the Issues – New York Times
‘My Identity as a European’
I joined the Liberal Democrats the day after the E.U. referendum because I recognized they were the only party who would fight for my identity as a European citizen. This means more to me than any other policy on health or education as I am lucky to be middle class and comfortably off. I used to vote Labour when they were more centrist and not led by a Eurosceptic.
— Esther Lam, 37, a private tutor in London.
Independence From the E.U.
Over the following years, we will be going through the complicated process of becoming independent from the European Union. It is the right time for an election to input a government best equipped to take the country through this. Parliament should stand together and people need to accept the outcome of recent elections, rather than rail against it because they didn’t get their way.
— Rachel Tapp, 32, a children’s social services manager in London.
‘Years of Brexit Chaos’
An election that was supposed to bring certainty and now looks like it will create more confusion. A Conservative win plunges us into years of Brexit chaos, a Labour win brings me a higher tax bill. I will vote Conservative but with a heavy heart. I don’t believe May has run a good campaign and is showing herself to be out of her depth. Whereas Corbyn is not fit to govern in the slightest.
— Stephen Moon, 60, a sports nutritionist who lives in London.
‘A Clean Break’
Conservative. They seem more capable and more unified. They won’t go crazy with the country’s economy and will encourage more people to get jobs by keeping low benefit payments. The Labour Party shadow cabinet are incapable and inexperienced. I don’t trust them to run the country. I want a clean break from the E.U. so that we can trade with the rest of the world as well as the E.U.
— Paddy Goggin, 24, a student of business management in Manchester.
I’m voting Labour. The U.K. needs change; the Tories have created a crisis in our National Health Service and cuts to our police and military have made us less safe. They also have damaged the economy with the referendum, which should never have taken place.
— Craig Solo, 39, lives in London.
Extra Police Officers
Personally, a continued commitment to protect my rights as a worker once we leave the E.U. and the prospect of an extra 10,000 police officers. To live in a country where my children have the same opportunities as those who are born into great wealth and where the overbearing attitude isn’t to look out solely for yourself before thinking of society as a whole. A nonprivatized N.H.S. and railways. More regulated energy companies. Hopefully lower bills. More housing. (Note: N.H.S. is the National Health Service.)
— Ben Pugh, 27, a police dispatcher, lives in East Devon, England.
‘A Shambles of the Campaign’
Brexit is incredibly disruptive and unhelpful. We need to get beyond it quickly so we can start to plan with certainty. I’ve always voted Tory and believed in its core ideology. Having this election was a smart move but the party is totally unprepared and has made a shambles of the campaign. Have been largely unimpressed with May so far despite feeling positive about her prior to the campaign.
— Adam Ross, 36, lives with his family in London but works in Berlin at an online advertising company.
‘These Are Not Hard-Left Ideas’
I have Scandinavian family. A fully funded N.H.S., high standard free education, subsidized child care, nationalized railways et cetera are fundamentals of those societies, who manage to do just fine in terms of business and G.D.P. as well. These are not hard-left ideas. Corbyn represents a chance to at least chip away at the overwhelming culture which sees citizens as nothing more than units of economic activity and assumes we have no choice but to let businesses eternally suck us dry for their own enrichment.
— Jen Payne, 31, works at Goldsmiths, University of London.
‘The Current Cabinet Has Lost the Plot’
Having voted Conservative in the last election, on the vain hope that the party might stick to their manifesto pledges to improve the economic position of the U.K. in a stable way, I now see a party that does what it likes and pleases, as the country is focused on the issue of Europe. The party has projected their own divides over the issue onto the country at large, and has made life much worse for many people across the country as a result. I could agree with the former prime minister David Cameron’s One-Nation conservatism, which had many liberal elements to it, but the current cabinet has lost the plot, and I can no longer support it.
— David Lakin, 20, a student from Wales, currently studying abroad.