Volt UK: The New Pan-European Party

It is now safe to say that the Brexit negotiations have been fulfilled. However, even though the UK has decided to change paths – from a continental view of global politics to a more individualistic one – there are those that still want to reverse the decision of the 2016 referendum. Originally, they rallied under the Change UK and Liberal Democrat parties – which failed to rally an efficient movement to rejoin the EU. Nevertheless, they persist through a new party called Volt UK to carry on the idea of European unity.

Who are Volt UK and what are they all about?

Judging by their website and their various social media accounts on Facebook; Twitter; and Instagram, it is very clear that they are a pan-European political party. The opening statement on their website sums up the core of their beliefs which dictates their policies, ideas and actions.     

‘At Volt, we connect citizens from all over Europe into a united political force to find real solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow that no single country can solve alone.’

Volt UK Website Opening Statement

It is also clear to see that they are more than just an average start-up of a political party, with their UK branch being registered with the Electoral Commission in January 2020. They have thus been preparing early moves to reintegrate the UK back into the EU.

But what makes Volt UK special when comparing it to other parties across the UK? For one, it is not merely a party by itself, but one of many that is part of a Europe-wide coalition – Volt Europa. As an organisation, they are quite sizeable given the information they have on their own website – apparently possessing 31 National Teams, 15 political parties and over 40,000 members.

But despite its impressive size, the coalition’s UK branch’s electoral performance has been limited in the UK. This can be easily forgiven bearing in mind it only started last year. Regardless, their performance on the European scale shows that they have had some success. Volt Europa currently have one MEP in the European Parliament (Damian Boeselager, a German MEP) and gained 437,633 votes (0.22% of the vote) in the 2019 European Elections, with key performances in the Netherlands (1.93%) and Luxembourg (2.1%). Despite their infancy, they are showing that they are starting on strong ground within Europe.

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Going back to the UK, Volt UK’s main goal is for the UK to join the European Union through another referendum – contrary to its European equivalent’s larger focus on European integration in general. It may thus overshadow their other policies that are similar to other parties. But despite its one-policy image, Volt UK does have other policies that they are campaigning on.

They have laid out five other priorities and three additional policies on their ‘Manifesto for Britain’ page. The ones they class as their priorities are:

  • Electoral Reform: Changing the UK elections system from first-pass-the-post to proportional representation in general elections.
  • Climate Change: Believing that more needs to be done on the issue by the Government to solve its ‘manmade disaster’.
  • Empowering Communities: Believing that ‘decisions need be made at the lowest possible level’ and thus support the devolution of powers to regional governments and councils. 
  • Empowering People: They want to give people the tools to craft their own future and ‘have the right to speak and be listened to’, thus suggests that they are pro-freedom of speech.   
  • Reshaping Democracies: They believe the current form of democracy needs to change and that they wish to reform it.     

Their additional policies are in line with one of the main policies for ‘Reshaping Democracies’ – that being ‘reform in political advertising’; ‘unite and co-operate’, and ‘compassion in politics’.

Overall, I would say that Volt UK will be an interesting party to look out for in the future – with them being a name to look out for over this decade. From looking at their policies and how they have presented them, one could say that they are a centre-left party alongside their pro-EU policies. However from what they themselves have shown currently, I believe they will have little relevance in the new decade.

Featured image credit: “european union stars” by notarim is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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