Brexit Update - the final weeks before election day
Wake Smith chairman Nick Lambert looks at the latest Brexit news...
Political pressure is now intensifying on all sides, including from the EU to try and push voters towards either side of the Brexit issue divide.
Ex Prime Ministers are creeping out of the woodwork, with one notable individual urging tactical voting specifically to create a hung Parliament, in the hope of demanding a second referendum from the British public.
EU leaders are hinting at high demands from the UK to facilitate any deal, which could include retaining free movement of people and full retention of fishing rights for EU members into UK waters.
Whether these are coincidental leaks or hints that are strategically designed to influence the outcome of the UK's 12 December general election, can only be determined by how sceptical your individual view point is!
There is no doubt however, that the rhetoric, fear-mongering, false pledges and unpleasantries being bandied about are testament to how closely run the competition in the election is – with no single party yet expected to take a convincing majority.
This brings us back to the main individual parties and whether or not their respective manifestos are convincing enough to place them in the running.
Labour's proposals lean heavily towards the party's policy of remaining in the EU, or forging a deal that keeps the UK much more closely aligned to it, including the retention of free movement.
The scope of change and spending that their manifesto suggests is vast compared to pledges by other parties. This may convince many voters in marginal seats, who are looking for radical change in UK politics, with day-to-day spending estimated at £83 billion, compared to £3 billion by the Tories.
As a policy, it is more akin to a European economic model than say the American model in terms of borrowing and spending, which would be a dramatic shift for the UK which has traditionally sits somewhere between the two.
At the opposite end of the scale, the Conservative manifesto is very light on spending, borrowing and taxation changes, which is less likely to cause unrest amongst private business owners, but may not offer sufficient change to galvanise the voting public.
The Conservative economic model is geared towards the UK becoming more self-sufficient in a post EU membership world as per its Brexit pledge, with less risk to absorb and more reassurance to businesses to help soften the effects of a departure from the bloc at the end of January.
We have also seen the Liberal Democrats publish their manifesto with heavy spending and promises to rejuvenate the NHS, which would represent an extra £13bn a year, four-and-a-half times higher than the current level of spending, but still behind Labour's spend. Other parties continue to publish their manifestos and the promises may become yet more outrageous as we enter the final weeks before the election date.
However, the smaller parties are likely to be part-players in a hung Parliament scenario and the possible cross party coalitions are, at this stage, too far ranging for consideration before 12 December.