HAVING a strong hand at the Brexit negotiating table was Theresa May's reason in chief for calling next month's snap General Election.

And now three of the four candidates battling for the Westmorland and Lonsdale seat have had their say on the issue.

Theresa May has called on the country to give her its backing by seeking a strong majority on June 8.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron expects Mrs May to win the election comfortably, but his stance of giving the electorate its chance to vote on the final deal has never wavered.

"The deal we have at the end of the Brexit process is going to be signed off by somebody," he said. "The question is whether it's signed off by the people or politicians. At the moment it's by politicians and I think that's wrong.

"My view is we would put the deal to the people and if they like it then off we go, we leave the EU. If they don't, then we stay put."


Mr Farron's biggest challenger to the seat he has held for 12 years is likely to be Conservative candidate James Airey. He said Brexit was playing a major part in his discussions with constituents.

"Being able to send Theresa May to Europe with a strong mandate is critical for businesses and residents right across Westmorland and Lonsdale," he said.

"For an area so reliant on many different industries it's vital to get the best deal. Clearly, we need a Prime Minister with a strong majority to send a clear message that the people are behind their PM."

Mr Airey did however disagree with Mr Farron that a vote was needed on the deal. He said: "If every time we made a decision we went back to the people we would never get anything done."

Eli Aldridge, the 18-year-old Labour candidate who campaigned to remain but was too young to vote in the referendum, was of a similar view.

"A second referendum is not an option," he said. "The Liberal Democrat position on Brexit is illogical and designed to grab votes. We need to work closely with the European Union to ensure we receive the best deal possible for workers, our farmers and the environment.

"Many of the residents I have spoken to about this issue agree that the responsibility of the Labour Party is to ensure a Brexit that works for the many, not the few."