Lib Dem manifesto 2017: What the papers say

Commentators wonder if Tim Farron has made his party into 'UKIP in reverse' by focussing on Brexit

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats
(Image credit: 2016 Getty Images)

The Liberal Democrat manifesto launch prompts the question: "Have they become Ukip in reverse?", says ITV's Robert Peston, adding: are they "a single issue party, in favour of keeping the UK in the EU?"

There is no question the party has eye-catching policies, he continues, but there is only one that "really really matters, which is that the Lib Dems want a second EU referendum, after we know the terms of the Brexit deal".

Focusing on one issue could prove costly, says The Independent's Andrew Grice.

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"Perhaps the Lib Dems have put too many eggs in the Brexit basket," he adds.

"The problem is that the 48 per cent (who voted remain) have splintered. The British way, it seems, is to move on, and get on with Brexit."

On the party's pledge to add a penny on income tax to fund health and social care, The Guardian's home affairs editor Alan Travis says: "The Treasury has always been hostile to the principle of hypothecated taxes - tying money raised in general taxation to one specific purpose - and the Lib Dems may face a battle to keep the proceeds ringfenced."

He adds that the Lib Dems only offer 15 hours of free childcare to all two-year-olds - half of Labour’s promised 30 hours.

"In many ways it's the revival manifesto with tax cuts, spending increases, legalisation of cannabis and few other voter-friendly polices. And at the moment they certainly need more friendly voters," says ITV's Emma Murphy.

"This manifesto is called Change Britain's Future - it should probably be called Change Britain's Future By Changing Its Opposition."

Grice agrees, saying Lib Dem leader Tim Farron "must be the first party leader in history who wants to become leader of the opposition, the most difficult job in British politics".

Plans for young people and higher education have also been met with controversy.

"The Lib Dems haven’t just written a manifesto for this general election, they’ve written the history books too," says Political Scrapbook.

"Eagle eyed Green MP Caroline Lucas has spotted that the 2017 Lib Dem manifesto released today actually cites their betrayal of students as an achievement."

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The Lib Dem's landmark pledge to legalise cannabis also provoked mirth and condescension online.

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