From 16 to 19 September the UK Liberal Democrats gathered in Bournemouth for their 2017 Autumn Conference, their largest annual event featuring lively debates, speeches, policy discussions, fringe events and a range of social events.
This Autumn Conference was the first of new LibDem leader Sir Vince Cable since his election in July. In his first leader speech, Cable addressed what's his vision for Britain: "Our position is clear: the Liberal Democrats are the party of Remain. So I have some advice for Theresa May now. Take the issue of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in Europe out of these negotiations."
"The government should declare a Right to Remain - now. Let me be clear. This is not a call for a re-run – a second referendum – on Brexit. It is a call for a first referendum on the facts: when we know what Brexit means," continued Cable.
"We believe the public have a right to change their mind," concluded the LibDems leader.
You can read the highlights of Vince Cable's speech here or watch it below:
New deputy leader Jo Swinson offered a keynote speech, in which she highlighted the importance of liberal values: "We need new, 21st century, liberal solutions to all of these problems and more. We need to get out of our own echo chamber and start bridging the divides in our communities. We need to bring people together to create the answers, leaving no room for the populists to sow their seeds of division. We can do this. In the Netherlands and in France this year the populists were defeated. In Canada we cheered Trudeau’s Liberal victory."
"Creating the bold vision we need is bigger than any single political party. Indeed it’s bigger than party politics itself. We need to reach out and collaborate across society, with thinkers, activists, the young and the old, faith groups, trade unions, entrepreneurs – and with all of you who want to change the world. A considerate one. A fairer one. A loving one. A liberal one. This is our challenge. And we must rise to it," she concluded.
You can read and watch Jo Swinson's full speech here.
Former LibDems leader Tim Farron also addressed the conference participants in a speech in which he supported Vince Cable: "We have a great, new leader in Vince. He is exactly what we need, just when we need it – and I still aim to encourage, inspire and support you as we seek to win, in councils and in parliaments, in your community, and across our country." You can read the highlights of Tim Farron's speech here.
The ALDE Party was also present during the LibDems Autumn Conference with a stand promoting ALDE Party individual membership, which recruited around 40 new members over the event. Catherine Bearder MEP and LibDems leader Vince Cable were among the politicians who visited our stand.
Do you want to help us spread Liberal values in Europe too? Then join ALDE Party individual members here.