30 Sep, 2020

UK Lib Dems vote to push for renewed EU membership in long term at Annual Conference

The UK Liberal Democrats convened virtually for their annual Autumn Conference where the party that campaigned to remain in the EU and reaffirmed their commitment to support a longer-term objective of rejoining the EU at an appropriate future date.

Delegates attending the virtual conference debated and adopted numerous resolutions and called for the Government to protect the people of the UK in its Brexit negotiations and to support a longer term objective of UK membership of the EU at an appropriate future date to be determined by political circumstances, subject to public assent, market and trade conditions and acceptable negotiated terms.

In his first keynote conference speech as Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey drew on his personal experiences and shared his vision on rebuilding the Party and how he plans to fight for a greener, fairer country as we move forward through the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Given the enormity of the threat to our country, it’s with deep regret and sadness that I must say: this Government and this Prime Minister have just not risen to this challenge. With unbelievable incompetence, this Conservative Government is failing our people, in one of our darkest hours,” he said.

In order for Lib Dems to start winning again, he explained that the party must start listening to more voices and show that the party represents the whole country, not just some people: “We have endured three deeply disappointing general elections, in five tough years. At the national level at least, too many people think we’re out of touch with what they want. We can’t fix this with a catchy new slogan. Or by fighting the same battles, in the same way. The answer is to listen to what people are really telling us. And to change. We know that people want a better future for themselves and their families. So let’s show them that the Liberal Democrats can build that better future."

Delegates debated and adopted additional motions including to campaign for the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), support a package improving mental health support for health and care workers, reaffirm the party’s commitment to a federal UK and broader political reform, to promote a green recovery from coronavirus, save the BBC, and to protect and support the rights of the people of Hong Kong.

In her first keynote address as Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Layla Moran condemned plans to cut foreign aid amidst COVID-19 and also said the UK cannot sit by and watch while a genocide is being engineered against the Uyghurs in China, and called on the government to ban the sale of products produced in the labour camps in Xinjiang. 

The ALDE Party was present at the virtual event with a virtual booth, and representatives of ALDE member parties the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and the Liberal Party of Gibraltar participated in a fringe meeting addressing the situation in view of Brexit.

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin of ALDE member in Ireland Fianna Fail also participated in a pre-recorded interview.

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