Europe resolution for Liberal Democrat Conference
There has been an interesting thread on Facebook in the last couple or three days about what might be the appropriate way for the Liberal Democrats to “Resolve” to address the European issue at the party Conference in Brighton in a couple of weeks` time. Though not currently a Party member I used to enjoy devising resolutions (and some were quite successful many years ago) so I thought I would set my mind to suggest a “simple, radical and distinctive” draft …. Feel free to use or not use but please give appropriate credit if you do use any or all of the suggestions!
The clear democratic expression of the electorate that the United Kingdom should “leave the European Union” as the outcome of the Brexit referendum of June 2016, but
- the “Leave” campaign was based on lies, pandering and misinformation
- the “Remain” campaign was based wrongly on fear, rather than on principle, and that
- a national referendum was an inappropriate way to try and resolve a long-running internal dispute within the Conservative Party
Conference further believes:
- the decision whether or not to invoke article 50 must not be the prerogative of an unelected Prime Minister acting alone, or with Cabinet, without full Parliamentary debate
- the final nature of any subsequent negotiation of Brexit terms must be put to the electorate, either in the form of a second referendum, or as the key element of a General Election campaign, whether especially called or under the Fixed Term Election law
- the final decision as to membership of the European Union must be made in the United Kingdom Parliament, following full parliamentary debate after such Election or Referendum
- the Liberal Democratic belief that the United Kingdom is stronger within a democratic Union of European countries based upon Liberal principles of Freedom and Democracy
- the view that membership of such a European Union should enhance international security, freedom and environmental and sustainable development goals for ourselves and our European partners
- freedom of movement of people within the European Union is both economically beneficial and socially important and restriction should not be sought upon the basis of bigotry and racism as appears to have been the case before and after the June referendum
Conference therefore resolves:
- to fight for the best possible conditions of any possible negotiated Brexit scenario for the time being, but, vitally
- to fully commit the Liberal Democrats to present the best case for remaining within a free and democratic European Union in any future referendum or General Election
- to call for, and work with Liberal European partner parties to effect, appropriate reforms of European institutions to enhance the democratic decision making with the European Union now and in the future
Since I am not a member of the Liberal Democrats at the moment this may all be pie in the sky, but I would be interested to see if it meets with an approving audience within the Party nevertheless. I shall be watching conference from Brazil (if it reaches these shores) but would be pleased to see your comments both before and after conference. Regards from a former Party member. Good luck! I might even join again if you get it right!
I support fully your proposal. Looking forward to catching up on your return. Janex
Kind regards Jane
Unfortunately for them (and possibly the rest of us), Liberal Democrats have very little political power in Parliament, so what they debate and decide upon at their Annual Conference is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. However, it seems unfortunate that a Parliamentary debate, and/or a national plebiscite, on the proposed terms of BREXIT could only come long after Article 50 has been triggered and the UK’s exit from the EU therefore nevitable!