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LDEG recommends ‘rejoin’ to Party Conference

September 3, 2020 9:45 AM
By Mark Johnston
Originally published by Liberal Democrat European Group

UK & EU flags

With 'no-deal Brexit' chaos in just a few months looking more and more likely and just ahead of Autumn Conference, LDEG today calls on all Lib Dems to back "wholeheartedly" the long-term goal of the UK rejoining the EU.

Our recommendations are presented in a draft motion released as Party members and committees prepare for an online debate and vote on Sunday 27 September.

Under item F23 Europe the conference organising committee (FCC) set later deadlines so changing circumstances can be taken into account. Thus the motions deadline is 14 September (1 pm) while any amendments must be tabled by 23 September (5 pm).

The full text of LDEG's recommendations are reproduced below while the full Conference Agenda is accessible here.

Recommendations (draft motion) to Autumn Conference

Conference notes :

A. The Conservative / Vote Leave Government has systematically and cynically misled voters about the EU and the consequences of leaving the EU, and in doing so won the 2016 referendum and 2019 General Election.

B. Despite their promises to the contrary, we are destined to end the EU transition period at the end of 2020 without a deal or with a bad bare bones one.

C. The rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK remain at risk, as the Government attempts to roll back from the commitments it made in the Withdrawal Agreement

Conference believes that:

i. The damage to our economy, human rights, security, Britain's standing in the world and the prospects for current and future generations, caused by this Government's Brexit will be profound and long-lasting. This is especially reckless in a world grappling with the coronavirus pandemic

ii. Membership of the EU is not only a matter of trade, but of peace, prosperity and social progress towards an open, tolerant and safe society

iii. The United Kingdom and its nations are fundamentally aligned to the European social democratic model rather than a small state model

Conference calls for:

1. The party to hold the Conservative / Vote Leave Government to account unstintingly as it fails to deliver what it promised, and to expose damage of Brexit to our economy, security, society and national unity

2. The party to campaign to reverse and to prevent further damage by pointing the benefits of close relations with the EU, and in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, advocate a two year extension to the EU transition period

3. The rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK not to be further eroded and where possible enhanced, and to retain ECHR standards of human rights for all UK citizens

4. The closest possible alignment between Britain and the EU including minimising tariff and non-tariff trade barriers and maintaining strong diplomatic, security, cultural, educational, and scientific ties, which will ultimately make it easier for the UK to re-join the EU

5. At an appropriate future date, determined by political circumstances, the failure of the Government to deliver its Brexit promises, and in light of progress in achieving the preceding objectives, campaign wholeheartedly to rejoin the EU.