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What do other European liberal parties think of our party's policy on Europe?

September 25, 2016 9:42 AM


One of the highlights of a Liberal Democrat national conference is the opportunity to attend fringe events featuring representatives from other liberal parties across the EU. The resultant panel discussions and presentations are always engaging, and offer a fascinating window on the wider world.

At the 2015 Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, the focus of these fringe events was on rebuilding small liberal and democrat parties whose political presence has been demolished after leaving coalition, based on the experiences of European parties such as D66 (Netherlands) and the FDP (Germany). At last week's 2016 Brighton conference, with the Liberal Democrats already solidly increasing membership and gaining in local elections, the focus had naturally shifted to the UK's role in Europe, and to the Brexit negotiations.

The Liberal Democrats party is a member of ALDE, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, who actually attended our Brighton conference last week and convened their ALDE Party Bureau there, issuing the following statement on Brexit:

"The ALDE Party Bureau, convening in Brighton, UK on 17 September:

  • taking notice of the outcome of the referendum, full-heartedly supports the efforts of the Liberal Democrats under the leadership of Tim Farron to keep the United Kingdom in the EU, and ultimately giving the British people the chance to decide on the deal;
  • underlines that the aim of any negotiation must be to keep the relations between the United Kingdom and the other members of the European Union as close as possible, to the mutual benefit of both;
  • reasserts its commitment to the four freedoms of the EU and undertakes to preserve these as much as feasibly possible to the mutual benefit of both the European Union and the United Kingdom."

The full statement calls for specific areas to be considered during Brexit negotiations, and you can read it here. But it is good to have external reassurance that the Liberal Democrat party's position is endorsed by our friends and sister parties in Europe.


Source: [accessed 25 Sep 2016] [accessed 25 Sep 2016]