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EU flags EP Brussels South Lakes MP Tim Farron is warning local residents about scam websites that charge for European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC). Tim is reminding people they can get the card for free and don't need to pay for it. European Parliament, Strasbourg European Union flag

  • The government's
    Article: Dec 6, 2017

    The Guardian reports online*:

    "The UK government has produced no economic forecasts on the likely impact of Brexit on various sectors of the economy, the Brexit secretary, David Davis, has told a committee of MPs who have attempted to examine the studies.

    "Answering questions from the Brexit select committee, Davis also said there had been no economic impact study undertaken before the cabinet decision to leave the EU customs union, and no assessment had been made of the possible economic effect of a no-deal Brexit.

    "'There's no systematic impact assessment,' Davis told the committee, which had summoned him to explain why it had not received more information from the studies following a House of Commons vote calling for their release."

  • EU Remainer's Diary
    Article: Nov 11, 2017

    East of England Lib Dem activist Jo Hayes writes a diary post every day about the EU and her anti-Brexit campaign.

    Read it here:

    Diary Day 413: a concession is quietly made.


    [This article was originally published by the Liberal Democrat European Group. You can access the home page of Jo's "Remainer's Diary" blog here.]

  • Suffolk EU Alliance - Café Continental
    Article: Nov 5, 2017

    You can find a report of the Suffolk EU Alliance's second Café Continental (addressed by Lib Dem MP Tom Brake, amongst others, and held in Halesworth on Saturday 4th November) in the East Anglian Daily Times article here:

  • Suffolk EU Alliance - Café Continental
    Article: Oct 31, 2017

    Make a date in your diary for Suffolk EU Alliance's second Café Continental event, in Halesworth on Saturday 4th November, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Speakers have been announced, and include:

    • Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for international trade and European affairs.
    • Rob Davidson, from Scientists for Europe
    • John Gummer, Lord Deben, former Government Minister.
  • Nick Clegg - How to Stop Brexit
    Article: Oct 28, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group will be holding their second get-together on Saturday 4th November, when we will be discussing the ambitiously titled How To Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again) by Nick Clegg. From the blurb on the inside cover:

    "Keep calm - but do not carry on.

    "There is nothing remotely inevitable about Brexit - except that it will be deeply damaging if it happens. Extricating Britain from Europe will be the greatest challenge this country has faced since the Second World War. And as negotiations with the EU expose the promises of the Brexit campaign to have been hollow, even some Brexit voters now wish to exercise their democratic right to change their mind, seeing that the most pragmatic option is to ... stop. It would certainly be the best thing for Britain.

  • ALDE Party logo
    Article: Oct 22, 2017

    The Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE Party), "the party for liberal democrat values in Europe", is a major force in European politics. ALDE Party's member parties include those of seven prime ministers of EU countries--Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia--and the Liberal Democrats. It is led by Guy Verhofstadt (MEP, and the European Parliament's representative in the Brexit negotiations).

  • Brexit Podcasts
    Article: Oct 21, 2017

    Keeping up with Brexit news can be a multi-media experience! If you're tired of reading the newspaper and staring at the computer screen, or if you want to keep up with Brexit developments while lazing in the bath or catching up with the myriad other things that fill your weekend, then perhaps a podcast is for you. There are plenty to choose from.

  • Suffolk EU Alliance - Café Continental
    Article: Oct 19, 2017

    Suffolk EU Alliance have announced their second Café Continental event, this time to be held in Halesworth on Saturday 4th November, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. National and local speakers will discuss how the future of the UK will look outside the EU, whether there is any alternative to leaving, and how individuals can get involved in the debate.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Oct 17, 2017

    The latest updates from the Twitter feed of our party leader, Vince Cable (@vincecable), which you can also access from the link in the "National Politics" section of the menu on the left-hand side of this website display. Unless you have a web privacy blocker enabled in your browser, you should see Vince's most recent five tweets below; otherwise you will see a link to Vince's Twitter page.

  • The government's
    Article: Oct 16, 2017

    The European Movement is calling on the Government to release their studies of the impact that Brexit will have in fifty aspects of the UK economy. You can sign their petition here. As Catherine Bearder, MEP and Liberal Democrat, says on their website:

    "These are studies paid for from the public purse, they should be shared with the people who paid for them - the public, right now. Mrs May, David Davis and the Tory party must not be allowed to damage this country irrevocably by pursuing a damaging Brexit. Those of us who are fighting for our future relationship with the EU need to have these impartial facts and the government must release these reports."

  • Exit from Brexit
    Article: Oct 15, 2017

    Do you want an Exit from Brexit? Back the Liberal Democrats' campaign, and sign the petition here:

  • EU and UK Farming
    Article: Oct 10, 2017

    In an article headed "UK farmers risk seeing incomes halve after Brexit", the Financial Times writes today that UK farmers benefit from EU common agricultural policy payouts to the tune of €3.1bn each year, mostly through farm income support, and that Defra reports the average British farmer to have depended on such subsidies for 86% of their income in 2016.

  • Conference
    Article: Oct 4, 2017

    There's still plenty of time to book for the East of England Liberal Democrats Regional Conference, which is being held near Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 14th October. You can download the preliminary agenda here.

    As well as a keynote speaker and an emergency motion yet to be announced, the packed agenda includes:

  • Conference
    Article: Aug 16, 2017

    Although there are other Brexit- and EU-related items on the Liberal Democrats' Autumn Conference agenda, some of our local members were disappointed to see a consultation on Europe rather than a full debate on our party's position. A conference addendum has now been published, which will allow members attending the conference to vote on whether to proceed with the planned consultative session, or whether (instead) to hold a debate on "Opposing Brexit". You can find the addendum, including the text of the potential policy motion, on the party's website in the section for conference papers.

  • Suffolk Coastal Lib Dems - Pub & Policy events
    Article: Aug 15, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats are more than half-way through their whistle-stop tour of the policy motions coming up for debate in September's party conference.

    So far, we have visited Saxmundham, Martlesham, Butley, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe, and further discussion events are lined up in Woodbridge, Grundisburgh and Earl Soham.

  • Brexit news coverage
    Article: Aug 10, 2017

    Trying to keep up with Brexit developments? Looking for a range of different viewpoints? Some of our key news providers offer a specific "Brexit" category to help you get straight to the nitty-gritty.

    The New European's focus is entirely on Brexit and on the battle to remain in the European Union:

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Aug 9, 2017

    In this video from Lib Dem HQ, new party leader Vince Cable talks about the Liberal Democrats' view on Europe and Brexit. As the "Remain party", ours is the only party campaigning to offer the public the chance to choose "an Exit from Brexit".

  • EU flag with question mark
    Article: Jun 30, 2017

    The House of Commons Library (an independent and impartial research service) publishes briefings on legislation and policy, from an impartial standpoint. They have produced "Brexit: an overview" to summarise where the UK is now in the Brexit process, stating that "[a]lthough there are a number of unknowns (such as whether notice to withdraw can be revoked) there is more clarity about the process of leaving the EU, the initial negotiating positions, and what 'no deal' would mean for the UK". The article covers (briefly):

  • Suffolk Coastal Focus May 2017, p.1
    Article: Jun 1, 2017

    Hard Brexit, with the probability of massive trade tariffs, threatens throughput at our local port of Felixstowe, jobs, living standards and the economic growth we need to support the NHS, schools, and public services. Local business leaders say that proposed restrictions on migrant workers will mean losing labour for key sectors like agriculture and hospitality.

  • EU flag & bird of liberty
    Article: May 21, 2017

    Liberal Democrats recognise the result of the 2016 referendum on the European Union, which gave the government a mandate to start negotiations to leave. But the referendum didn't ask for people's views on the shape of our future relationship with the EU on issues such as trade, travel or security.

    We believe that leaving the single market, ending freedom of movement and abandoning the customs union will make the UK poorer, and that this hard Brexit is not the outcome that many leave voters wanted. Already, the value of the pound has fallen, inflation has risen, growth in the economy has slowed, and the government has increased borrowing to fill the gap in lost tax revenue. A hard Brexit is the wrong choice for the country, and Liberal Democrats will fight to prevent it.

  • Europe Day in the EU - a celebration of peace & unity
    Article: May 9, 2017

    Today, the 9th of May, is Europe Day, celebrating peace and unity across Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration in 1950, when Robert Schuman proposed a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make the idea of war with other European nations unthinkable. His vision was a European institution for coal and steel production, but this sparked the beginning of the European Union as we know it now.

  • Suffolk EU Alliance ~ Café Continental, Framlingham, 22 April 2017
    Article: Apr 23, 2017

    Congratulations (and thanks) to the Suffolk EU Alliance, on their very successful "Café Continental" event, held in Framlingham on Saturday 22 April. There was a splendid turnout and an excellent atmosphere, with friends old and new from across the political spectrum, from all parties and none. The audience was drawn together by a wide range of stimulating and engaging speeches which covered many aspects of Brexit, exploring our shared "Remain" stance in last year's Referendum, and looking ahead to the future. We hope that there will be more events like this.

  • EU funding
    Article: Apr 10, 2017

    News coverage of the government's position on Brexit tends to focus more on the national impact, but it is important to keep an eye on the local and regional effects, too. Our area (both narrowly in Suffolk Coastal, and more broadly in the East of England) has benefitted from the UK's membership of the EU in a wide range of ways, and we don't want to lose sight of these:

  • Guy Verhofstadt, leader of ALDE, and a European Parliament negotiator on the UK's membership of the EU (image©ALDEgroup2016)
    Article: Apr 5, 2017

    The European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, has addressed a plenary session of the European Parliament, with a message that is sure to resonate with Liberal Democrats:

    "I am sure that one day there will be a young man or woman who will try again, who will lead Britain into the European family once again. A young generation that will see Brexit for what it really is: a catfight in the Conservative party that got out of hand, a loss of time, a waste of energy, a stupidity.

  • Article 50 triggered
    Article: Mar 29, 2017

    So, Article 50 has been triggered. Mayday. But the Liberal Democrats' fight goes on. Read what the party thinks will happen next, from Nick Clegg, our European Union Spokesperson, at

  • Brexit Breakfast with Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats (James Sandbach speaking)
    Article: Feb 27, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats held a Brexit Breakfast discussion event in Melton on Saturday 25th February, over a delicious breakfast at a comfortable pub. We were delighted with the excellent turnout of members old and new, and we were also joined by some new friends from the Suffolk EU alliance.

  • Article 50
    Article: Feb 7, 2017

    Conservative MP Ken Clarke, speaking in the House of Commons on 31st January 2017, on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill ~ not a Liberal Democrat, but sharing our spirit of pro-European internationalism (video available here):

    Mr Speaker, you will not be surprised to hear that it is my intention to vote against the Second Reading of this Bill, if a vote is called, and to support the reasoned amendment, which I think will be moved very shortly by the Scottish nationalists.

  • Article 50
    Article: Feb 6, 2017

    Tom Brake, speaking in the House of Commons on 1st February 2017, on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill (video available here):

    I hope that I am wrong, but I believe that the decision that the country took on 23 June will result in the biggest self-inflicted wound since our disastrous intervention in Iraq. That wound is festering and it will leave the UK permanently economically weaker, even after it has healed. I believe that, when Members of Parliament believe that a course of action is going to be a catastrophe, they have a duty to harry, assail and oppose the Government, not to acquiesce.

  • Article 50
    Article: Feb 6, 2017

    Sarah Olney, speaking in the House of Commons on 31st January 2017, on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill (video available here):

    In this country, we have settled, through a process of trial and error, on a system of parliamentary democracy as the most effective form of governance. The importance of Parliament's role was once again asserted by the Supreme Court last week. The responsibility of parliamentarians is clear: to take decisions in the best interests of the country with particular regard for the needs of their constituents. I believe that leaving the European Union will be hugely damaging for this country; the British people, through the referendum, narrowly expressed a different view. It is now up to Parliament to take account of the result of the referendum and decide what is in the best interests of the country.

  • Article 50
    Article: Feb 5, 2017

    Nick Clegg, speaking in the House of Commons on 31st January 2017, on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill (video available here):

    As this is the formal beginning of a process that will most likely lead to the end of Britain's leading role in the heart of Europe and the European Union-a cause I have espoused and defended all my political life both in opposition and in government-I have to confess that of course I feel sad that we have come to this point, much as I was surprised and saddened, as many people were, by the outcome of the referendum last summer.

  • Article 50
    Article: Feb 5, 2017

    Tim Farron, speaking in the House of Commons on 1st February 2017, on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill (video available here):

    [...] Liberal Democrats have always been proud internationalists. It was the Liberals who backed Winston Churchill's European vision in the 1950s, even when his own party did not do so. Since our foundation, we have been champions of Britain's role in the European Union and fought for co-operation and openness with our neighbours and with our allies. We have always believed that the challenges that Britain faces in the 21st century-climate change, terrorism and economic instability-are best tackled working together as a member of the European Union.

  • Conference
    Article: Jan 21, 2017

    Membership of the Liberal Democrats continues to rise, as the nation learns more about Theresa May's plans (or lack thereof) for Brexit. We are not like the Conservative party, who have U-turned on their previous position and now plan to take the UK out of the single market. We are not like the Labour party, whose position on membership of the European Union remains unclear. We, the Liberal Democrats, remain consistent and united. We will fight to keep the UK in the single market, so vital for our country's future, and we want the public to have a say on the final deal.

  • EU Next Generation Internet
    Article: Dec 13, 2016

    So far in our articles highlighting open consultations in which you can take part and influence decision-making, we have included examples from industry, district council, county council and national government. Today, we bring you a European Union consultation on the "Next Generation Internet". As the consultation page states: "The Internet has many diverse stakeholders from the research, technical and business communities, but the views of citizens and the civil society deserve more attention. We believe it is the right time to take a fresh look, with a broad and inclusive perspective."

  • Lib Dem celebration
    Article: Dec 2, 2016

    Many congratulations to Sarah Olney, who has won the Richmond Park by-election to become the ninth Liberal Democrat MP in the current parliament, overturning Zac Goldsmith's previous 23,000 majority to achieve a 1,872 majority of her own, after a campaign emphasising the Liberal Democrats' opposition to the government's approach to Brexit.

  • Brexit - what? when? how?
    Article: Nov 23, 2016

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer's Autumn Statement warned today of "government finances [...] £122bn worse off than previously expected by 2020".* Yet despite the UK's confirmed forecast of spiralling debt**, downgraded growth** and increased uncertainty, long predicted by Remain campaigners, the government remains implacable in its insistence on proceeding with an undefined Brexit.

  • Article 50
    Article: Nov 3, 2016

    From the "Summary of the judgment of the Divisional Court", R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union...

    "The question

    "1. The issue before the court is whether, as a matter of UK constitutional law, the Government is entitled to give notice of a decision to leave the European Union under Article 50 by exercise of the Crown's prerogative powers and without reference to Parliament. This is a pure question of law. The court is not concerned with and does not express any view about the merits of leaving the European Union: that is a political issue.

  • Food, Drink and Brexit
    Article: Oct 22, 2016

    Nick Clegg's third Brexit Challenge paper has been published this week, concentrating this time on "Food, Drink and Brexit", and considering the potential impact of Brexit in areas such as farming and fisheries, as well as food and drink manufacturing. The paper ends with some important questions that need to be addressed as we head towards Brexit, quoted verbatim below:

  • The New European - October 2016
    Article: Oct 17, 2016

    "Pop-up newspaper" The New European appeared in the wake of the EU Referendum, initially for a run of just four weeks, to cater for the interests of the 48% of voters who had seen their hopes for a European future thwarted by the referendum's pro-Brexit outcome. That initial four weeks turned into eight, then more, as publisher Archant (based in Norwich) found that they had unearthed a public appetite for a newspaper that presented high-quality journalism with a pro-European, pro-EU perspective. The newspaper is now available in print (by post or on news-stands), in a digital edition, and via iOS and Android apps, and the subscription periods currently on offer stretch out to 26 weeks.

  • Article 50
    Article: Oct 16, 2016

    The Liberal Democrat Plan for Britain in Europe says yes, Parliament should be given the opportunity to vote on Article 50 before Theresa May triggers it (nominally by the end of March 2017): "Parliament is the supreme law-making body in the United Kingdom. There should be a formal vote in Parliament to give notice under Article 50 and trigger the process for withdrawal. Liberal Democrats will decide how they will vote after they see the terms on which the government proposes to negotiate."

  • House of Commons Parliamentary Debate (Catherine Bebbington/Parliamentary Copyright
    Article: Oct 15, 2016

    On Monday, Liberal Democrat European spokesperson Nick Clegg addressed the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, on "Next Steps in Leaving the European Union":

    "Can he [the Secretary of State] tell us on the basis of what constitutional principle he believes the Prime Minister can now arrogate to herself the exclusive right to interpret what Brexit means and impose it upon the country, rather than protect the rightful role of scrutiny and approval of this House?"*

  • ALDE Logo
    Article: Sep 25, 2016

    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]

  • EU Lib Dem signpost to future
    Article: Sep 7, 2016

    It's all very well to criticise when government ministers parrot the empty chant of "Brexit means Brexit" but, on the opposite side of the fence, what exactly do Liberal Democrats mean when we say that we want to stay in Europe? This isn't just an academic question posed by journalists and politicos - it has cropped up in conversation at recent Lib Dem meetings and social events in Suffolk Coastal.

  • Brexit - what? when? how?
    Article: Sep 1, 2016

    Summer is over, September has arrived, and our elected representatives have gone back to the work of government. Perhaps now they can start to work out exactly what they meant when they told us that "Brexit means Brexit". Will the empty slogans of both the government and the Brexiteers be replaced by firm ideas, or even actual policies, with which we can all engage in meaningful discussion? We can but hope.

  • Nick Clegg
    Article: Aug 1, 2016

    At a recent committee meeting of a local branch of the Liberal Democrats, our party's support for Europe cropped up in conversation, with some expressions of uncertainty about what our pro-Europeanism can hope to achieve in the wake of the Leave result, and about the nature of any steps we might hope to take. What exactly are we asking for when we say that we will continue to fight for Europe? Are we asking for a second referendum? Are we denying the outcome, or proposing that it be ignored? Now that the dust has settled a little after the referendum, what can pro-Europeans do as the Government starts to formulate its plans for Brexit?

  • The New European - issue 4
    Article: Jul 31, 2016

    The New European newspaper, launched as a "pop-up newspaper for the 48%" four weeks ago with an initial plan for just four editions, has announced that it will continue its weekly publication on a rolling basis for as long as there is sufficient public interest. The paper describes itself as "not aligned with old political divisions but with an enthusiasm and love for Europe".

  • Liberal Hopeful International Rational
    Article: Jul 17, 2016

    More than 17,500 new members have joined the Liberal Democrats in the three weeks following the referendum. So what's next for the party?

    Tim Farron, the party leader, has reiterated that at the next general election, our party's manifesto will contain a clear commitment to take us back into the European Union. In the meantime, we will fight to guarantee the future of EU citizens living in the UK, and we will hold the Brexiters to account as the government embarks on its plans and negotiations. "Together, we will build a new modern breed of politics - liberal, hopeful, international, rational - driven by real British values."

  • 15,000 new members since the EU Referendum
    Article: Jul 6, 2016

    The Liberal Democrats are fighting for an open, optimistic, hopeful, diverse and tolerant Britain, within the European Union. Our numbers are growing, and 15,000 new members have joined us since the Referendum. If you haven't already done so, join us today:

  • March for Europe, 2/7/2016 (Caroline Page, Woodbridge, Suffolk)
    Article: Jul 6, 2016

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats were busy on Saturday 2nd July! Some were taking part in the March for Europe in London, and have kindly shared some of their photographs of the event (shown here). Others were in meetings to chart the way forward for the Lib Dems, through both the Liberal Democrats Lawyers Association and the party's English Council.

  • EU Lib Dem signpost to future
    Article: Jul 1, 2016

    More than a week after we were hit with the devastating outcome of the European Union Referendum, the dust is far from settling.

    The Conservative party is rent asunder by internal shenanigans, back-stabbing and betrayal, leading Vince Cable to comment on Twitter that the key players "make the Borgia popes look like beginners". This divisive and damaging referendum, foisted on the nation in an attempt to solve in-house Tory bickering, has made the rifts within the party even worse than they were before.

  • Article: Jun 27, 2016

    While respecting the democratic outcome of the referendum, the Liberal Democrats' commitment to the European Union continues, and Tim Farron has announced that the party will fight the next general election on a policy of membership of the EU.

    In an email sent to members on Saturday evening, Tim Farron wrote as follows: