100 Days to go to secure our place in Europe

There are now just 100 days to secure Britain’s place in Europe. There is so much at stake. If we leave, the country faces a future of uncertainty, isolation and diminished influence in the world. If we stay we will secure opportunity, prosperity and security for future generations and we can lead the way in shaping a better, more liberal Europe.

At Liberal Democrat conference in York over the weekend I was thrilled to see so many members from up and down the country who were fired up to get out there and win this referendum. There was so much energy and enthusiasm on display, as shown by all those smiling pictures on social media using our campaign hashtag #INtogether. This is a cause that is dear to our hearts as the UK’s most internationalist, outward-looking party. Now we need to spread that passion and positivity to the public across the country.

So don’t wait around, get out there and start campaigning! Everything you need is available online here and we’ll be adding a lot more resources as the campaign goes on. Now is the time to go out into your local communities, speak to friends and family and sign up new members who are passionate about our place in the EU. There are so many easy ways you can help, by printing off an #INtogether poster and sticking it up in your window or spreading the word by sharing infographics on Facebook and Twitter. We also need to counter the daily negative drivel the Outers are coming up with, so write letters to your local paper and call up your local radio phone-ins.

This referendum won’t be won in the dusty corridors of Westminster. It will be won in those everyday conservations in the pub, around the family dinner table or over a cup of tea at work. So let’s go out and make the positive, passionate and patriotic case to stay #INtogether.

* Catherine Bearder is a Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East and Leader of the European Parliament Liberal Democrat Group.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Richard Underhill 15th Mar '16 - 5:52pm

    The BBC has instructed its presenters to distinguish between Europe and the European Union. The BBC is doing so to prevent bias, but we should also do so. For instance people are entering the EU at Greece, trying to leave Greece while remaining in Europe, and then trying to enter the EU elsewhere. Some of these Balkan countries want to join the EU and part of their arguments for doing so are that they are in Europe.
    Former MEP Caroline Lucas MP was on the Daily Politics on 15/3/16 making the case that climate change is better dealt with in association with our partners in the EU as at the conference in Paris. Climate change is a good example of an important issue on which we need co-operation. There are many others.
    For all his faults David Cameron has said that on security issues he deals with the EU and NATO simultaneously, citing sanctions on Russia as an example. That makes sense. The Outers should not be allowed to argue that NATO alone is responsible, that is nonsense.

  • Eddie Sammon 15th Mar '16 - 9:31pm

    Could the EU do anything to make you want to leave? This is the problem when die-hard pro EU people try to convince undecides. It often doesn’t work and they listen to someone like Boris Johnson who takes time to decide instead.

    I know I’ve sounded very pro EU recently, but as an example if the European Central Bank kept printing more money and they demanded we join the Euro and massively debase our currency too then I would probably vote to leave, but that isn’t happening.

  • Could the EU do anything to make you want to leave?

    I think Eddie that is at the heart of the Liberal Leave campaign. From my reading of their materials they are unhappy about what the UK has received from the EU and how the EU operates – they aren’t offering a better life outside of the EU, they are just wanting to exit a relationship they believe isn’t working that won’t and can’t be changed in the coming years.

    In a similar vein, I find it interesting that Priti Patel (Con MP) is supporting Leave because of the effects of the UK’s exit from the ERM; failing to realise that the only reaosn the UK was in the ERM was because of a decision made at Westminster…

  • Denis Loretto 16th Mar '16 - 9:59am

    Have a look at this link to a story in yesterday’s London Evening Standard – http://www.standard.co.uk/business/lord-hill-brexit-risks-ruling-us-out-of-our-best-market-a3203831.html

    This is devastating stuff from Lord Hill – a man very much in the place to know and someone who has never been a starry-eyed euro-enthusiast. There is a measure of informed opinion here but most of it is cold hard fact about an absolutely crucial area of the UK economy.

    Boris Johnson is not one for detail but surely 8 years as Mayor have exposed him to some extent to the realities Lord Hill is spelling out. How could he ignore all of this in coming to his “agonising” (?) decision to rubbish everything about the EU and the contribution membership makes to the London which he is supposed to represent?

    On the same day as we heard that the overwhelming majority of CBI members – big, medium and large – throughout Britain want to remain in the EU penetrating questions need to be put to Boris Johnson and others who are completely failing to address the points made by the people upon whom we depend to provide employment for millions of people.

  • Richard Underhill 16th Mar '16 - 12:34pm

    Eddie Sammon 15th Mar ’16 – 9:31pm I agree with Nancy Seear that we should have joined in the mid-1950s and been in the lead in shaping the organisation. six Liberal MPs called a vote in the House of Commons. Tory and Labour MPs voted otherwise, partly because of the continued existence then of the British French (and Portuguese) Empires, partly because they were, let us put this politely, not very forward looking.
    The UK is not being asked to join the Euro. It is, of course, not a single currency, because several countries have opt-outs, Sweden has voted NO in a referendum and several other countries have not qualified. The Economist magazine has commented on enforcement of the rules. Abrogating the UK’s opt-out is not a credible likelihood in the current referendum. I currently intend to vote to Remain.

  • From the first paragraph of the article.

    “If we stay we will secure opportunity, prosperity and security for future generations…”

    Would that be like Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy (and soon France) whose societies and economies have been devastated by the euro leading to a lost generation? In Greece the recession is as deep as the Great Depression in the US but has lasted longer with no respite in sight. The Lib Dem establishment seem to imagine that anything ‘EU’ is somehow sprinkled with fairy dust and hence to be welcomed uncritically and with open arms so they would have had us join this well-predicted disaster.

    ” … we can lead the way in shaping a better, more liberal Europe.”

    Fine words – but where’s the analysis of what needs to change, the ideas, the concrete proposals? The track record is mainly of supporting the Brussels establishment. For example, when the voters rejected the proposed constitution Lib Dems actively helped them force it through with minimal changes thinly disguised as the Lisbon Treaty. Why weren’t liberals ready with their ‘Plan B’? The bottom line is that, as I have argued elsewhere, the Lib Dems’ record is support for the status quo and not reform. The contrast with support for voting and HoL reform is inexcusable.

    “If we leave, the country faces a future of uncertainty, isolation and diminished influence in the world.”

    Project fear in full cry. The way we’re going all those things are in our future anyway so it’s only a matter of degree. Be very sure of one thing – sooner or later the Eurozone is going to explode so ‘in’ or ‘out’ we need to batten down the hatches.

    Despite everything I do see our future in Europe – meaning with formal arrangements for pooling sovereignty when mutually advantageous but not otherwise. But that’s not the direction the EU is heading in. It’s deplorable that we are in the position of fighting on what is essentially UKIP’s ground – a binary choice between a morally bankrupt establishment and ‘out’. History records that successful generals dictate the battleground; we should do the same.

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