Author Archives: Charlie Murphy

Liberal Democrat MEP candidates must be clear: Now is Europe’s moment

From Whitehall to Warsaw we see populists on the march – they decry the European idea which so many have fought for over the past century. The dilemma? They’re right to.

Tim Martin, the pro-Brexit Wetherspoons boss, told crowds in London that the European Union was undemocratic. The reality is (and bear with me) that he’s not far wrong – the EU has long faced the idea of a democratic deficit. Our MEPs in the European Parliament deserve more power as the voice of 500 million people. We deserve the right to choose the President of the European Commission, an effective figurehead for Europeans who’s directly accountable. We can explore similar ideas for the President of the Council, such as their election depending on a weighted vote of national parliaments. The answer to the democratic deficit? It’s not to leave the union, it’s more union. We must stop tip-toeing around the idea of Europe and unapologetically bring it closer to the people it serves.

Trying to defend the European Union in its current form won’t work, because even we know it’s broken. What can work is calling for reform, and evoking our friends and allies across the continent who know the same. Europe’s broken, but it can be fixed – it must be fixed.

The UK is slipping down the international rankings of global economies, but the European Union? It still remains $2 trillion larger than the USA and the largest free trade area in human history. In the near future the centre of gravity for global economic and political power will continue to shift, but without more cooperation, it will shift further away from Europe. Successive US Presidents have had their eye move from Europe, Trump’s no coincidence and he won’t be the last POTUS to look elsewhere. Our strategic problem isn’t going away. The answer again is reform.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 14 Comments

This weekend’s march is about so much more than a vote on the Brexit deal

Brexit March Brexit March

In Parliament, MPs have been debating on (and rejecting) this botched Tory deal. Beyond Parliament, young people have been watching on in horror and disbelief. As a wealthy Brexit elite, red in the face, tell themselves to hold their nerve, it’s clear that they’ve got no regard for our future.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn? They just aren’t listening – they are completely detached from reality. They’re causing embarrassment on an international scale, the world over the country we love is a laughing stock. It’s shameful, and history will look harshly on the perpetrators of this chaotic mess.

I’m 20 years old, less than a month off of voting on the 23rd of June 2016. There are almost 2 million like me who can now vote. The fact is that the UK does not want Brexit anymore, and young people just like me deserve a say on our future. The British people deserve the right to a final say now we’ve got a deal on the table, and not some fanciful, wildly unrealistic ideal.

Before our very eyes, my generation is seeing jobs and investment sapped out of the UK. We’re seeing our futures – lives that should be spent with the right to live, love and work freely across 28 nations, the largest free trade area in human history – all being snatched away from us. It would be dystopian if the last three years hadn’t numbed us all to this warped reality.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged and | 17 Comments

We must claim back Europe’s role in the world from populist Eurosceptics

Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Dauntless in the Mediterranean Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Dauntless in the Mediterranean

We must claim back Europe’s role in the world from populist Eurosceptics

Image: Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Dauntless in the Mediterranean (Royal Navy, used under the Open Government License)
When campaigning for Europe, we must be unapologetic, and we must be frank with our stance. Europe as an idea and the EU as an organisation are both under enormous pressure from within and without. To recognise Europe’s value, we must avowedly call for reform, and we must be the dynamism needed for change.

One of those changes must be the capacity to defend itself and its neighbourhood.

This week, Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed her successor’s plans for Europe, including a seat at the UN’s top table and a European aircraft carrier. The carrier plans are a following from France and Germany’s program to procure a new European fighter jet.

In 2016, Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs that soft power is not enough. He told us all that analysis shows up to €100bn in savings are possible via closer cooperation. Americans operate one variant of Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), we Europeans operate a staggering 19 – the inefficiency is widespread, and it’s understandable for all to see. European defence is too fragmented, and it’s costing us all money and international clout.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 17 Comments

Young Liberals launch Young & Winning 2019 to support young candidates

It’s no secret that this year is going to be big for us Liberal Democrats, and the Young Liberals are no exception.

Last year, we provided thousands to young candidates across the country. We contributed to getting some fantastic young councillors elected, now serving their community.

In 2019 we’re doing the same with more support to elect young councillors. The aim is to give young people the community voice which they deserve and need.

This support can range from grants for literature to subsidised action days and more.

In 2018, we supported almost every candidate that applied. In almost every case, young candidates we supported saw increase in vote share. Many were successful in their bids, some came within less than 10 votes of taking their ward.

It’s clear to me that we need more young voices in local government. It’s clear that we can make that happen, and it’s imperative that we do.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Young Liberals launch the biggest recruitment campaign of the year

Every year, the Liberal Democrats turn to the Young Liberals to launch and run one of the party’s biggest recruitment events – the Freshers campaign.

In this campaign, Young Liberals (formerly Liberal Youth) across the country will descend upon their Students Unions to attend Freshers Fairs and recruit new young and student members. Our largest branches enjoyed hundreds signing up for mailing last year.

Posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged and | 1 Comment
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  • User AvatarNick Rider 21st Aug - 9:24am
    @TCO I said poverty was a 'contributory cause' in the Brexit vote. That means one among several. I did not say it was the sole...
  • User Avatarjane mansfield 21st Aug - 9:04am
    @ TCO, Perhaps Mr Raw takes an evidence based approach rather than spreading myths that are based on political prejudice. In a report commissioned by...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Aug - 8:43am
    Hard Rain and TCO . Given I've slogged my guts out for this party and it's predecessor since 1961, been employed by the party and...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 21st Aug - 8:21am
    Tom Harney is right. Democracy in this country and, dare I say, across the Atlantic as well, is in need of a severe reboot. Looking...
  • User AvatarHard Rain 21st Aug - 8:09am
    Corbyn has been a regular columnist in the Morning Star for as long as I can remember. This is the journal of the Communist Party...
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    @Mack "No. I propose that we respect the democratic decision of the British People to opt for independence from the EU...." Tom Harney (21st Aug...
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