Lib Dems back long term aspiration to rejoin EU

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Well, that was tense!

Of all the votes to have technical issues, it would just have to be the one between two hotly contested amendments, wouldn’t it?

Thankfully, the outcome wasn’t even close with 331 backing the more emphatic “Rejoin now” Amendment 1 and 1071  backing Amendment 2 proposed by Duncan Brack and eventually accepted by the leadership. It’s a huge number of people taking part and was the outcome I thought most likely but at times did not seem assured.

The debate was at times a bit fractious, with speeches on both sides going a bit over the top.

However, there were some very thoughtful and measured contributions which probably did more to persuade people.

There was a small moment of drama when Wera Hobhouse MP was called. It had been reported that she would support Amendment 1, but she confirmed straight away that she was supporting Amendment 2.

So what have we passed? You can read the main motion on page 11 here.

It’s as you would expect, pointing out the problems with Brexit, the Government’s appalling handling of it and affirming our support for freedom of movement, EU Citizens and all manner of food and environmental and security co-operation.

The contentious bit was this:

In the longer term, conference resolves to keep all options open for the UK’s future relationship with the EU, including membership at an appropriate future date to be determined by political circumstances, subject to public assent, market and trade conditions and acceptable negotiated terms.

The amendment passed changed that last bit to:

In the longer term, Conference resolves to support a longer term objective of UK membership of the EU at an appropriate future date to be determined by political circumstances, subject to public assent, market and trade conditions and acceptable negotiated terms.

So here are some of the highlights of the debate in tweets:

 

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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54 Comments

  • So is this good news for those of us who want to campaign to rejoin?

  • The motion passed will be seen, by the media and other parties, as an abandonment of the LibDems opposition to Brexit in favour of being yet another “Get Brexit done” Party.

    With the promises of Brexit being proven false by the day, it is bizarre to adopt such a policy at this time.

    The new policy will be seen as a betrayal by many people who voted for the LDs in recent elections.

    I for one will reconsider who I vote for in future elections, notable upcoming local elections (and I live in a tight marginal constituency for the LDs).

  • Matt (Bristol) 27th Sep '20 - 7:56pm

    Happy about this, and not disappointed that the attempt to put a tight timetable on it failed. Still disappointed about the lack of reference to democratic consent.

  • Richard Easter 27th Sep '20 - 8:01pm

    Good luck convincing the bulk of Remainers to accept the Euro, let alone everyone else…

    EFTA membership is a realistic hope and aim. Rejoin has no chance if the euro is mandatory. I’d vote to join EFTA in a heartbeat. I’d vote against rejoin if accepting the euro is the price.

  • Tony Greaves 27th Sep '20 - 8:09pm

    The motion as passed is okay but the management of the structure of the debate and the party’s spin have not been. If the party now tries to spin this the wrong way in its typical blundering way it will sadly just add to the sense of decline and decay that currently hangs around us. The official (defensive) explanation of what has been passed is not a good start.

  • Democrat Liberal 27th Sep '20 - 8:13pm

    So Conference has voted for “we’ll rejoin, maybe, whenever”?

    Please don’t insult people’s intelligence by trying to spin this on social media and the like as some sort of great, unparalled by any other party, commitment to the EU.

    Honestly, what’s the difference between the amended part of the motion and Labour’s view? You don’t think Labour would campaign to rejoin if say, 80% of the public were consistently indicating support of it in the polls (“political circumstances”), and in a scenario where the EU has agreed to let us rejoin on the exact same terms we had at the time of exit (“acceptable negotiated terms”)?

    You’ve given pro-EU voters one less reason to vote for the Lib Dems over Labour, after Labour itself has done the same by getting rid of Corbyn for Starmer.

    It’s all well and good saying there are other issues on which the Lib Dems have more genuinely differing policies, but it’s hardly beyond the realms of possibility that Brexit will still be one of the biggest concerns of voters in 2024. With this policy change, you’ll alienate some pro-EU voters in the immediate term but also get no unique credit from those pro-EU voters, as well as Leavers who have changed their minds, if “political circumstances” necessitate bringing a Rejoin campaign forward. All the goodwill and/or respect you once had for having the courage to call for a “Final Say” way back in 2016 and/or “Revoke” in 2019 will count for nothing as people cast their vote for Labour without sparing a thought for the Lib Dems

    I also fail to see how the new policy will attract Leavers, even in numbers great enough to merely cancel out the pro-EU voters you’ve turned off. Are you confident soft Tories who don’t mind the new Brexit policy won’t be put off by the UBI commitment?

    The party seems to be trying to please everyone but is providing reasons for everyone to turn away in the process.

  • Paul Barker 27th Sep '20 - 8:14pm

    The Motion as amended still comes across as waffly, nervous, indecisive & way too long. Which bit are Journalists supposed to quote ?
    We have failed to make it clear that a Vote for us is a Vote to say that someone wants to Rejoin.

  • Christopher Curtis 27th Sep '20 - 8:15pm

    Relieved that we are still committed to the objective of EU membership and of course there are more immediate issues in relation to Brexit, as the motion says. We have a huge fight to ensure that the government, which was Vote Leave, keeps even a single one of the promises it made, that Brexit is not a pretext to destroy everything else and to protect the lives and well-being of everyone in this currently benighted and only partly United Kingdom.

    I’m proud that party policy is made by the members and I think we’ve made the right policy in the right way. I’m still deeply disappointed by the tone and slogans from Ed and others, and the rather obvious attempt by “the leadership” to try to impose their plan on everyone else. I’m still not sure where it leaves me in relation to party membership and a lot will depend on where we go from here.

    The critical thing is for the language about this issue to reflect the thoughtful, nuanced and complex issues that were well reflected in a number of the conference speeches and to welcome that kind of debate, within the party and more widely, not to try to shut it down. That’s a vital contribution we need to make right now, whether it helps us win power or not. Things are rarely simple and politics needs to reflect that reality. We can be committed to EU membership AND concentrating on the urgent issues of getting the least damaging position in the next few weeks and months. They are not exclusive.

  • Democrat Liberal 27th Sep '20 - 8:16pm

    @Matt (Bristol)

    I took “subject to public assent” to mean the same thing as “democratic consent.

    I disagree with the rest of your post BTW.

  • Brian Ellis 27th Sep '20 - 8:58pm

    Tony Greaves, has this about right. There is a need for the party to be concise, relevant and one might say enthusiastic. We need to ditch sense of decline and decay that we seem to give to the public at large. We have lost our vigour, and with that the attitude of hope that we should communicating to people.

  • John Stevens 27th Sep '20 - 9:11pm

    Sad.

  • “In the longer term, Conference resolves to support a longer term objective…”

    The tautologous repetition of ‘longer term’, that the conference doesn’t support an objective of longer term membership immediately but only in the longer term, suggests the Lib Dems are pushing the idea of membership as far away as possible. Into the long grass, to coin a phrase.

    Paul Barker is right, the text comes across as nervous. Is there really any need to spell out all those caveats about market and trade conditions etc? Macron said that to beat the populists, you need to be as passionate and aggressive as them. Although this is an improvement on the pathetic ‘keep all options open version’, it is still lamentably faint hearted.

  • I support the motion passed as being politically realistic, while also making it clear what our Party believes, namely that the UK should rejoin the EU when the time is right (to paraphrase).

  • Democrat Liberal 27th Sep '20 - 10:47pm

    @Mohammed Amin

    The motion isn’t as simple as “we’ll rejoin when the time is right”

    The “acceptable negotiated terms” part implies there’s a scenario, timing being irrelevant, in which the Lib Dems would not support rejoining. What terms would the Lib Dems find unacceptable?

    The same logic applies to the “market and trade conditions criteria” Does this mean if the government does a very unlikely U-turn and negotiates a genuinely soft Brexit (EEA membership + a customs union), the Lib Dems will settle for that despite being contrary to another part of the full motion which reads “There is no deal that could be negotiated that could be more beneficial than continued membership of the EU”?

  • Dermot Lewis 27th Sep '20 - 11:08pm

    The original version was the best.
    Any commitment to rejoining the EU is electorally damaging, making it too easy for the parties on the right to label us as anti-democratic whingers (because we want to overturn the result of the referendum) and unpatriotic (because we don’t believe Britain can prosper on its own).
    Of course we should pursue close links and cooperation with our European neighbours. But rejoining the EU? Sorry, but when it comes to the referendum, it’s time to realise that we lost and we need to get over it.

  • Christopher Curtis 27th Sep '20 - 11:52pm

    @Democratic Liberal
    I have a lot of sympathy with what you say and are asking, but it’s probably impossible for anyone to predict what detailed decisions will be needed and when, nor what the party’s position should be in all the possible hypothetical circumstances. It’s complicated: trying to simplify things and turn them all into binary issues when they are not is what got us all into this mess. You can still be true to your ideals and have to compromise in reality (and we’d all be a lot happier if our ghastly government would be more honest about that, and a lot else besides)

    The “all options are open” approach was unacceptable. It shouted “this is no longer important” and said we did not have an aim or objective or even a direction. Saying we are pro-European and internationalist but all options are open is like saying we are in favour of Motherhood and Apple Pie.

    An objective to be EU members again when the time and circumstances are right is acceptable to me, and spells out what pro-European means, though I would have liked rather more enthusiasm and clarity, as others have said.

    It’s for the party to hold the leadership to account on the policy we set today. I’m deeply disappointed in our leadership – and not just the leader – (again) and its wish to try to pretend to be anything any potential voter might want it to be in the usually vain hope of winning power, even if that means alienating the voters and supporters we already have and giving ammunition to those who see us as unprincipled opportunists.

  • Christopher Curtis 28th Sep '20 - 12:07am

    @Dermot Lewis
    ” it’s time to realise that we lost and we need to get over it”…

    Losing a referendum or election does not mean you were wrong, any more than winning means you were right. It simply means that enough people did not vote to support the position you took or the manifesto you were offering, this time. Pretty much all the significant changes (good or bad) in our country’s political history have involved an awful lot of losing before they eventually won and there are very many examples of cataclysmic change eventually leading to very different outcomes than intended.

    We have a lot of things to think about and change in the detailed positions we take and how we communicate them, but were we wrong to think that Brexit is and will be a ghastly error that will make our country worse? Were we wrong to think that membership of the EU is the best for Britain? I don’t think so and if you believe the polls neither do a majority of the British people.

    Of course our political opponents will try to characterise us as anti-democratic, sore losers but if the original motion had passed they’d be saying that we’d proved them right.

  • to Brandon Lewis

    “we lost and we need to get over it.”

    I seem to have heard that phase somewhere before. Actually, if you correct for the non inclusion of EU nationals and expatriates, and electoral fraud by Vote Leave, Remain won the referendum.

  • Duncan Brack 28th Sep '20 - 12:16am

    John King – the wording Caron put up is slightly wrong; the first ‘in the longer term’ should be deleted. It’s not tautologous.

  • Matt (Bristol) 28th Sep '20 - 12:22am

    Democratic Liberal, I’m not currently a member so you may want to take this with a pinch of salt, and I am a contrarian, but…

    I desperately want the UK to rejoin the EU, but in a whole-hearted way with a clear national consensus. I cannot see that consensus being forged in the short term, or by one party, to be honest. In addition, unfortunately, the current government has the initiative (probably, more or less) in being able to define the terms on which any future discussion will be had, in that it is still negotiating the long-term arrangements for the UK-EU relationship. So, for me questions of timescale must wait until there is a clear agreement (or failure of an agreement), and defining a fixed timescale could be a sticking point in establishing what I am convinced must be a future coalition of parties, not a one-party messianic unilateral effort.

    But all that said, I still want a high bar. I want a referendum to endorse opening negotiations, and confirm the finalised deal. Ideally, I’d want an over 50% majority in said referendum, with conditions for cross-regional support around the UK. We are so far off that it’s screamingly laughable. But we need to be aiming for that kind of support for the EU in this country, not scrape a narrow plurality in some way (or haggle something in return for participation in a coalition government), based on ‘political circumstances’ with a large majority of the country either apathetic or cynical about the project. Long game, big result, whole-nation consensus. Total commitment but no cheap / quick fixes.

  • Democrat Liberal 28th Sep '20 - 12:24am

    @Dermot Lewis

    If the parties on the right are of the view that the UK can prosper on its own, then why wouldn’t they take issue with the Lib Dems’ desire for us to have close links with Europe?

    The motion today still leaves the Lib Dems open to attack for being in favour of “uncontrolled immigration”/”open borders”, not wanting to restore Britain’s sovereignity, standing in the way of Britain taking advantage of the supposedly glorious trade opportunities waiting for us etc. Should we drop all those too because it may be “electorally damaging”?

  • I became a supporter of Britain joining the EEC (as the EU was then) in the early 1960s so I am left with a heavy heart. However, I note that the “supposedly glorious trade opportunities waiting for us” do not look so inviting. Doing business in Asia is not easy and now relations with China have become fraught. Britain must remain close to Europe.

  • The main reason the debate was fractious was because our Leader jumped the gun earlier in the month and told Sky News that we wouldn’t campaign to rejoin, and it was “for the birds”. That generated push-back from mostly a pro-EU membership who inevitably would want a firmer commitment to rejoin passed at conference. That was bad strategy and comms.

    What I didn’t understand during the debate from the pro amendment 2, anti amendment 1 speakers was how any version of the motion would allow us to attract Leave voters, or why any version of the motion prevented us from campaigning strongly on other issues, which several seemed to imply?

  • Andrew Tampion 28th Sep '20 - 7:23am

    Articles like this and the tone and content of the comments are the principal reasons that I have recently resigned from the Liberal Democrats and joined, or re-joined the Liberal Party.
    No one is suggesting that the Liberal Democrats can’t be a pro EU party and aspire to rejoin and to campaign for closer links with a variety of European bodies: the Council of Europe, EFTA and the EU amongst others. Moreover it not the case that the motion pasted is againgst that aspiration. But the matter has been decided by a referendum and two general election (none of which have been subject to any more electoral fraud than any other election or referendum in recent UK history whatever some members mat sincerely believe). To continue to refuse to accept the result and to continue to be unable or unwilling to accept that many people in the UK do not share your view of the EU is bad politics.

  • I was digging up some weeds in the garden yesterday and thought it a bit unfair to weeds, surely they have as much right to exist as other plants… given that the LibDem’s have decided the European fight is over for the next couple of decades perhaps they could become the party of weed equality, hammering on eloquently on how they should be treated with dignity and love? One man’s weed is another’s…

  • David Greenwood 28th Sep '20 - 8:16am

    I get that the Tories will do want they want to do now re: Brexit but why is the new LD leadership set on being conditioned by Tory Brexit, a sin and a crime that has been perpetrated on the general population against its own interests? Just because it is happening doesn’t mean anyone who was of a Remain persuasion should simply fold up their tent and go away – the Leavers wouldn’t have done so if the situation had been 48/52 and not 52/48. There is not long to go now until all the Brexit lies will be revealed – so why does Davy want to meekly accept that we are out of the EU and will remain so? We need to avoid such fatalism/passivity and fight more than ever for a future inside the EU.

  • Peter Martin 28th Sep '20 - 8:52am

    “There is not long to go now until all the Brexit lies will be revealed……”

    Undoubtedly there are severe economic problems ahead in the UK. But so too are there in the EU. Probably much more severe. The much vaunted €750 billion recovery plan for the EU sounds a lot, but this needs to be compared to the £300 billion or so deficit that Rishi Sunak has clocked up in just one quarter for the UK. The EU is of course much larger, the figure is a mixture of grants and loans (probably unrepayable), and it has to be spent over several years. It won’t be anywhere near enough.

    If the frugal 4 states start to enforce austerity economics on the net recipients of the economic aid the EU could come close to disintegration.

    So the likelihood is that if we’re in the frying pan, the EU will look like the fire. Best to hold fire for the moment until you can see which way the situation will pan out.

  • richard underhill 28th Sep '20 - 8:58am

    This is what the conference does,
    it overturns the leadership.
    Paddy said “You can call me a Democrat” but accepted a referendum of conference delegates who voted for ‘Liberal Democrats’.
    That is who we are.

  • richard underhil 28th Sep '20 - 9:04am

    One million people on Instagram for David Attenborough. Don’t waste anything.

  • Innocent Bystander 28th Sep '20 - 9:59am

    Of course, there is not the smallest chance that the UK will ever rejoin the EU.
    A much reduced, chastened and humiliated England might eventually want to.

  • I found the debate unsatisfactory. I will leave aside the fact that I was unable to vote on the motion – I found that the screen froze, but will focus on the whole process.
    The process was not one that could possibly lead to a rational decision on an important topic. From my viewpoint our party has never taken the subject of our relationship with Europe seriously.
    I listened carefully to the debate and did not hear any real disagreement in substance. The real issue is of course how to build up support for the concept of the strengthening of European co-operation.
    The world has moved on since the nineteenth century and we need to design a decision making process which starts with reality and identifies areas where genuine debate can be had.
    I thought that the discussion involving our sister parties in Ireland and Gibraltar about Europe was very valuable, and showed how a start could be made on designing a successful decision making process.

  • Laurence Cox 28th Sep '20 - 10:31am

    @Democrat Liberal

    You need to remember that Liberal Democrat voters were not universally behind staying in the EU. This YouGov poll from just after the Referendum shows that our supporters were only 2:1 in favour of Remain:

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2016/06/27/how-britain-voted

    Even 20% of the Green supporters wanted Brexit (they didn’t include SNP because the sample wasn’t large enough for a meaningful Scottish sub-sample, so they are hidden under ‘others’).

    If we are seen as a single-issue party, then we will just alienate our supporters who agree with us on other issues. The outcome of the Conference motion with Amendment 2 passing was the best for the future of the Party.

  • Let’s call this policy ‘decision’ by it’s correct name;.’Political expediency’…. a.k.a. ‘kicking the can down the road’…

    Such tactics rarely, if ever, turn out well…

  • Drew Durning 28th Sep '20 - 10:43am

    i was a bit concerned to read Christine Jardin’s email published immediately after the debate. It read like it was drafted before amendment 2 was passed and does not reference the long term aspiration to rejoin. – If we are going to differentiate from Labour and really lead on this issue we do need to make sure that long term aspiration is part of our messaging. My concern is that the party leadership will ignore the amendment and carry on building the perception that rejoining is “for the birds”.

  • Democrat Liberal 28th Sep '20 - 10:45am

    @Laurence Cox

    2 to 1 support on any other policy would be seen as a comfortable majority endorsement. Why are the goalposts moved to a different place regarding the EU/Brexit?

    I don’t buy the “the single-issue party” argument either. Amendment 1 would not have prevented the party from campaigning on other issues at the same time. The Greens didn’t stop being viewed as green while they too were campaigning for a 2nd referendum.

  • Tony Greaves says “Decline and Decay”, absolutely. That is what we should be debating and asking, is there really any point anymore, 5%, 5%, 5% in the polls. Would mean zero MPs next time.
    PS My neighbour asked “What conference?”. Says it all really

  • John Marriott 28th Sep '20 - 11:55am

    Oh dear, judging by some of the shroud waving, anyone would think that the end of the world, let alone the end of the Lib Dems, was nigh! As for Mr Tampion joining them Liberal Party’, the words ‘frying pan’ and ‘fire’ spring to mind.

    The policy of ‘wait and see’ from a party that needs to get its act together, unless it really does want to appear to be, as David Raw often writes, a “one trick pony”, makes sense to someone like me, who never really gets why so many people put so much faith in conferences, online or otherwise. Whether it’s ‘the Coalition‘, tuition fees or just a desire not to get your hands dirty on the levers of power, which might require confronting reality and being willing to compromise, minority parties like the Lib Dems have got to get used to living off scraps. That’s what my hometown team, Leicester, managed to do yesterday at Manchester City. All the Lib Dems now need to find is the political equivalent of Jamie Vardy.

    As far as Europe or the EU are concerned, let’s just wait and see. As I wrote elsewhere on LDV, there may not be an EU as some appear to know it in a few years’ time. As they say; “Every dog has his day”. Just read Timothy Garton Ash in today’s Guardian!

  • Christopher Curtis 28th Sep '20 - 11:58am

    I just wish that we could manage to differentiate aims, strategy and tactics, not just about our European policy but everything.

    Our aims are a long-term and possibly unattainable consensus reflecting our values. We believe in people having power over their own lives, being involved in decisions which affect them and their communities, in equality and opportunity and not being held back by poverty, ignorance or other people’s wealth and power. As such, we believe in co-operation, partnership and open, honest and inclusive debate. We share a dream or vision of a society that genuinely works like that and want to change things so it does.

    Our strategy is how we set about doing that: how we communicate our values, what policies we want to argue for, how we set overall priorities for campaigns and how we make the party work.

    Our tactics are all the decisions about what we should do in particular circumstances and even locations. What should be the headlines and messages, who should represent us and what our slogans should be.

    Of course there is overlap but it is perfectly possible to passionately be committed to the aim of rejoining the EU (which conference confirmed), the strategy that this is not an immediate priority for the current Parliament but we need to concentrate on limiting the ghastliness of the Brexit that has already been enacted and is unfolding and the tactic that we need to emphasise policies and messages about other things right now. A lot of this unhappy time has been about people being unable or unwilling to see things existing at several levels at the same time.

    What I found hurtful about Ed’s recent interviews and comments was the implication that I was some kind of fool or even some sort of traitor for continuing to believe that Brexit is a disastrous error imposed by deceit and that we will need to reverse it (that view is for the birds, apparently) while I might agree with the tactic that Brexit is happening and the urgent issue is not to reverse it immediately, but try to mitigate its effects and fight for the important things it is busily destroying. A confusion of aims, strategy and tactics that has caused real harm, and not for the first time.

  • I think this outcome is probably the right one.

    The best strategy now is just to shut up about Europe for 5 minutes. Everybody’s tired of it and nobody has a clue what is going to happen in the next 6 months. It’s probably going to be awful, and when it is we can make the appropriate amount of noise about it, but the fact is there’s very little to be done right now, and no point in fixing anything in stone.

    As for worrying about remainers going over to Labour, how many of them actually voted Lib Dem in the end? However many it was, it wasn’t enough, so there seems little point in building a core vote around a group that produced electoral humiliation as a high water mark.

  • @Andrew Tampion

    I appreciate the point. We have though had one recent referendum and countless elections since 1910 rejecting a move away from our current first past the post voting system

    We still support PR.

    And I suspect so do the liberal party.

    We, of course need to avoid being seen as the “European obsessives” as UKIP did.

    And there are many other issues that we are concerned about – climate change, education, health.

    And there’s room for nuance and emphasis

    But actually more people think it was wrong to leave the EU than right.

    I’d settle for 46% that think it’s wrong

    We are also need to be wary of our left flank in the form of the greens – as do Labour. In a similar way the Tories had to be wary of UKIP.

    And we should express things in a way that expands support. “Get Brexit done” appealed not only to Brexiteers but those Remainers that had got a bit tired of the whole thing.

    It seems that the leadership can’t see a popular policy that speaks to our core values and coalition and as importantly beyond and they immediately abandon it.

    Free university tuition fees, axing the hated council tax for local Income tax, a people’s vote on Europe

    Oh well…!!!!

  • Barry Lofty 28th Sep '20 - 2:56pm

    I personally still feel pretty fed up about leaving the EU for any number of reasons and won’t stop telling anyone willing to listen what a stupid decision it was. But never mind, given the precarious state of our economy Johnson, Gove and company will make sure we get a great deal from the present negotiations, won’t they???

  • Laurence Cox 28th Sep '20 - 4:42pm

    @Democrat Liberal (if you are really a Party member and not a troll)

    So you are happy to alienate one third of our voters, but wonder why we are only at 6% in the polls now? Before Conference last year we were up at 20% but months of banging on about how we would Revoke Brexit without asking the people in a referendum clearly alienated many people who would have voted for us otherwise. The Thornhill Report said as much.

  • @Laurence Cox – if it is unthinkable to risk alienating the one third of Lib Dem voters who support Brexit (even though every promise related to it has proven false), then why is it thinkable to risk alienating the TWO thirds of Lib Dem voters who opposed Brexit and who would in all probability strongly support rejoining the EU?

    To point out the obvious, Labour spent the last four years chasing their Brexit voters only to see them all turn out and vote for Johnson and his non-existent “oven ready deal”. That strategy failed utterly for Labour and there is no reason for anyone to suspect that it would succeed for the Lib Dems.

  • Dermot Lewis 28th Sep '20 - 10:25pm

    We all think Brexit is a bad idea, we’d all rather still be in the EU, but – if I may use another cliche – we are where we are.
    Our position reminds me of the joke about a holidaymaker who asks a farmer for directions to his hotel after getting lost driving round the countryside. “Well,” says the farmer after a pause, “I wouldn’t start from here.”

  • @ Peter “Democracy should be way forward as decided by conference.”

    I’m not sure how democratic a policy making system it is when it consists of a 1% portion of the membership who have the time, inclination and means to pay for a vote when sitting by a computer during working hours

  • will our M.P’s start describing how they want Europe to change which I think is vital if we are ever to convince the electorate that rejoining Europe makes sense

  • Peter Martin 2nd Oct '20 - 10:39am

    “We all think Brexit is a bad idea, we’d all rather still be in the EU……”

    Presumably ‘we’ means Lib Dems? But even so, it can’t be all Lib Dems. Didn’t something like 30% of Lib Dems vote for Brexit?

  • Peter Hirst 3rd Oct '20 - 3:18pm

    The word I would use is “regret”. I regret the waste of the last however years it is since the referendum campaign began. I regret our loss of influence, credibility and standing on the world stage. I regret the coming unemployment, lower wages and quality of life from Brexit. I regret leaving my children a less rosier outlook than I enjoyed being in the eu. I can only hope that regret is replaced by hope and soon.

  • Jim Alexander 16th Oct '20 - 2:05pm

    The UK Electorate Voted to leave – its time to accept the Democratic Process and move on

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