Speeches that got away – Supporting the Europe motion

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Over the years, our party line on the European Union has been consistent and resilient. Indeed, of all of our policies, it’s the one for which we are most known. Our credentials on Europe has led us to becoming the principal pro-EU party of the UK in the eyes of many. Our MEPs proudly wore anti-Brexit messages to the European Parliament. It is codified in our party’s constitution that we affirm the values of federalism and integration within the EU. Our dedication to pro-European values is not under threat.

But what is under threat, conference, is our message. Our presence in the minds of the public, already tenuous, may well be moribund should we neglect to represent those who would be hurt by a no-deal outcome. Conversely, should we abandon our commitment to Europe, I worry that it will be perceived as yet one more breach of trust. It is our steadfast and durable commitment to the anti-Brexit movement which sets us apart. That is why I believe that we should oppose no-deal now, and not rule out rejoining the EU in the future.

This is bigger than us as a party, and it is more than just our place in Europe that is under threat. It is the lives and livelihoods of Europeans in Britain, and Britons in Europe. It is our voice on the world stage. It is our poorest and most left-behind communities. Our values. Our security. It is even our human rights. That European values fall so closely to our own, conference, ought to encourage us to seek as close an alignment as possible with our friends on the Continent. That our future lies with Europe ought not to be under question.

I would like, if I may be indulged, conference, to make my last point personal. For I am not an EU citizen, and I have never been to Europe, yet Brexit has nevertheless affected me personally, with the increase in racial discrimination following the referendum, with the rising cost of living as our withdrawal imposes barriers to trade, and in particular with the threat to contravene international law and to opt us out of ECHR-derived human rights. Despite being born here, it took until the Windrush scheme to recognise that I was a British citizen for me to get a passport, to acquire ID, and even to prove I had the right to be here. I worry what would have happened to people had our human rights laws been diminished at the time.

I will be supporting this motion, and I hope that you will consider voting for it, too.

Thank you.

* Ted Logan is a Lib Dem member from Walsall

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One Comment

  • Andrew Toye 28th Sep '20 - 1:47am

    Should we, as pro-Europeans, campaign for re-entry ASAP?

    We don’t even know whether the EU will have us back, and what the terms might be. We may be faced with as ‘warts and all’ program of re-accession (like other aspiring applicant nations) which would be hard to sell to the UK public.

    I found it hard trying to justify the ‘revoke now’ position in the GE, and an unquestioning Euro-enthusiastic position now risks us being seen as the administrators of corporal punishment to a deceased equine.

    I think Conference made the right decision. Time to move on.

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