Tag Archives: liberal leave

Reintroducing Liberal Leave

 

Liberal Leave was formed as a part of Vote Leave during the EU referendum. It had the slogan “Liberal. Democratic. Internationalist.” and it mainly operated through social media. The most high-profile figure in the Group was an ex-MP called Paul Keetch who wrote an article in the Independent called “Think that if you are liberal you should vote to stay in the EU? Think again”. I was part of that group during the EU referendum and I now chair it.

I have tried to change the group so it is about a compromise between Remain and Leave, one that can be found in the ‘Icelandic option’ which differs from the ‘Norway option’ due to its use of safeguard measures. Compromise is what I feel Brexit should now be about, because otherwise hard-line groups on either side will shape it for us in the years to come.

We are against a second referendum. The argument used by Tim Farron during the recent election campaign was that we didn’t vote for a destination, just to leave the EU and that’s right. Therefore, we should have a referendum on just that, the destination. Do we want to remain members of the single market and do we want to remain members of the customs union? We should ask that rather than replaying the EU referendum.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 171 Comments

The liberal case for Leave

The party whose membership card I currently have sitting in my wallet, our party, is without a doubt a broad church, but I think it reasonable to presume that the vast majority of Liberal Democrats would profess to value liberty and democracy – at any rate, the two are described as ‘fundamental’ in the Preamble to the party’s Constitution. In the light of such principles, strong support of the European Union seems a little bizarre to me.

Movement towards centralisation and ‘ever closer union’ contradicts aspirations for increased dispersal of power and encouragement of diversity. I would expect us Liberal Democrats to aim for government to be as open, accessible and close to people as possible, but we seem willing to allow our lives to be brought under the purview of Brussels bureaucrats, with most UK citizens having little idea of how policy is made or who represents us. A brief study of the EU’s history reveals how many times constituent nations have tried and failed to reform it, and, worse, how many times those in charge have ignored referenda which have gone against their wishes. Rather than by the people, for the people, the EU is first and foremost government by elites for the furthering of an agenda most UK citizens do not support.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 122 Comments
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