An unnecessary election
They lost the referendum because their own MPs, many of whom had supported Remain when standing in the 2015 General Election sat on the fence, or switched sides.
It was Liberal Democrat policy to hold an ‘in or out’ EU referendum when there was treaty change. In those circumstances people would have known what they were voting for.
Trust the people
That is why we are calling for a referendum once a deal has been agreed. It is not a re-run of the original referendum, we accept that people voted for us to negotiate an exit from the EU. It is to let the people say whether the terms of that exit are reasonable and whether the potential damage to both ourselves and Europe that will result is worthwhile.
Our vociferous Brexit opponents accuse us of being neither liberal nor democratic. This is hard to understand when all we are calling for is to let the people have the final say. Don’t they trust the people who voted to leave the EU to do so again once they know the cost?
Change Britain’s future
This election will determine the direction in which the country goes. We believe that the Conservative Party, which is now an acceptable home for UKIP votes, will take the country in the wrong direction. This is not the Conservative Party that was elected in 2010 – and even that needed to be restrained, by the Liberal Democrats in coalition, from favouring the rich and distributing economic growth unfairly to make our country even more unequal.
Poverty costs us all a high price. The 5th (perhaps now the 7th) largest economy in the world should be ashamed of the levels of inequality that we endure.
We do not believe that Labour has the answers. In thirteen years, they made glacially slow progress towards making the country fairer, while allowing the bankers to run riot and then to crash the economy. Today nobody knows what Labour stands for. Is it a Marxist inspired Socialist party that feels there wasn’t much wrong with the Soviet Union and that Cuba is a good role model? Or is a ‘progressive’ light blue version of what ‘one nation’ Conservatism used to be?
The centre ground
There is a gaping hole in the middle of British politics. It is the centre ground, where traditionally British Elections are decided, which has now been abandoned by both the Conservatives who have roared off to the right and the most left-wing Labour Party since the 1980s or perhaps even the 1920s.
The case for the Liberal Democrats
Only the Liberal Democrats can fill that hole. We don’t believe that a large state sector, taxing and borrowing without regard for the consequences, is the answer. Nor do we believe that a right-wing Conservative Party, now hardly distinguishable from UKIP, which is financed and influenced by international tax-avoiding billionaires, who know what sort of de-regulated off-shore free for all tax-haven they want as the price of their support, is the answer.
To change Britain’s direction, and change it for the better, vote Liberal Democrat in this General Election. We will fight for a constructive relationship with Europe that preserves the life chances for our young people, that looks after the environment and ensures that workers and pensioners are fairly treated.