Britain and the entire European Union are being threatened at every turn by rising anti-liberal forces and political paralysis. Authoritarian, nationalist and populist movements within the UK and the EU are seeking to undermine the openness, pluralism and tolerance that Britain has historically championed and that are shared at the heart of the European Union. These anti-liberal forces are fomenting cultural conflict. They wish to turn our liberal values inside out. They claim to protect our freedoms, but in fact they limit them. They claim to defend security, but instead they make us unsafe. They claim to speak for the people, yet they vilify and attack anyone who is different.
Today we face profound challenges: Brexit; cross-border crimes such as terrorism and human trafficking; youth underemployment; potential trade wars and protectionism; the revolutionary impact of technology, especially artificial intelligence; unfair trading practices and the challenges brought by competition from other rising economies like China; climate change; Donald Trump’s antagonism towards NATO and disregard for Europe; Putin’s Russia undermining European security and launching chemical weapons attacks on UK soil.
As the world changes, the European Union needs to lead. Liberal Democrats want Europe to be strong, to be willing and able to act, and to be at the forefront of world progress.
This European election in 2019 is about the soul of Europe and our promise to the next generation of Europeans. Liberal Democrats and our liberal allies in the European Parliament have always been progressive reformers. We want to lead the European Union forward and adapt it to the changing realities of the 21st century.
By working together with our European neighbours, we can harness globalisation and other global trends to generate growth and jobs in the UK. By retraining workers and tapping into new economic opportunities, we can overcome the challenges and ensure that everyone reaps the benefits. The EU can clamp down on abuses by global corporations in a way that Britain cannot do on its own, for example in tackling tax avoidance and misuse of personal data.
Protectionism, an inevitable result of Brexit, threatens what Liberal Democrats stand for. It distorts economic activity, impoverishes nations and locks the poorest nations out of the richest markets. It is our duty as liberals to defend the benefits of free and fair trade. The UK’s position in the EU gives us greater negotiating power to secure better trade deals than we ever could on our own, with higher standards for employees, animal welfare, food quality, environmental protection and anti-corruption.
We want to boost infrastructure, invest in education and establish the legal framework for a digital Europe that ultimately makes life better for everyone in the EU. We want to simplify bureaucracy and renew the social contract so that everyone in Europe can participate in strong, thriving and innovative economies.
Read Full News Story » Liberal Democrats European Elections 2019 Manifesto