The Liberal Democrats fought long and hard to Stop Brexit.
And our values have not changed. At every step of the Brexit process, we have been clear and outspoken in our position that Britain is better off within the EU. We will always stand firm in our pro-European, internationalist values because we know, we are so much better off together than we will ever be alone.
It is our duty to work across the divides of Leave and Remain, to protect the influence, reputation, safety and security of our country
However, we have now left the EU - and our country is facing the chaos of a pandemic that is getting out of control once again. Our job today is to stop the chaos of a no-deal Brexit.
Today, Liberal Democrat conference called for the Government to protect the people of the UK in its Brexit negotiations. They must put country before Party or Leave alliances, and work for the best Brexit deal for Britain.
The Government must honour the commitments it made in the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration. No ifs, no buts, no “very limited and specific” excuses. The Conservatives must abide by international law.
No matter whether you were Leave or Remain, or didn’t feel strongly either way, peace in Northern Ireland and the erosion of the world’s trust in the UK are prices too high to pay for any political project.
The rights of UK citizens in the EU, and vice versa, must be protected, and where possible enhanced. The lives of Brits living on the continent and Europeans living here in the UK must not be used as pawns for international political leaders.
As the numbers in Parliament stand, we cannot stop Brexit.
The European Convention on Human Rights and Charter of Fundamental Rights must be respected for all UK citizens. We cannot let the Conservatives take this opportunity to roll back the rights that British people have enjoyed for decades.
And for the sake of UK businesses, our economy, our food and medicine supplies, and so much more – we must maintain the closest possible alignment with the EU towards the customs union, single market and freedom of movement.
As the numbers in Parliament stand, we cannot stop Brexit. What we can do is work to minimise the damage of the country’s exit from the EU to ensure the best deal for the British people, and support the longer term objective of UK membership of the EU
It is our duty to work across the divides of Leave and Remain, to protect the influence, reputation, safety and security of our country, and the livelihoods of British people. Now is not the time to pick sides. It is time to come together and work for the good of our country.