Liberal Democrats

F22: What Liberal Democrats Believe (Principles and Values Policy Paper)

Motions as passed by conference

Submitted by: Federal Policy Committee

Mover: Dr Alyssa Gilbert.

Summation: Dr Christine Cheng.


Conference endorses policy paper 142, What Liberal Democrats Believe, as a concise expression of the Liberal Democrats' principles and values - its philosophy - which underpin the party's specific policy proposals.

Conference recognises the party's core values as:

  1. Liberty: the right of individuals to make their own decisions about how they live their lives, as long as they do not cause harm to others; our aim is to empower and support individuals to pursue their dreams, to make the most of their talents and to live their lives as they wish.
  2. Equality, without which true liberty cannot be realised, which requires an active state to: ensure that no one is held back by poverty, poor health, or discrimination, including on the basis of personal characteristics or beliefs; provide access to education or training, and other public services, including a welfare safety net; and guarantee that everyone enjoys equality before the law.
  3. Democracy, through which every citizen is empowered to make their voice heard, without being dominated by entrenched interests or the power of money; checks and balances, so that those in power cannot abuse their positions for personal gain or political advantage; and a plurality of views, where no individual or organisation is deterred from speaking truth to power.
  4. Community: support for a diverse range of organisations that enable individuals to join together in the pursuit of common goals or activities; and the decentralisation of political and economic power to local government and the nations and regions of the UK.
  5. Human rights: providing, defending and promoting equal legal rights for everyone to pursue their lives according to their abilities, wishes and means, with no discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, disability, or minority status in their country of birth or permanent residency.
  6. Internationalism: support for a fairer and more equal, tolerant and connected world and collaboration with the UK's neighbours - including, ultimately, rejoining the EU - in guaranteeing peace and security, tackling the climate and nature emergencies, standing up to corporate power and spreading prosperity around the world.
  7. Environmentalism: acting at home and internationally to promote environmentally sustainable means of production and consumption and living in harmony with nature.

Conference, recognising that no single document can capture the rich diversity of the Liberal Democrat philosophy, encourages party members to discuss and debate this paper and to produce their own statements of philosophy and to disseminate them within the party.


Applicability: Federal.