Ed Davey speaks to a family

What we stand for

Our beliefs, principles and values

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Preamble to the Liberal Democrat Constitution

The Liberal Democrats stand firm on seven core values: liberty, equality, democracy, community, human rights, internationalism, and environmentalism. Each of these underpin the party's specific policy proposals.

The bird of liberty, projected onto a wall

Liberty

We believe in 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.

Progress pride flag

Equality

We stand by the idea that without equality, true liberty cannot be realised.

This 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.

A pen marking an X vote in a box

Democracy

We understand that through democracy, 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.

Image of someone clapping

Community

We believe it is important to provide 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.

Image of burning candle

Human Rights

Upholding these values of individual and social justice, we reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, ethnicity, caste, heritage, class, religion or belief, age, disability, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.

International flags

Internationalism

Liberal Democrats are proud internationalists. We believe that our country and our people thrive when we are open and outward-looking. The UK can be an incredible force for good when it stands tall on the world stage, championing the values of equality, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. 

We are passionate about close British-European cooperation, which benefits us and our allies. While we support a longer-term objective of EU membership, we recognise that the Conservatives have damaged trust in the UK so badly that there is a lot of work to do before that is possible. We have therefore set out a comprehensive step-by-step plan to rebuild our ties of trade, trust and friendship with our nearest neighbours – ties that can only be built back gradually over time.

Landscape with wind turbine

Environmentalism

We value the importance of acting at home and internationally to promote environmentally sustainable means of production and consumption and living in harmony with nature.

The content on this page was drawn from policy paper 142 "What Liberal Democrats Believe" and policy paper 153 "For a Fair Deal" as passed by Liberal Democrat members at our conferences.

Our plan for a
fair deal.

Read our plan View

Our Members Make Our Policies

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Liberal Democrat members devise, develop, debate and decide Liberal Democrat policy. You can get involved through writing policy, joining policy working groups, responding to consultations and attending conference.

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