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Conference Report from Sarah Wollaston MP

September 24, 2019 10:55 AM

Sarah being interviewed
The Liberal Democrat Party Conference was like a breath of fresh air and it was lovely to be there with Caroline Voaden and Keith Smith.

It wasn't just sunshine on the outside in Bournemouth, there was genuine warmth and optimism from around the main hall, fringes and networks. I was at home amongst hundreds of first time attendees enjoying the wide ranging debates around the motions and policy ideas.

We are about so much more than Brexit but the clarity of our position on this is in stark contrast to the complete mess we are seeing from Labour.

Liberal Democrats want to stop Brexit and give the people the democratic final say. We've always called for a People's Vote on a defined deal, with a choice to Remain, and will continue to do so. If there is a general election instead of, or before, a People's Vote then we are offering voters a way to stop Brexit by electing a Lib Dem majority government. We will continue to say loud and clear that we believe our communities and our United Kingdom are better off remaining at the heart of the European Union.

Jo Swinson delivered a terrific speech to set out her vision for a fair, inclusive and open Britain. She spoke powerfully about what we value and about why conventional measures like GDP have failed us and how we could instead move to follow the example of New Zealand which has set out a wellbeing budget which works towards a better society for the people and the planet.

Keith&Caroline at Conference 2019It is not good enough for Parliament to declare a climate and environmental emergency, government must then take action to make it count. Lib Dems would make the bold shift to renewables and to energy saving measures to benefit everyone and establish a UK Citizens Climate Assembly to drive the national debate on how to reach net zero emissions by 2045, or sooner if possible.

It was great to hear Jo's commitment to evidence led policy on public health, for preventing problems before they begin as well as stepping in early to stop them taking root and destroying lives. Over conference many examples were debated and commitments made https://www.libdems.org.uk/conference-autumn-19-motions .There was a great welcome for all the new MEPs and a terrific speech from the main stage on their behalf by Caroline Voaden.

This year saw record attendance with hundreds of new members from across the country coming to Bournemouth. As just one of them, I loved the atmosphere of genuine and lively debate and the direct say in policy making. From housing and education to health and climate change, Conference 2019 offered a positive vision of where we could and should be directing our energy and resources to build a better country.

We now need your help to deliver it at the next general election so please let me know if you would like to get involved.

Contact our winning team at info@southhamslibdems.org.uk