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Spring into Action this Easter


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Dear Reader,

What struck me about our Spring conference in daffodil-filled York was the truly fantastic swell of new members there, all keen to find out how they can get involved. If you were there I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

 

I was delighted to speak on the Europe Motion  and in favour of the Associate EU citizenship motion, but what impressed me most was the number - and great quality of young speakers who spoke in so many debates. Speaking for the first time in conference is no easy matter and I was really proud of their confidence.  We need strong voices of liberalism now and our new generation really stepped up to the mark.

Spring in to action

So, with just under a month until the May local elections and the Manchester Gorton parliamentary by-election, now is the time we should all be springing into action (pun intended)!

These key elections - up and down the country - offer us a real opportunity to continue spreading our message as the country's only pro-European party and to show people the Lib Dem fightback continues with a big growth in Council seats.

In yet another by election - this time in Manchester Gorton - they need our help.  It's been a lot to ask our activists over the last year, with many of by-elections, but they are so important and this really is a two horse race, so we are working very hard to support the great candidate, Jackie Pearcey.

So while I encourage you to get involved locally, please do find the time to help Jackie some way. Our success in Richmond Park really does show what brilliant things we can achieve.  If you cannot get to Manchester in person, there is phone canvassing, or helping financially - to steal a phrase - "Every Little Helps". Find out how you can help here.

Remember, the only way we can fight this government's Hard Brexit is by having more golden Councillors on your Councils and on the green seats in Parliament.

Your support to make this a reality is really welcome, thank you.


 We want our country back!

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Last week I spoke in the European Parliament's Brexit Resolution debate. I made the point that I am so furious with the lies bandied about by the Leave campaign during the referendum which meant voters did not know what Leave really meant. We were all lied to and that makes me angry.

I'm now calling on voters to stand up to this Hard Brexit government at the local elections in May. If you're angry that Theresa May has taken the Leave vote and run with it in a direction that does nothing to unite the 48% with the 52% then help to get the vote out for the Liberal Democrats.

This message is being heard up and down the country and we should see a great result next month.

I will be speaking up in the Parliament to highlight the issues and will be sharing on Social Media - please do follow me on Twitter and Facebook and re-post them.

You can watch my recent speech by clicking on the screen grab above.


March for Europe

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On Saturday March 25th, the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, I was so proud to join with thousands of Lib Dem friends and colleagues to march for Europe. Were you there?

To coincide with the triggering of Article 50, we wanted to send the Prime Minster a message . The tens of thousands of people I marched alongside wanted to say "Theresa, you may well be prepared to hit the self destruct button by triggering Article 50 but we will be holding you to account every step of the way".

There were other marches across the UK and EU in support of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, they celebrated the years of peace and stability that the EU has brought to this continent. 


European Parliament to play key role in Brexit

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Last week in Strasbourg the European Parliament laid down its guidelines for acceptance of any deal with the UK. (See my speech in the debate above).

These negotiations are led by Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the ALDE group in which I sit.  The resolution made clear that no deal will be approved that is not acceptable to the parliament.  The directly elected MEPs are part of the approval process in all deals made with the Union.

So this week's alarming news will be of great importance to the parliament. A photographed document from the Department for International (DIT) revealing the government is planning to water down Climate Change and wildlife regulations shows the Tories may be using Brexit as an excuse to sabotage vital environmental standards.

This is astounding, especially considering their 2015 manifesto promises to continue improving environmental standards as a whole.

What Mrs May and her Hard Brexit Government must remember is the EU, in particular the European Parliament, can and will veto any future trade deal if it fails to maintain rigorous environmental protection - including of course any future UK deal.

With this in mind, I have a new petition calling on MEPs to veto any UK-EU trade deal if environmental standards are weakened - please sign and share!

Happy Easter

All that's left for me to do now is to wish you a very happy and peaceful Easter and enjoy time with family and friends.

We now have just a few short weeks to send this Hard Brexit government a clear message - so in between some rest I hope to see many of you out on the campaign trail as possible!

 

Yours,


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Catherine Bearder MEP

 


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