This is probably the hardest newsletter I've had to write, so please forgive me if it’s a bit longer than usual.
It's been a dreadful time for all of us who believe in the European ideals of cooperation and trade between nations, building peace and security, protection of the environment and cultural exchange for both young and old. The vote to leave the EU by the British people must be respected, or we risk diminishing our faith in democracy. But we know that it was made for a myriad of reasons and followed a campaign packed with lies that itself followed on from years of misinformation by the British media.
As if the referendum result was not bad enough, the rapid resignations and disappearance of those responsible for this debacle was undignified and left the UK the laughing stock of Europe.
17,000 new members (and counting)
The Liberal Democrats have now gained over 17,000 new members since the EU Referendum, and the number is increasing. This takes our membership to a soaring 10-year high! Millions of people were devastated by the vote to leave the EU, people who share our values as a pro-European, outward-looking and progressive party. If you haven't yet joined, or want more information to hand on to friends and relatives you can find it here.
EU Citizens #RightToStay in Britain
Tom Brake MP, our Whip in the House of Commons is pressing the new government to guarantee EU citizens their right to stay in the UK. The vote the leave the EU has led to devastating uncertainty for people's lives and a spate of hate crimes across the country. We must do all we can to secure the rights of people who have worked hard in this country as well as UK citizens now living across the EU. To find out more about the campaign please follow this link.
Fighting Wildlife Trafficking
I have just submitted the first draft of my report on Wildlife Trafficking in the EU in response the Commission’s proposed Action Plan to tackle the issue. I am calling for the penalty of wildlife trafficking to fit the seriousness of this crime and a commitment from governments to commit funding to tackle the criminal gangs currently exploiting the loopholes that permit wildlife trafficking in the EU. Time is running out for many of our most endangered and beloved species. There is still a lot of work to do on this report with the final vote taking place in November in Strasbourg. If you want to read the draft report and send me any comments you can find it here. I have also just been appointed to follow a forthcoming European Parliament report on palm oil and deforestation, so look forward to hearing more from me on this issue.
Do get in touch with me if you have any queries, or want me to talk to your school or club via Skype, which is proving very popular.
Catherine Bearder MEP