Monday, 16 April 2018

Jane Dodds emphasised that Lib Dems are not a one-issue party

Although our opposition to Brexit was an important part of leader Jane Dodds' keynote speech to last weekend's Welsh Liberal Democrat conference, it was not the heart of it.

She outlined the blows that would fall if the hard-liners' in the government, supported by the Labour Party had their way, and what she was doing about it:

whether we like it or not, Wales voted to leave the EU. But – and it’s a big but – it was not on the basis that we would leave under any circumstances.

  •  In circumstances which would seriously damage our economy.
  •  In circumstances where health and care services would struggle to find workers.
  •  In circumstances where our farmers would not be able to export their products. 
  •  In circumstances where we would roll back on devolution.
  •  Circumstances in which 75000 EU Nationals living in Wales feel unwelcome and marginalised

So we have to continue the fight for a democratic say on the final deal. Democracy didn’t end on the 23rd of June – people have the right to decide that the Brexit we’re hurtling towards is the wrong decision for our country. We need to get out on the doorsteps and make that case, conference. Talk to people about Brexit, and don’t be afraid to have difficult discussions. We know we are the remain party, and the only party in Wales campaigning for the people to have the final say on the deal. But our message is only just beginning to cut through. Just three out of four voters do not know the Liberal Democrat position on Brexit. So I am pleased to announce that the first Welsh Liberal Democrat Exit From Brexit/Brwydro Brexit rally, will be in Wrecsam on Saturday July 7th. [My emphasis]

Please join us as we show Wales that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are leading the campaign to

  • keep us in the customs union
  • keep us in the single market
  • stopping a hard border in Ireland
  • making sure our EU citizens feel welcomed and positive about living in Wales.

Let us show the people of Wales that we are the internationalist, forward thinking party we need. Looking to the future, not to a hazy nostalgic nationalism that promises the world and delivers nothing.

But Jane's closing returned to the main themes of her speech (see the whole thing on Liberal Democrat Voice), putting our social concerns at the top of the agenda:

I want to lead a party of social justice,  a party that is radical and reforming that is diverse and creative. I want to lead a party that does something with the opportunities available to us – not just sit on the sidelines and shout in. We’ve done it before, we’re doing it now, and we can do it again. Let’s go forward with the confidence, the aspiration, and the hope Wales needs. 

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