Direct from the new "Eurosceptic" Lib-Dims' website comes news of its policy motion on the "Referendum on the European Constitution", debated at 5.15 pm today at its conference in Bournemouth.
Moved by Jeremy Hargreaves, the motion was a "composite", as follows:
i) Believes that playing an active and leading role in the European Union is vital to the UK’s 3 national interest.
ii) Reasserts its commitment to the Party’s policy of supporting a Constitution that defines the powers of the EU.
Conference welcomes the European Constitution drafted by the European Convention and agreed by the Heads of Government of the 25 EU Member States on 18 June 2004, which in particular meets Liberal Democrat calls to:
a) Introduce greater openness and transparency into EU decision-making.
b) Simplify the processes of the EU.
c) Allow European countries to work together to achieve common aims in foreign and security policy, where they agree.
d) Give a greater role to the democratically elected Members of the European Parliament.
e) Ensure more effective scrutiny of European affairs by the British Parliament (and other national Parliaments).
f) Protect the rights of individuals, through the incorporation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Conference believes that:
1. It is vital to the UK’s national interest, future prosperity and security that it votes "yes" to the European Constitution in the referendum.
2. A "no" vote in the constitutional referendum would prevent Britain from playing a central and influential role in Europe, and could even result in the ultimate exclusion of Britain from the European Union altogether.
3. The Liberal Democrats should take full advantage of their position as the only principled pro-European party in Britain.
4. The failure of the Labour Government since 1997 to make the case for Britain’s positive engagement in Europe has resulted in a growth in misinformed public hostility to the EU.
5. A ‘yes’ vote in the referendum can only be won if there is an extensive wide-ranging public campaign to communicate the benefits of membership of the EU and how the European Constitution will make the EU more democratic, more effective and more accountable.
6. The Liberal Democrats should campaign hard for a yes vote between now and the referendum.
Vote on motion as whole - motion carried