The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.
We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.
We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.
We believe the UK is better off in the EU, and we will fight the next election on a clear and unequivocal promise to restore British prosperity and role in the world, with the United Kingdom in the European Union, not out.
If you agree with us, why not join us today.
Liberal Democrat European Union spokesperson and former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has launched the first briefing paper of his Brexit Challenge project, which analyses the options facing the Government if it intends for Britain to retain significant access to the Single Market.
While Single Market access is essential to the British economy, and retaining access remains the best of a series of bad options for the economy post-Brexit, it comes with significant challenges and trade-offs. The analysis shows that even if the Government were able to achieve concessions on freedom of movement, seeking to retain significant access to the Single Market would still mean adherence to its rules and regulations, while not having any control or influence over them. It also concludes that the biggest benefit of Single Market access is the removal of non-tariff barriers, such as shared rules and harmonised standards, as opposed to tariffs.
The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government for slipping out an announcement that Cedars pre-departure accommodation is to close.
It raises the prospect of children once again being held in immigration detention centres - a practice ended by the Liberal Democrats in Government.
Liberal Democrats in Coalition established the centre to end the detention of children, and the Conservatives have used the final day of the Parliamentary session to reverse the move.
Prior to 2010, thousands of children were being detained in prison-like conditions. During Labour's last 5 years in government, over 7,000 innocent children were held in adult detention centres, sometimes for weeks and months at a time.
The establishment of the centre was driven by Sarah Teather and Nick Clegg and following the news of its closure the Liberal Democrat Seekers for Sanctuary have set out 10 questions the government must answer.
Aside from scrapping the centre the Conservatives have failed to offer any assurances on what will replace it, the emotional support that vulnerable children will be given or any preparations that will be made for them ahead of their return to a country that many of them may not even remember.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman Alistair Carmichael said:
"Ending the detention of children for immigration purposes was one of the first priorities of Liberal Democrats in government. It is the mark of our society how we treat the most vulnerable and it is disgusting that the Conservatives are now rolling back such an important measure.
"It is outrageous they slipped out this announcement on the last day of Parliamentary business, and they must now set out what exactly is going to happen to children in the future. We cannot have a return to the days of children being locked up in immigration detention centres, as happened under Labour. The Government has a lot of questions that remained unanswered."
Chair of Liberal Democrat Seekers for Sanctuary, Suzanne Fletcher, who has visited Cedars, and been part of an Independent Monitoring Board until the change of Government last year said:
"Cedars provided an oasis of care and calm at a very traumatic time for those families with children who very sadly were being sent against their will back to their country of origin. , and our Government should be ashamed of such a backward step."
The Liberal Democrats have branded the Conservative's Flagship Married Couples Tax Allowance policy a 'pathetic failure' after figures revealed that only a fraction of eligible couples had bothered claiming the allowance.
Only 330,000 people have taken advantage of the allowance, equivalent to 8% of those eligible.
Alistair Carmichael has demanded the government rule out the prospect of children being kept in prison cells.
This follows the government slipping out an announcement of the closure of the Cedars facility, which supports families who are being returned overseas by the Home Office. Ending child detention was a major Liberal Democrat achievement in the coalition government. The facilities were described as "exceptional" and their closure has also been attacked by Barnardo's.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has returned to the Liberal Democrat front bench as the party's European Union spokesperson in order to hold the Government to account over its plans for Brexit.
Nick Clegg is uniquely well placed to challenge the Conservatives on their plans for Brexit. Not only did he sit around the cabinet table with Theresa May, Liam Fox and others, he was also a leading Member of the European Parliament and a trade negotiator in the European Commission under Leon Brittan. During the coalition years he established himself as the highest profile pro-European voice in British politics and is well known and respected in capitals across the continent.
Martin Vye, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education on Kent County Council, took part in a KCC Select Committee investigation into what needs to be done to open up grammar school places for children from poorer families. The councillors produced a report which went to last week's county council meeting. The full report can be downloaded here.
Martin Vye attended the Social Liberal Forum annual meeting on Saturday, 16th July. It was a packed meeting.
The William Beveridge Annual Lecture was given by former Liberal Democrat cabinet member, Vince Cable. He gave a strong message about the need for government to invest directly in new projects as, though the financial system is awash with savings, business is not investing. He also talked about the need to explore alternative business institutions; he chairs a social enterprise providing community transport and is involved with a community bank.
"Will the Cabinet Member for Environment Highways and Waste inform the Council why KCC Highways have still not produced a workable scheme for enabling traffic to enter and leave the Thanington Park development in Canterbury, despite the fact that permission for the development was granted by Canterbury City Council in January?"
"Given that the all-party Lords Science and Technology committee raised concern in April that the substantial EU research funds, currently available to the UK, would not likely be covered by future governments if Britain left the European Union, can the Cabinet Member for Economic Development explain the steps he will be taking to ensure that the expanding scientific sector in Kent does not suffer long term impact as a consequence of the recent referendum result?"