Ben Whitlock, International Officer, Young Liberals, writes a guest post about exciting news for the Young Liberals:
A lot is going to happen in 2019. With Brexit set to happen at the end of March and our liberal values likely to be under attack from the hard left and the far right, you might think that 2019 will be another difficult year for the Liberal Democrats. Fortunately, all is not lost, and we are not alone in this fight. There are many in Europe who recognise that Liberal Democrats continue to fight not only Brexit. But also the intolerance, bigotry and xenophobia that has come with it.
That is why as a way to show solidarity with Young Liberals here in the UK, European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) has decided that it is going to hold its 2019 Autumn Congress in the UK. As a way to show solidarity and unity with British young liberals, as we fight against the rising tide of intolerance and illiberalism that we are seeing in Britain and across the democratic world. This means that for the next year, Young Liberals will be preparing to host our liberal friends for a weekend of policy debates and cultural exchange.
Hosting LYMEC is a huge opportunity for Young Liberals and the Liberal Democrats. This is our chance to show that we, as a party, will not allow an increasingly xenophobic and nationalist Tory party to break away from our proud history of being an internationalist country.
That we will continue to play a role in the international liberal family and that Brexit will not destroy the friendships we have made with our fellow liberals. This is our chance to say to our European friends and partners that even though we are being taken out of the European Union we still share and will still champion our common liberal European values.
In a message to Young Liberals, LYMEC President Svenja Hahn said,
Brexit has become the synonym for insecurity and uncertainty. In times like these liberals have to unite and stand up for each other and our shared values. We want to bring our autumn 2019 congress to the UK to show that the European young liberals will stand with our British friends in European solidarity!
With, 130 delegates from 33 countries coming to the UK next year this is our chance as Young Liberals and Liberal Democrats to say that we are still European – even if we find ourselves as Europeans outside the European Union.