Immigration is often a much maligned subject in our country, however, the Liberal Democrats locally and nationally, are proud of the contribution people who have chosen to make the UK their home have made.
The reasons for loving immigration are not just economical, although people who choose to make the UK their home are valuable economic contributors. They are also cultural, from the food we eat, to the beer we drink, it is almost entirely a result of different people coming together to share their experiences and make our lives culturally richer.
In our Borough of Colchester, it is no different, especially since we have the University of Essex within our area which we are proud of being one of the most diverse in the UK. In the Liberal Democrats, we celebrate this.
Unfortunately, hate crime based on race and religion has risen in recent years, with a sharp increase coming directly after the Brexit vote.
However, the Liberal Democrats are clear that society is strengthened by immigration and diversity, not weakened or damaged by it.
The Liberal Democrats
- Support immigration
- Support free movement of people in the European
- Want to welcome immigrants
Since before we ever joined the (as it was then) European Economic Community (EEC), the then Liberals were strongly in favour of our membership.
That is why, when the referendum was called in 2016, we campaigned heart and soul for remaining, because remaining for us wasn't just good for Colchester, it is also in the Lib Dem DNA.
Then, in 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union by the slim margin of 51.9% to 48.1%. The Liberal Democrats however, recognised the problems that would emerge from a chaotic no-deal brexit. This is why we were the first party to advocate a "vote on the deal".
This vote would pit the deal we have currently (remaining), against a government negotiated deal, taking the damaging "no-deal" option off the table. This was initially an unpopular position, but now that parliament is gridlocked, it is the only fair way to choose between two real options, not the fantasy that Will Quince, Boris Johnson or anyone else, lies about.
The Liberal Democrats are European by instinct, we believe in free trade, we are pro-immigration, not just for economic reasons but because immigrants help make our country better.
||Can win in Colchester
||Depends on the day of the week Brexit
||Remain in the European Union
||Remain in the European Union
Colchester is realistically a two party race between the Remain supporting Liberal Democrats, or the damaging no-deal Conservatives. No other party has won here since 1945. In the last local and European elections, the Liberal Democrats were the biggest pro-European party.
Colchester Liberal Democrats have a slogan, we "work all year round"
This isn't just some meaningless political jargon, it is our work ethic, we don't just pop by at election time then swan off for the next year, we make a point of keeping in contact through regular residents newsletters and surveys. Our Councillors then take your views and represent them to Colchester Borough and Essex County Council.
A prime example of this was this weekend, where we had loads of existing and new campaigners join Cllrs Sam McCarthy and Lyn Barton in their Shrub End Ward on Saturday.
Colchester Liberal Democrats congratulated new leader Jo Swinson on her victory in the leadership election.
Jo’s victory heralds a new era for the Liberal Democrats who are currently on a high after seeing their best ever EU and local election results.
Jo Swinson, who first became an MP in the 2005 election on the back of the Labour’s illegal Iraq war. In government she was the driving force behind shared parental leave and was a strong supporter of equal marriage.
After losing her seat in the 2015, she won it back in 2017 unseating Nationalist John Nicolson before being elected as deputy leader. She is the youngest leader in the history of the Liberal Democrats.
Jo Swinson (left), with Ed Davey
Reacting to the news that Jo won the leadership election, MP candidate Martin Goss, who voted for Jo said “Today is a good day to be a Liberal Democrat, Jo Swinson is one of the hardest working people in politics and the perfect person to take our party forward.” He went on to pay tribute to outgoing leader Vince Cable MP saying “Vince’s visit gave us the motivation to make gains in the local elections, he has led our party from 8% to 20% and revitalised the Lib Dems in Essex.”
Local Party Chair Callum Robertson added: “In Colchester, we have a Conservative party on the way out and the local and European elections have shown it is a Lib Dem and Tory race in Colchester.” He went on to say: we look on course to win the Brecon and Radnorshire by election next week and the polls have us winning back Colchester at the next election. With Jo [Swinson] at the helm, I’m positive that we can beat the Conservatives and make Colchester Lib Dem again.”
Decision Time - Garden Communities and Local Plan
New Colchester Cabinet - Lib Dem led