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 - LibDem Autumn Conference

 - Your opportunity to influence
 - Your top "Brexit concerns?"
 - Lots to read here!

First...Word from the Chair, Paul Fisher
Conference Report
Layla Moran on Education, Tom Brake on Brexit, Nick Clegg on his efforts to Stop Brexit across Europe and Gina Miller imploring us to step up were the highlight speeches.  Vince Cable outlined his reforms for the Party.  Three of the Executive Committee of LibDems in France attended. Numerous Fringe events and notably one on BREXIT sponsored by Catherine Bearder gave an insight into the training and specialist interest topics available to members.
LIberal Democrat livestream from conference Autumn 2018
LibDems in France AGM
Our AGM is at the Ibis Hotel Futuroscope Poitiers at 14:00 Sunday 25 November 2018 for members of Liberal Democrats in France; and from 15:00 for a more general meeting for members, supporters and the general public, During the afternoon, Max Wilkinson, prospective parliamentary candidate for Cheltenham will be present. (see items below)  Voting rights are limited to members so if you want to vote join now.  Members are encouraged to bring friends and family – all are welcome.  We are an open, tolerant and united political party of the democratic and liberal minded.

Our guest speaker is Max Wilkinson, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cheltenham whom we have decided to support with finance and volunteers (see following item).
Read up on various conference speeches
Details of our assistance to Cheltenham Marginal Seat
Liberal democrats in France Executive Committee have decided to help target the Party`s most winnable seats with financial support and other assistance at election time.

Cheltenham was held by The Liberal Democrats from 1992 until 2015 and we lost the seat in 2017 by 2,500 votes.

Cheltenham has a very strong Liberal tradition and The Borough Council is firmly controlled by LibDems.

The seat is in the Party`s top 10 winnable seats and Max Wilkinson has been selected to represent us at the next General Election.  Max is  a former journalist, having started his career in the regional press and as a sports reporter. He now works in communications, specialising in community relations and is a regular spokesperson for Cheltenham Liberal Democrats in the press, radio and on television – including BBC Sunday Politics. Max is a very strong supporter of our "Votes for Life campaign"  and for Overseas constituencies.

We need YOUR help to get Max elected in Cheltenham!    The Election may only be a few weeks or months away.  If you have a few £ to spare why not make a donation to Max`s campaign fund? If you do, please let us know you have done so -  we need to give accurate records of who is donating for Electoral Law purposes.

Bank Details as follows

Cheltenham Liberal Democrats 
HSBC, Bath Road, Cheltenham 
Sort code: 40-17-09
Account number: 71128965  
Votes for Life and Overseas Constituencies
 We have set our long term aim to campaign for Votes for Life and Overseas Constituencies and to this end the first step in this strategy is make the present system function; broken as it is.  We need to demonstrate that people who are still eligible to vote from outside the UK are willing to re-register each year in their last constituency.  Outside the UK it is estimated that the British diaspora is about 5,500,000 people, and yet, only 275,000 are on the Overseas Electoral Roll or 5%.  This is shocking!  We have work to do.
Voter Registration
The likelihood of a referendum and/or a General Election in the next six months is high.  To have any impact we need our members and supporters to register to vote – NOW. Just click the button at the end of this piece to register. It is a quick process. If you have any difficulties or queries about this vital step to being represented in our Parliament in the UK, to protect your rights and to Stop Brexit then REGISTER NOW.
Register to Vote
Setting up a proxy vote
Overview – Chair
The Liberal Democratic Party is now on an election footing to be ready to fight a General Election and/or a Referendum to #StopBrexit.   Our aim is to win more seats in Parliament.  The future security and prosperity of the United Kingdom is threatened by the Conservative Party’s decision to leave the European Union The ineffective Labour Party has abrogated its responsibility to oppose the government.  Your country needs you!
Details of March and demonstration London - October 20

Don’t leave it until it is too late to fight for your rights and your country

Next...Action News:-
What can you do to help?

The supermarket flyer last month (still available or email in to for a pdf.copy) resulted in quite an upturn of interest in our website and brought new supporters. Thanks to all involved.

Special mention to the Pas de Calais local group who really won gold  - there were flyers all over the place there! Brilliant!
  • THIS MONTH we are asking you to check with your group of friends to see if they are registered to vote (are YOU?) Point them to the web address at the end of this if they need any persuasion to know why! 

Last month we asked: What do you consider to be the most crucial issues that lie ahead for British Citizens in France?

These are the points that came out top of the pile -  keep them coming to
  • Decline of the £ against the € and other world currencies. meaning our income may become too little to support us
  • Loss of SEPA (which enables easier transfer of funds across countries)
  • Difficulties in continuing to hold a UK bank account
  • Changes to Health care availability and to Pension rights
  • Loss of the easy Freedom of Travel across Europe and the Right to work.
  • The Irish border problem
  • The possibility of rise of the more extreme right-wing n the UK
Email us your ideas
The LIberal Democrats Main Website in the UK has a great new opening page now. you can take a look here - encourage all your UK friends to as well! (NB there is much more to it than this little photo!)
Take a look at the great opening page on the LibDems main UK site
Then...Help- Take a look at your Passport!
Passport rules have changed with an unannounced policy change on passport renewals:-
Unexpired time from the end of the previous passport will no longer be credited to a new one even if you renew ahead of expiry date.
On the surface of it, all that will mean is that people will delay renewing their passports.
But...a couple of things to bear in mind:-
Firstly, the Passport Office may be under severe pressure at that time - especially as many more people will now renew just before peak holiday time. 
More importantly, many countries have a minimum period of validity needed on passports when you enter their country.
In some places (e.g. the USA)  this is six months...
So, if your passport has 6 months left to run and you want to go to that country, you cannot without renewing your passport first -  reducing that "10 year passport" to nine and a half years - and now effectively costing you 5% more (in that circumstance)
Will the EU bring in this kind of validity requirement if the UK leaves the EU?
Then ...Opinion - "Yes, Brexit is reversible"
Excerpts from a recent Blog from NIck Hopkinson, chair, LDEG (Liberal Democrat European Group)
  1. Brexit is not a done deal; 
  2. Brexit can be stopped
  3. The #peoplesvote is the way to #exitfrombrexit
  4. Each and every one of us needs to get behind the Peoples Vote and capitalise on it as ours is the only national party which is wholeheartedly supporting it.
People are changing their minds about Brexit. Recent polls show good leads in favour of a Peoples Vote on any Brexit deal and a slowly growing, but still slim, majority for staying in the European Union (EU).
Brexit is reversible. Most expert lawyers agree Article 50 can be revoked. Leading EU politicians have consistently said the UK is welcome to stay if we chose to do so (before the negotiation period expires on 29 March 2019).
Democracy did not start and stop on 23 June 2016. If a party loses an election, it doesn't stop campaigning to win the next one. As David Davis said, "If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy."
The 2016 referendum was a vote on an idea. Leave offered no agreed plan. Every Leave voter had to decide for him/herself what Leave meant. A Peoples' Vote on the terms of any Brexit deal will be the first time voters have a choice between two concrete options: - what we enjoy now as an EU member and an inevitably poorer deal outside it.
A Peoples Vote would be quite different from 2016. It would ask about the plan for Brexit, not the idea. No one takes a project from idea to implementation without renewing the project plan.
Voters only gave the government a mandate to negotiate Brexit. The people have yet to consent to the final Brexit deal. It is like buying a house - if we don't like the survey, we have the right to withdraw our offer. 
There are of course major areas of concern such as the economic, political and social damage of Brexit; the Brexiteers being unable to deliver their promised fantasies; and serious evidence the 2016 referendum was not free and fair and tainted by foreign interference. So as what Brexit actually means becomes clearer and new facts come to light, there is still all to play for.
Brexit is unravelling. The Government is at last floating some of the negative consequences of Brexit, particularly a No Deal Brexit.
We are unfortunately stuck between an an anti-business Tory hard Brexit and a Bolshevik Brexit. The crisis will only deepen in the Autumn. May has run out of road
Whatever transpires, we must fire on all cylinders to change public opinion to #exitfrombrexit. We can and must stop this madness. Please write to your MP, be active on social media, leaflet, join Lib Dem action days and marches, write letters to the media, talk to friends, family, colleagues and strangers
Let's remember, we are the true patriots arguing for peace and prosperity in Britain and our neighbourhood. Brexiteers want to take the country back, we as Liberal Democrats want to take our country forward.


Brittany Local Group

  • Wednesday, October 9, 2018
  • 2:00 PM  4:00 PM

Please note final date and time to be arranged. Huelgoat area. email 


  • Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • 12 noon onwards
Park Lane, London, UK
Assemble from 12pm (midday).
Clear your diary, bring your family, tell your friends about the March on October 20th. See link.
As emailed to us from Tom Brake, one of our European Champions:-
"Please push hard to get anyone in the UK on the 20th October to the March!"
Let us know if you are going to either the UK for that demonstration OR to the local demonstration in the Limousin. Make yourself heard!

Limousin Local Demonstration

  • Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • 10:00a.m onwards

The Limousin LibDems will be demonstrating (against Brexit!)  in Limoges on the 20th October 
Join us at the car park in the Champ de Juillet from 10.00a.m. (Champ de Juillet is near the Gare de Benedictin.

ALDE Individual Members Nice Conference
Saturday, October 27, 2018

 info is available here

We are supporting the ALDE French Individual Members Conference in Nice 27 October where Hans van Baalen (President of ALDE) will make an appearance.  The three themes are Defence and Security, Migration and Brexit.  Paul Fisher, our Chair. has been asked to speak on Brexit and to participate in a roundtable on Defence and Security.

European citizens: Liberal solutions is the title of a major transnational individual members event, on Saturday 27 October 2018 in Nice, France.
With the participation of speakers and citizens from France, Germany, Italy and many other countries, the agenda of the conference will focus on key issues such as Migration, Security & Defence and Brexit.
All individual members, members of ALDE member parties, members of the European Movement, other interested people, and students are kindly invited. You register your participation by buying a ticket on "Eventbrite": see below.
More info is available here

Our AGM is at the Ibis Hotel Futuroscope Poitiers at 1400 Sunday 25 November 2018.  This event is not limited to members but the public at large.  Voting rights are limited to members so if you want to vote - join now.  Members are encouraged to bring friends and family – all are welcome.  We are an open, tolerant and united political party of the democratic and liberal minded.
Our guest speaker is Max Wilkinson, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cheltenham whom we have decided to support with finance and volunteers. Cheltenham is a marginal seat that we have a good chance of gaining at the next General Election

LibDems UK - South East Region Conference

  • Saturday, November 17
  • Canterbury, UK
Paul Fisher, our Chair has been asked to speak about Brexit at this regional LibDems conference. Why not encourage any local LibDem friends you have in the UK to attend and hear about life from our French viewpoint!
NO apologies for repeating this from last month - why not start your own local group? It's the way to get things done!
Do you want to meet, discuss issues and build LibDems in France membership? Why not organise local get togethers? 

It is quite easy -  a four step process.
Step 1 Enter your postcode in the La Poste website and select a catchment area – I suggest within 20/30 kms. You will be given a list of postcodes. 
Step 2, Let know that you would like to organise a meeting of LibDem members with these postcodes.
Step 3  Choose a venue, – it could be a restaurant/routier for lunch, a local café for a few coffees or even chez-vous for a coffee morning/ afternoon tea. Then choose a date – avoid fetes nationales and give at least 3 weeks’ notice.
Step 4  Our Admin will circulate members asking for RSVP  and keep you informed and voila …
Peter Rumble, Membership Development Officer
Finally... A First-Timers View of the Conference
Committee member, Kay, ventured to the UK to attend the Autumn Conference. Click here to find out what she found to be the highlights for her and for some solid advice for anyone thinking to go for the first time themselves next time round.
Last minute links! 
If you haven't seen "Three Men in A Pub" and their discussions on Brexit, here they are with Wera Hobhouse (LibDem MP, Bath) They are sometimes entertaining, sometimes irritating, but always knowledgeable - give it a whirl...

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