Welcome to Liberal Democrats Overseas. We are the global community for all Lib Dem members and supporters who live outside the UK and Europe. Together we support the party from far and wide, holding regular meet-ups, online events, and sharing information on our priorities and the party.
Welcome from the Chair
Welcome to Lib Dems Overseas, the newly-formed organisation of the British Liberal Democrat Party serving its members and British communities outside Europe.
Around 5.5 million British citizen are estimated to live outside the UK. Soon we may all have a greater say in British government policy towards us with the likely abolition of the 15 year rule, which will over-turn a travesty of justice which has unfairly disenfranchised so many of us.
We intend to campaign for all Brits living overseas to gain the same rights that our own people in the UK. Pensions need to be unfrozen for many of us. We should pay university fees the same rate as those living in the UK. We must have our own overseas constituencies to be able to voice our concerns directly at Westminster. And so much more.
To help us help you, we are formulating policies for the first time to help our British communities abroad. We have launched a public consultation (Policy Consultation) and ask you to write in your ideas for our overseas policy. Please participate now (Policy Consultation).
Go further and join us by becoming a member (Join) to get directly involved in our campaign to improve the lives of British citizens abroad.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
George Cunningham, Chair,
Lib Dems Overseas.
What we stand for
We support British expats living across the world and are actively campaigning for the rights of British nationals. The Liberal Democrats are committed to supporting British people regardless of where they live in the world.
Want to know more about being a liberal around the world? Check out these websites:
Where we are based
We have members across 40 countries (and counting!). The following countries have specific coordinators who bring together members in their countries for events and meet-ups:
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- United States
If you live in a country that is not included in this list then fear not! We are always looking to expand our outreach and welcome new members into our global community. If you would like to join the party we would love to have you. Click here to join us: Join
Want to know more about what we stand for as a party? Please take a look at the Liberal Democrats website.
Who we are
Lib Dem Overseas is governed by a Local Party Executive. We have 10 members of the executive committee, chaired by George Cunningham - find details of all our committee members on our team page. Our Honorary President is Baroness Sal Brinton.
George Cunningham is the Strategic Adviser on Asia-Pacific Affairs at the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels, having just returned from Kabul where he had been Deputy EU Ambassador to Afghanistan (2016-18).
He was previously EEAS Deputy Head of Division for China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Mongolia (2012-16); Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the European Union's Delegation to New Zealand (2007-12); Coordinator for bilateral trade relations with the United States at the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade (2005-07); Head of the Accession Process and Cooperation Section at the European Commission's Delegation in Nicosia (2003-05) when Cyprus joined the EU; and Head of Press and Public Affairs and Political Counsellor at the EC's Delegation to the United Nations in New York (2000-03) during 9/11.
He has been working 25 years for the EU across all the main files, especially foreign and security policy, public diplomacy and trade. He has particular interest in promoting human rights, social justice and fighting corruption.
Before joining the European Commission, George Cunningham served as a United Nations official in New York (1987-1990) and was also an advisor on European integration to the Polish Council of Ministers in Warsaw (1992).
At the start of a busy and varied career, he served as an officer in the British Army, and worked in marketing for British Petroleum and British Telecom. He founded and ran a non-governmental organisation PACE International Affairs, educating young people in the UK about international relations. He is a graduate from Oxford University (MA Oxon Modern History).
During his youth, he undertook a major expedition in Africa, with the backing of African Presidents, walking four fifths of 7,000 miles on foot from Alexandria in Egypt to Cape Town in South Africa over a period of 27 months (1979-81).
He is a member of Chatham House in London. His book - Journey to Become a Diplomat- was published in 2005 by the Foreign Policy Association of New York. He has enjoyed encouraging youth to get involved in international affairs by lecturing at universities and spoken numerous times at the European Parliament in his professional capacity. In 2019, he also trained Gulf Cooperation Council Diplomats in Riyadh in his private capacity.
In his political life, he is Chair of Liberal Democrats Overseas, having been Chair (2016) and Vice-Chair of Brussels and Europe Lib Dems. He stood for parliament in the 2015 UK General Election and ran the Lib Dem campaign for Brits abroad to vote in the UK EU referendum. He is a foreign policy advisor to Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson.
George Cunningham was born in 1956. He is an EU official with dual Polish and British nationality. He is married with two grown-up children.