Liberal Democrats Abroad officially launched on Sunday 16th September at a well-attended lunchtime event in the Hilton Brighton Metropole.
The party conference was in full swing and many attendees expressed interest in the topics affecting Britons overseasateful if you could illustrate - especially the need for ‘votes for life’.
Liberal Democrats Abroad is the umbrella organisation for the three party branches representing expatriate LibDem members - LibDems Overseas, in Europe and in France. Together these organisations represent nearly 2,000 members scattered around the world with the majority based in Europe. The new Overseas group was also launched on Sunday and is the branch representing almost 400 members outside of Europe.
Party President Sal Brinton, MEP Catherine Bearder and Robert Woodthorpe Brown joined executive team members George Cunningham (Overseas) and Deborah Griffith (Europe) to outline the objectives of the new organisation and hopes that it would help to engage British expatriates everywhere to become actively engaged in important issues such as as equal voting rights, access to pensions, universities and government resources.
Dr Susan Collard, Senior Lecturer in French Politics & Contemporary European Studies, shared an interesting introduction to some of the opportunities and challenges of establishing overseas constituencies that would return MPs to Westminster. This topic may become a central aim of the LibDem Abroad as the branches work together to engage current and potential members to develop LibDem policies for Britons living and working away from the UK.
Lib Dems In Europe and Overseas had dinner before the fringe with Robert Woodthorpe Browne as honorary guest