Our first ever full online conference is set to be one of our biggest ever. I’m so proud that we’ve been able to keep costs low for members to attend, plus no cost of travel, accommodation, or buying all your meals out.
With a more accessible, affordable, and flexible conference, more members than ever will be able to have their say and vote on some of the fantastic policy motions coming up at Autumn Conference.
If you haven’t yet, you can book your place at conference here.
Here’s a run down of the motions we’re going to be debating:
F5: Improve Mental Health Support for Health and Care Staff
This motion recognises the long term psychological scars that many health and care staff have from treating patients during the COVID-19. It calls for:
- A guarantee of universal, high quality mental health support for all health and care staff
- A COVID-19 phone support hotline for health and care staff
- The removal of the use of the Bradford Factor – a formula used to discourage short, frequent, unplanned absences
- Health and social care workers to have access to reflective practice groups
F7: Nature of Public Debate during COVID-19
Less than half the public trust the UK government to provide them with accurate public health information, which is devastating in the midst of a global pandemic. Much of this distrust comes from the elitist defence of double standards, such as the Prime Minister’s defence of his chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, who broke lockdown.
This motion calls for:
- An independent enquiry of the government’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Requiring the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority to provide regular proactive comment on the government’s presentation of official statistics during crises
- Parliamentary scrutiny to be intensified during crises
F8: Universal Basic Income
The COVID-19 pandemic has, up to the start of June 2020, led to over 600,000 job losses and a drop of almost half in job vacancies. This motion argues that Universal Basic Income will be the best way to provide people with a guarantee of income security and thereby more flexibility and control over their careers and lives post-pandemic. It calls for:
- Liberal Democrats to campaign for a Universal Basic Income, paid to all long-term UK residents
- This income to be streamlined and integrated with other necessary income support mechanisms including pensions and student living cost support
- Liberal Democrats to continue campaigning for strong and accessible targeted income support mechanisms, including but not limited to effective housing and disability support payments
This year we’re taking Conference 100% online!
If you’ve never been to Conference before, find out why this is a great chance to get involved 👇https://t.co/ZWDnSVwWIT
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) September 14, 2020
F11: The Creation of a Federal United Kingdom
This motion recognises that the future cohesion and existence of the United Kingdom is threatened by a sense of alienation amongst many of our citizens which has fuelled Brexit and the growth of nationalism.
The constitution of the United Kingdom is not fit for the needs of a 21st century liberal democracy, and this motion calls for:
- A Declaration that the United Kingdom is a federal union that exists by the consent of the people of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- The creation of powerful institutions to encourage and enable co-operation between the governments and parliaments of the various parts of the United Kingdom
- Early measures to implement the Federal Declaration including creating a Declaration of Rights as a foundation document of a Federal United Kingdom which includes a new, modern, inclusive definition of citizenship
F12: The COVID-19 Pandemic
To ensure a timely and relevant debate on the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a spot reserved at conference to debate a motion on the pandemic that has not yet been chosen.
Once the motion is chosen, it will be available to view here.
F18: Racial Justice Cannot Wait
The Black Lives Matter protests around the world, most recently sparked by the killing of George Floyd, have highlighted the failings within the UK. BAME people are over-represented throughout the criminal justice system, including being more likely to be stopped and searched, and being more likely to be sentenced to prison once convicted of a crime.
It is unacceptable that, in the 21st century, people are discriminated against on the basis of their race and the party reaffirms its commitment to combat racism. This motion calls on the government to:
- Repealing Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, which allows police officers to stop and search people without suspicion
- Scrap Conservative plans to require voters to bring identification with them to vote, which would present a significant barrier to democratic engagement for already marginalised groups, including BAME communities
- Implementing in full the recommendations of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, without further delay
F19: Save the BBC
This motion states that the BBC has played a uniquely invaluable role in educating the public on the coronavirus pandemic, and that the broadcaster has a vital and unique place in the UK’s media landscape, with a mission to inform, educate and entertain across television, radio and online.
Dismantling the BBC was not in the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto and the government has no mandate to attack the broadcaster. This motion calls for:
- The Conservative government to protect the BBC as an independent, universally available, properly resourced public service broadcaster, and to rule out moving the BBC to a subscription model.
- The BBC’s workforce and output at all levels and across all nations and regions to be more diverse and reflective of the country it serves.
Lib Dem conference is going virtual for the first time ever this month!
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) September 3, 2020
F21: A Green Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19, there is an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild with a real focus on the climate emergency: green growth, creating new green jobs and cutting emissions.
With reaffirmed pledges to Cut emissions by 75 per cent by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2045 at the very latest, this motion calls for:
- Ensuring that support packages for businesses recovering from the impacts of lockdown include, where appropriate, legally binding commitments to reduce emissions
- Working as closely as possible with the EU in tackling the climate emergency, including joining the EU Emission Trading Scheme and fulfilling the UK’s climate commitments jointly with the EU
- Ensuring that a large proportion of new jobs created are ‘green jobs’ and ensure those who are unemployed due to COVID-19 are helped to reskill to fill them
To ensure a timely and relevant debate on the UK’s future relationship with the European Union, there is a spot reserved at conference to debate a motion on Europe that has not yet been chosen.
Once the motion is chosen, it will be available to view here.
F31: Hong Kong’s Future
In the last 18 months, up to two million people, across different socio-economic backgrounds, have taken to the streets of Hong Kong, calling for democratic reforms. This motion recognises that the UK has a moral and legal duty to ensure that democracy, the rule of law and human rights are upheld in Hong Kong. It calls on the government to:
- Expand their proposals so that all Hong Kongers are given a pathway to citizenship in the UK, regardless of whether or not they have BNO status
- Enact Magnitsky legislation and encourage mutual action from other countries to hold Hong Kong and Chinese officials responsible to account in the event of any gross breaches of human rights in Hong Kong
F32: Supporting Trans and Non-Binary People Within the Liberal Democrats
This motion notes that the UK government has shelved proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act despite 70% of respondents to the government’s consultation being in favour of self-definition. With recognition that people should be free to define their gender as they choose, and have that choice respected, this motion calls for:
- Liberal Democrat HQ and all venues for federal and regional conferences to have at least one gender-neutral toilet facility
- Conference passes to include preferred pronouns for all attendees, with all attendees permitted to specify their preferred pronouns at the time of registration or to opt not to have pronouns shown on their pass
- Presenters, chairs and stewards at party events and training sessions to be given guidance on avoiding unnecessarily gendered language