The Tunbridge Wells Liberal Democrats held their annual dinner at the Royal Wells on Friday, March 18, 2016. Baroness Falkner of Margravine was on hand to give a talk about the upcoming European Union, the refugee crisis and the state of the party. There was also an auction with a variety of prizes which members bid for in a silent auction.
Local Tunbridge Wells Chair, Gillian Douglass, introduced Baroness Falkner by reading a list of her accomplishments and accolades which Baroness Falkner denounced as being too extensive but noted that the party has told her that "these things must be done." Lady Falkner currently sits on the House of Lords European Union (E.U.) Sub-Committee on Financial Affairs and is a Member of both the House of Lords E.U. Select Committee, and the Joint House of Commons – House of Lords Select Committee on the National Security Strategy.
During her address, the Baroness remarked that, while she rarely agrees with the Prime Minister, she agrees with him regarding the European Union and stated that she believes that he has done a remarkable job in negotiating an agreement which she believes will be of benefit to the United Kingdom. She stated that no other country has been able to opt out of so many areas of the E. U. which they find disagreeable, notably the euro and the Shengan Agreement. This allows the U.K. the benefits of being able to control her finances and borders more effectively.
In regard to the refugee crisis, Baroness Falkner stated that the U.K. has donated £1.9 billion to relieve the plight of refugees. She supports the idea of accepting refugees from the refugee camps rather than from within Europe and also supports the Liberal Democrat policy of accepting 3,000 children in crisis.
Baroness Falkner spoke briefly about the state of the Liberal Democrat party saying that the Liberal Democrats have been in worse plight before and have fought back. She stated that she supported the idea of a coalition government which was the right thing for the country at the time but was somewhat critical of Nick Clegg for putting party politics above policy matters on one occasion.
The Liberal Democrats are fighting local elections on May 5th in the Borough of Tunbridge Wells as well as a number of parishes. They are also campaigning strongly to remain in the European Union. If you want to become involved with the local party or for further information, contact Gillian Douglass on 01892 670526 or Marguerita Morton, Secretary and Fundraising Chair on 01892 522756 or Membership Secretary, Sheesh Bloomfield on 07968331217.