European Movement UK at Lib Dem Conference 2023

Published on September 26, 2023

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey’s Brexit awakening at conference

Sir Ed Davey and the Liberal Democrats are dreaming of becoming the third largest party in Westminster. 

But ‘Do Not Disturb’ or ‘Please Make Up My Room’ aren’t the only choices they’ll grapple with as they awake in hotels for the final day of their Bournemouth conference.   

Hundreds of delegates, including the Leader, his colleagues and senior team, woke up to pro-EU messages on their hotel doorhandles left overnight by some of our campaigners. 

As Sir Ed Davey vows to tackle the Tories at the next General Election, he’s being urged to mend the UK’s relationship with the EU.   

At a time when all parties are being asked about their stance on Europe, the Lib Dem leader has said that rejoining the EU is currently ‘off the table’. Now, he and his colleagues have been left a reminder that the UK’s relationship with the EU needs to be back on the agenda.  

The night before Sir Ed Davey was due to make his first major speech to Autumn conference as Leader, replica hotel door hangers were left on the handles of the Highcliff Marriott, Hilton Bournemouth, and Premier Inn hotels, where all the senior Liberal Democrat MPs and delegates sleep – with the message: “Please Make Up... Our Relationship with the EU”.  

The Lib Dem Leader, his top team and conference attendees awoke to the message after some friendly late-night antics.   

With a series of door hangers mimicking hotel ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs, we are asking the Liberal Democrats to address the elephant in the room – the fact that polling now shows that most people would like the UK to be back in the EU.   

Before this, we also hosted a fringe event at Lib Dem Conference with Sir Nick Harvey (EM CEO and former Defence Minister), Sir Vince Cable (EM Vice President, former Lib Dem leader and Business Secretary), Daisy Cooper (Lib Dem Deputy leader), Jürgen Maier (former CEO of Siemens) and Jane Dodds (Welsh Lib Dem leader) which was so oversubscribed that Lib Dem members had to be turned away.  

Sir Nick Harvey, CEO of the European Movement, said:   

“The United Kingdom should be at the very heart of Europe. A careful, step-by-step approach of closer alignment with the EU can help address the multiple issues that Brexit has caused, from labour shortages to severe economic damage – from queues at the border to decreased influence on the world’s stage.  

“Clarity on the future of our relationship with our closest trading partner will be crucial in the next General Election, help release pressure on hardworking families and unleash our great country’s potential. 

“So we will keep pushing all politicians and all parties to face the reality of Brexit, and as Ed Davey and his team wake up today and open their doors, we hope they will be reminded of the importance of this debate.  

“Meanwhile, the European Movement is the only organisation with the courage to expose the calamity of Brexit and win the Battle for the Soul of our Country.” 


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