Liberal Democrats Stand for Europe

The Liberal Democrat manifesto places rebuilding Britain’s position in Europe at the heart of its ambitious policy program.

A circle of flagpoles flying European flags.

In the 2019 election, we campaigned against Brexit.

Now, with a clearer understanding of its impact, we see the need to mend the economic, political, and social damage caused by leaving the EU. Our plan focuses on the economy, business, jobs, climate and energy, crime prevention, food and farming, culture, migration, defence, and Britain’s place in the world. 

Today, countries like Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland, as members of the Single Market, have more influence in Europe than Britain. They have permanent negotiators at the table setting rules, while our exporters have no say. It's time to change that.

Our Four-Step Plan to Rebuild

To regain Britain's voice in Europe, our manifesto sets out the following four-step plan:

  1. Collaborate. We will make clear our intent to collaborate with our European neighbours on international, scientific, and economic policies in practical ways.
  2. Build Trust. We will rebuild trust by negotiating agreements with bodies like the European Aviation Safety Agency, Erasmus, scientific programmes, climate initiatives, and cooperation on defence, security and crime.
  3. Strengthen the Economy. We will seek trading links that benefit British businesses, including veterinary and plant health agreements and mutual recognition of qualifications and standards.
  4. Formalise Relationship. As mutual trust is restored, and the damage caused by the Conservatives is repaired, we will aim to place our relationship on a more formal and stable footing by seeking to join the Single Market.

This is a realistic programme for a parliament. As we rebuild trust and collaboration with Europe, we will be in a position to consider rejoining the EU's political structures, ensuring Britain’s future as a leading nation in Europe.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to rebuilding Britain’s position in Europe. For detailed steps and actions, see our Programme for a Fair Deal

Together, we can restore our nation's influence and prosperity

Europe Commitments in the Liberal Democrat’s Fair Deal

A fair deal on the Economy

We will fix the UK’s broken relationship with Europe and tear down the Conservatives’ damaging barriers to trade. 

A stronger Britain in a fair International order

Liberal Democrats will immediately fix our broken relationship with Europe, forge a new partnership built on cooperation, not confrontation, and move to conclude a new comprehensive agreement that removes as many barriers to trade as possible. 

Economic Growth

Repair the broken relationship with Europe, which acts as a brake on the economy and costs the UK investment, jobs and tax revenue. 

Business and Jobs

Continuing to participate in Horizon Europe and joining the European Innovation Council.

Ensure the UK has the highest possible standards of environmental, health, labour and consumer protection, at least matching EU standards.

Negotiate the UK’s participation in the Trade and Technology Council with the US and the EU, so we can play a leading role in global AI regulation

Fix the work visa system and expand the Youth Mobility Scheme, to help address the labour shortages that are an outcome of the Conservatives’ botched deal with Europe. 

Climate Change & Energy

Working together with our European neighbours to build a sustainable supply chain for renewable energy technology 

Stopping Crime

Improve cooperation with our European neighbours on tackling cross-border crime, such as human trafficking, the illegal drug trade, cybercrime and terrorism
Working with Europol and Eurojust to implement a joint strategy to deal with cross-border threats, with the closest possible cooperation on shared priorities.
Restoring direct, real-time access for UK police to EU-wide data sharing systems to identify and arrest traffickers, terrorists and other international criminals.

Food and Farming

Give Britain’s farmers the ability to trade with our European neighbours with minimal need for checks by negotiating comprehensive veterinary and plant health agreements. 

Art & Culture

Negotiate free and simple short-term travel arrangements for UK artists to perform in the EU, and European artists to perform in the UK.


Work closely with Europol and the French authorities to stop the smuggling and trafficking gangs behind dangerous Channel crossings. 

Expand the Youth Mobility Scheme by negotiating with the EU to extend it on a reciprocal basis, increasing the age limit from 30 to 35,  abolishing the fees for these visas and extending the length of visas from two to three years

Protect the rights of EU citizens and their families in the UK by automatically granting full Settled Status to all those with Pre-Settled Status. and providing them with physical proof of their right to stay.


Developing closer cooperation with EU agencies and member states over defence, intelligence and cyber-security, and prioritising interoperability with NATO allies and other strategic partners.

Working more closely in the joint development of innovative defence 
technologies and procurement, and seeking a defence and security agreement with the EU and its member states 


Fix the UK’s broken relationship with Europe by following our four-stage roadmap:

  1. Taking initial unilateral steps to rebuild the relationship, starting by declaring a fundamental change in the UK’s approach and improving channels for foreign policy cooperation.
  2. Rebuilding confidence through seeking to agree partnerships or associations with EU agencies and programmes such as the European Aviation Safety Agency, Erasmus Plus, scientific programmes, climate and environment initiatives, and cooperation on defence, security and crime.
  3. Deepening the trading relationship with critical steps for the British economy, including negotiating comprehensive veterinary and plant health agreements and mutual recognition agreements
  4. Once ties of trust and friendship have been renewed, and the damage the Conservatives have caused to trade between the UK and EU has begun to be repaired, we would aim to place the UK-EU relationship on a more formal and stable footing by seeking to join the Single Market. 

All these measures will help to grow the British economy and the prosperity and opportunities of its citizens. They are essential steps on the road to EU membership, which remains our longer-term objective. 

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