Liverpool is and always will be a major European City. No matter what damage will be caused to our city by the irrational, half-witted and ill-informed decision by Parliament to leave the EU – a process which will only start on 31st January and not end there we as a Council must fight to limit the damage.
We cannot, in the short-term fight to re-enter the EU. The Country has taken a wrong turn and like an alcoholic or a drug addict it must reach the bottom before rehabilitation is possible, There will be job losses, there will be cuts in public service budgets, there will be increased difficulties in travelling, there will be reduced opportunities for our young people to travel to work abroad, there will be reductions in the research being undertaken by our Universities and leading companies. We cannot prevent these things from happening. There will be a period of slow decline for our Country which, I suspect, will not be the United Kingdom for much longer.
We can stop it but we can reduce the problems to our City if we do the right things. Lib Dems believe that this means reaching out to Europe and creating our own links to keep in touch with partners and potential partners in Cities, companies and governments at all levels to enhance our economic and commercial trading links. Allied to that would be cultural and educational links to ensure that we understand and build on our joint European heritage.
So we are putting a motion to the next Council meeting which we hope will be supported by all Parties. We do pretend that what is contained within it is any more than a direction and can be considered a little tokenistic. What we need is set of developed policies to increase our resilience across the City Region. Given the lack of capacity, vision and direction of the Regional Mayor and Combined Authority that is a task that must be led by the City Council and its leadership.
Sometimes tokens are important. By passing this motion we will be telling the European citizens who live here that they are very welcome. We will be saying to the rest of the UK, “follow our example and maintain our European links and heritage”. We will be saying to our European friends, “we value your friendship and partnership. It might be little England but its big Liverpool!”
As always I attach the motion for all Liverpool citizens to see and look forward to getting your comments back on it.
Motion to Liverpool City Council on January 18th
Liverpool – A European City
Proposed Cllr Richard Kemp CBE
Seconded Cllr Kris Brown
Council notes with regret that Parliament has passed a vote which will mean us leaving the European Union.
It believes that this will cause a huge turbulence in our economy which will lead to a reduced level of Gross Domestic Product and therefore a reduced level of taxation. These factors will in turn lead to decreasing opportunities for employment and reduced investment in public services.
Council believes that in spite of the vote in Parliament Liverpool is and will always be a major European City. It will seek to build on its current status and strengthen its own links with Europe by:
- Holding an annual festival of European art, culture and cuisines on the date of the 2016 referendum.
- Requesting each EU member country which does not currently have an honorary consul in the City to appoint one to ensure ongoing top-level links between Liverpool and those countries.
- Working with one appropriate city in each member state to develop city to city links to boost trade, commerce, service delivery, art and cultural exchanges.
To further these and other objectives it resolves to establish a steering Group composed of officers and staff of the Council, the Chamber of Commerce, representatives of the European Movement and World Wide Wednesday, national groups present in Liverpool and other interested Parties to work together to support all pro-European activity within the City and City region.