Jo Swinson: Lib Dems are the 'Chumbawamba' party
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Jo Swinson has claimed the Liberal Democrats are the party that was knocked down but got back up again at a rally to kick start their annual conference.
The deputy leader said the Lib Demâs pro-EU stance had helped them recover from a crushing defeat after five years of coalition government, and achieve the partyâs highest ever membership.
Ms Swinson said her party fought against âracist, dog-whistleâ politics in defeating the former Conservative London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith in a byelection in 2016, and continued to stand against ârabble-rousing, hate-stokingâ populism.
âWe Liberal Democrats have an important message about the very character and values of our great family of nations.
READ MO RE: Lib Dems must talk about more than Brexit, MP says
âFighting for Britain to stay modern, green and internationalist, forward-looking, open-minded, and open-hearted.
âAs populist forces rise up across the world, Britain should be leading the fight to promote liberal values, not shutting ourselves off from our neighbours.
She went on: âOur economic and political systems are broken. We need to shape a new and inspiring vision for the 2020s and beyond.
âThatâs what will beat the rabble-rousing, hate-stoking rhetoric of populists on right and left.â
Earlier, the East Dunbartonshire MP said a Brexit transition deal could be used as a strategy to reverse EU withdrawal.
Ms Swinson told a fringe meeting at the partyâs Bournemouth conference that working with pro-European Tories and Labour on temporary post-exit trade arrangements would not be âgiving upâ, but would keep the door open to EU membership.
She said a transition deal after official EU withdrawal in March 2019 would give business more stability and allow the country space to think again on Brexit.
âWhat transition periods also do is they give time. They mean that it is not this mad rush and there is the opportunity there for the country to take stock and to think.
âThe closer we are to our EU neighbours, the easier it is, at some future point, to reverse the decision.
âBecause, if you havenât then hugely diverged from everything, if you have still got the same rules in place, if you have still got the same trading arrangements, then actually the coming back becomes much easier.
âSo, I think, strategically, that is important for us to try to achieve working with others.â
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