Young Liberals is an organisation committed to internationalism and working with other likeminded parties to promote our common values of an open tolerant society. Where, all individuals are free to live their lives without fear of persecution based on race, religion, social class, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Young Liberals is a founding member of both our international affiliates: European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) and the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY). Our International Officer regularly takes delegations of our members to represent Young Liberals to our affiliates, sister parties and other international events. They are assisted in this role by members of the Young Liberals International Congress Delegates Committee.
Our International Officer is also a member of the Liberal Democrat Federal International Relations Committee and the committee of Liberal International British Group. This helps to coordinate Young Liberals' international relations with those of the Liberal Democrats.
In 2018, then-International Officer Ben Whitlock submitted a successful bid for Young Liberals to host LYMEC’s 2019 Autumn Congress as a sign of our commitment to working with our European partners and our commitment to our shared values despite Brexit.
Liberalism and Internationalism: a brief history
Liberalism in the United Kingdom, has always supported closer cooperation with our international partners. With the Liberal Party first supporting British membership of what would become the European Union (EU) in 1948, being the first British political party to do so. In 1971-72 the Liberal MPs were crucial to ensuring the passage of the European Communities Act which saw British ascension to the European Community.
Since, the 1970s the Liberal Party and Liberal Democrats (following the measure with the Social Democratic Party) have been fully committed to British membership of the EU. With Liberal Democrats and Young Liberals passionately campaigning for the UK to remain a member of the UK in the 2016 Brexit referendum. The Liberal Democrats have played an active role within our ‘Europarty’ – ALDE, producing many senior members of the ALDE party and the ALDE group in the European Parliament over the years, including Sir Graham Watson and Nick Clegg.
In 1947, the Liberal Party was a founding member of Liberal International – a global organisation which brings together Liberal parties from across the world – being a signatory to the Oxford Manifesto which defined the common values which parties must adhere to if they wish to join Liberal International.
Headquartered in London, Liberal International and the Liberal Democrats have a close working relationship. With several Lib Dems holding senior posts within Liberal International. Including former Liberal leader, David Steel, who served as President from 1994 to 1996.
After the UK's vote to leave the EU in 2016, the Liberal Democrats fought hard to Stop Brexit. The Liberal Democrats - and Young Liberals - will always be proudly internationalist and work to nurture our relationships with our international partners.