Many people have been writing to me about the simultaneous policy campaign (Simpol). As a committed internationalist I recognise the benefits of working across borders to solve global problems, which is why I am happy to support the Simpol campaign.
In a more globalised, interdependent world, freedom for individuals is not best protected solely by the nation state. So many of the issues we face such as climate change, terrorism, tax avoidance and evasion and international crime do not respect national borders. That’s why it is imperative that we work with other countries to tackle these global issues in a united way. Doing so at different paces runs the risk of disadvantaging first movers. I do not want the UK to be held back by acting ahead of the curve.
That is why, the Liberal Democrats believe it is vital for Britain to continue to work actively and constructively with our allies and partners in the European Union, Commonwealth, UN and NATO to engage with and develop policy responses that promote liberal internationalism and an international rules-based system.
We are strong and passionate supporters of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. The principle that underpins the Sustainable Development Goals is ‘leave no-one behind’, which is consistent with our values as a party and also our international development priorities, such as protecting and empowering the most vulnerable in society – women, children, minorities and disabled people. Liberal Democrats want the SDGs to apply to all economies, big and small, to build upon the success of the MDGs. It will only be through cross-border cooperation that we can approach issues such as ending FGM within a generation.
I was proud that when in Coalition Government, it was Liberal Democrat Ministers that played a fundamental role in promoting international cooperation, human rights and international law around the world. This included a Liberal Democrat Climate Change Secretary playing a pivotal role in securing an ambitious EU climate change deal to reduce our greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030, which highlighted our commitment to working in unison across national borders to address the issues we face.
As the world becomes more globalised and interdependent nation states cannot fully protect individuals. It is in the interests of all countries to create a system of international law and governance at the global level.