Northern Irish name checked at Scottish Conference

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Nick Clegg with Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie

Nick Clegg with Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie

Nick Clegg in his speech to the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference this weekend mentioned the Northern Irish.

The people of the United Kingdom have a rich shared heritage. We share a culture, a history and an identity. We live side by side in towns and cities across the British Isles. Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish people are together every day, in offices and factories, school classrooms and playing fields. We have rallied together in hard times. Our forefathers fought together and died together, just as brave Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish service men and women are fighting side by side in faraway lands right now. For centuries we have crossed each others borders, married each other, raised families together. What Scot doesn’t have any English, Welsh or Northern Irish in their family tree? I believe the bonds that bring us together are stronger than the forces that would tear us apart.

I do not recall a leader of any of the other UK wide parties name checking our wee country in such a way in a keynote speech to conference. No doubt this is in part due to the presence that the Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats have had in recent years of shaping the Liberal Democrat narrative, making our voice heard to the leadership and Ministers in Government and standing up for liberal values in Northern Ireland even though we do not contest election here.

Our course our local party here has also had connections to England, Scotland and Wales with members having strong connections familial and otherwise. But all of us continue to stand up for the principles in which we believe.

a country we can be proud to hand on to our children

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Britain in 2010 is anxious, unsure about the future, but Britain in 2015 will be a different country. Strong, fair, free and full of hope again. A country we can be proud to hand on to our children. That is the goal we must keep firmly fixed in our minds. That is the prize.

The Rt Hon. Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minster,
Speech to Lib Dem Conference,
Monday 20 September 2010.