With the backdrop of the Brexit vote in the UK, Nick Clegg will explore the factors behind the rise of the politics of identity, populism and nationalism in the UK, the US and around the world. Drawing on his personal experiences in politics and government, and unique insights on the European debate, he asks how liberals and those who believe in the politics of reason and moderation can rise to the new economic and social challenges of the 21st century.
Nick Clegg MP is a Liberal Democrat politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister in Britain’s first post war Coalition Government from 2010 to 2015 and as Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2007 to 2015. He is the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam, where he was first elected in 2005, and was previously a Member of the European Parliament.
Nick Clegg led his party into Government for the first time in its modern history in a coalition with the Conservatives. As Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg occupied the second highest office in the country at a time when the United Kingdom was recovering from a deep recession following the banking crisis of 2008. Despite the hugely controversial decisions needed to restore stability to the public finances, Nick Clegg successfully maintained his party’s support for a full five-year term of office.
During that time, he was at the heart of decisions surrounding the conflict in Libya, new anti-terrorism measures, the referenda on electoral reform and Scottish independence, and extensive reforms to the education, health and pensions systems. He was particularly associated with landmark changes to the funding of schools, early years education and the treatment of mental health within the NHS. During the coalition years he also established himself as the highest profile pro-European voice in British politics and is well known and respected in capitals across the continent.
He remains an outspoken advocate of civil liberties and centre ground politics, of radical measures to boost social mobility, and of an internationalist approach to world affairs. Following the UK referendum on EU membership in June 2016, Nick has returned to the Liberal Democrat front bench as the party’s European Union spokesperson in order to hold the Government to account over its plans for Brexit.