Twice a year, in spring and autumn, elected representatives from Liberal Democrat constituency parties assemble at the party conference to establish federal party policy - the Liberal Democrat priorities for a UK government.
Federal policy covers those areas that would fall within the remit of the federal institutions of a properly federal United Kingdom. England, Scotland and Wales set their own policies for their own areas.
Scottish policy is set through the Scottish conference and Welsh policy is set through Welsh Conference. English policy and policy with wider applicability across the UK is debated at the federal party conferences.
Every two years, conference representatives elect a Federal Policy Committee (FPC) which is responsible for the production of the policy papers that are debated by Conference. Party members discuss policy papers in local and regional meetings, and their representatives then debate and vote on policy motions and papers at Conference. Conference also debates motions submitted by local parties and conference representatives.
The Federal Policy Committee is also responsible for writing the General Election Manifesto, in consultation with the Parliamentary Party, based on the agreed policies of the party but updating them where necessary. The Manifesto is a fully costed programme for government, and so it is not necessarily possible to include all current policies.
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