It is with much sadness that I have to report the death of Chris Garratt, Chair, leading spirit of Liberal Democrats in Luxembourg and anti-Brexit campaigner. Thanks to his active involvement, particularly with the local Scout movement, Chris was widely known and appreciated in the English speaking community in Luxembourg. In the UK, he would have made a natural councillor.
For much of his life Chris had been a pro business and industry, socially responsible, EU positive Conservative. Given the political drift of the past decades, it is hardly surprising that he became increasingly disenchanted with the Conservatives and increasingly an advocate for Liberalism, however the political watershed for Chris was the Brexit vote of 2016 was a political watershed for Chris. Appalled by the result and politicians who had incited and exploited xenophobia in the campaign, Chris was determined to raise his voice in protest.
Thanks largely to Chris’s organisational and motivating drive, he re-established and led a branch of UK Liberal Democrats in Luxembourg, with the express aim of providing a political voice for others whose lives have been hurt by an act of folly by the UK government. Chris cared for his country of birth, for Europe and for Luxembourg, his country of residence. It mattered to him that opportunities that had been open to people both sides of the channel were at a casual stroke, denied to young people.
Not long after re-establishing a local branch of Lib Dems in Luxembourg, Chris had to undergo debilitating operations to combat a life threatening illness, despite this he fought back to regain his strength. It is a great testament to his character that Chris devoted his last years doing what he could to hold the Brexiters to account; rather than just moan about the mendacity and political corruption of the Brexit blinkered Tories, he tried to do something constructive and concrete about it.