14 December 2018 – today’s press release

Curiously, only one press release today, so without further ado… ‘Nebulous’ is but one word to describe the PM Responding to the Prime Minister’s press conference, held after EU leaders withdrew sections of its draft conclusions, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said: Having watched the Prime Minister’s botched attempt to negotiate with EU leaders, […]

Curiously, only one press release today, so without further ado…

‘Nebulous’ is but one word to describe the PM

Responding to the Prime Minister’s press conference, held after EU leaders withdrew sections of its draft conclusions, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Having watched the Prime Minister’s botched attempt to negotiate with EU leaders, people up and down the country will be more concerned by Brexit than ever before.

To come before EU leaders without any documented proposals is galling. Calling the Prime Minister ‘nebulous’ is just one word to describe her.

Brexit will make people poorer and reduce the UK’s standing in the world. It is time Theresa May, and Jeremy Corbyn for that matter, realised the only way out of this mess is a People’s Vote, including the option to remain in the EU.

13 December 2018 – (not just) today’s press releases

You’d think that putting the day’s piece to bed after 11.30 p.m. should cover everything. But no, the Press Teams both in London and Cardiff had one last shot in the dying moments of yesterday, so I’m including them with today’s batch. Enjoy… Theresa May Must Give the People the Final Say – Welsh Lib […]

You’d think that putting the day’s piece to bed after 11.30 p.m. should cover everything. But no, the Press Teams both in London and Cardiff had one last shot in the dying moments of yesterday, so I’m including them with today’s batch. Enjoy…

  • Theresa May Must Give the People the Final Say – Welsh Lib Dems
  • PM must now change course and offer people the final say
  • Soaring numbers of children trapped in temporary accommodation is shameful
  • Welsh Lib Dems Welcome Prostate Cancer MRI Scans
  • Govt must set out plans to avoid NHS winter crisis
  • Lib Dems demand MPs holidays are cancelled to vote on Brexit
  • Cable: May running scared of meaningful vote
  • Local government finance hits poorer communities the hardest

Theresa May Must Give the People the Final Say – Welsh Lib Dems

Following Theresa May’s victory in the confidence vote in her leadership, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Prime Minister to give the people the final say and the opportunity to choose an Exit from Brexit.

Conservative Party rules mean that once a leader has survived a no confidence vote, they cannot face another vote for at least another 12 months.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

Theresa May has survived the no confidence vote, but this is hardly a glorious moment for her and her Premiership. The fact Theresa May even had to face this vote speaks volumes about how even her own MPs feel she has mismanaged Brexit.

However, this victory also presents an opportunity for Theresa May. Now she cannot face another confidence vote for at least 12 months, Theresa May should use this opportunity to do what is in the national interest and call a People’s Vote. In doing so, she would have the support of MPs from across the House.

The Prime Minister may have survived this confidence vote, but this doesn’t change the fact there is no majority for her deal in Parliament and the EU is unwilling to renegotiate. The only solution to this Brexit crisis is to give the people the final say and the opportunity to choose an Exit from Brexit.

PM must now change course and offer people the final say

Responding to the 1922 confidence vote on Theresa May, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Having seen the Conservative backbenches will not support her deal the Prime Minister must change course.

Her deal is doomed to defeat in the Commons, so she should show real leadership by putting this question back to the public in a People’s Vote.

The EU is clear that there is no more negotiating to do, so it’s this deal or No Brexit. That is the choice on which every voter should now have a final say – and Liberal Democrats will campaign vigorously for the UK to remain a full member of the EU.

Soaring numbers of children trapped in temporary accommodation is shameful

Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse has accused the Conservative Government of a “shameful dereliction of duty” as office figures show the number of children in temporary accommodation reaches an 11-year high.

Wera Hobhouse said:

It is an absolute disgrace that hundreds of thousands of children are trapped in temporary accommodation. The Conservative Government’s failure to look after these vulnerable families is a shameful dereliction of duty.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Every child deserves the best possible start in life. Conservative Ministers cannot stand by and ignore this tragedy.

Liberal Democrats would build 100,000 new social homes every year, ensure that housing benefits are sufficient for covering rent and bring the thousands of vacant properties across the country into use.

Welsh Lib Dems Welcome Prostate Cancer MRI Scans

The Welsh Lib Dems have welcomed the decision of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to approve the use of non-invasive MRI scans to detect prostate cancer.

The scans have been piloted in three areas of Wales, but their approval paves the way for their use by health boards across Wales.

The decision follows a policy motion on Improving the Detection Rate of Prostate Cancer in Wales, passed by Welsh Lib Dem Autumn Conference this year.

Chair of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire Liberal Democrats and prostate cancer survivor Andrew Lye said:

I have spent most of 2018 dealing with my own diagnosis of prostate cancer and got the all clear in October, but I am still on treatment. We must remember 1 in 8 men will catch prostate cancer and every year 550 men will die of it in Wales. We now see more men dying of prostate cancer than women dying of breast cancer.

It is a sad indictment that Wales currently has fewer multi-parametric (mpMRI) facilities than available to men in England. This has to be rectified urgently. We have to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer and reduce the large numbers that die from it.

It was a pleasure for me to bring this matter to the Welsh Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference in October, at Aberystwyth. We supported this petition to the Welsh Assembly. I am proud the Welsh Liberal Democrats gave their full backing at Conference to the motion I proposed from the Carmarthenshire & Pembrokeshire Local Party. We need better facilities in West Wales as well as in North Wales.

Govt must set out plans to avoid NHS winter crisis

Responding to NHS England’s first weekly report of the winter which shows hospitals are so overcrowded care is being put at risk, former Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb said:

It is intolerable to think that patients are being turned away at their hour of need. These reports bear all the hallmarks of yet another Conservative NHS winter crisis. People deserve better.

It’s essential that Ministers urgently set out plans for tackling the challenges facing our NHS and social care. That starts with ensuring hardworking NHS staff have sufficient resources to provide the care people need.

The Liberal Democrats would deliver a dedicated NHS and Care Tax to guarantee that the system has sustainable funding for the future.

Lib Dems demand MPs holidays are cancelled to vote on Brexit

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake has written to the Leader of the House demanding Parliament doesn’t rise for Christmas unless MPs get a vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The call follows the publication today of the business in the House of Commons for next week. The business confirms the Conservative Government has no intention of moving a vote on the Brexit deal before Christmas.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said:

At a time of so much uncertainty caused by this Brexit mess, it is an insult to the British people that Theresa May is happy for MPs to go on holiday without voting on the biggest issue in generations. People deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better.

Liberal Democrats do not believe Parliament should rise for the Christmas recess until Theresa May does what the people expect and give MPs a vote on her deal. Now more than ever MPs should be working to help their constituents, not least by giving them a final say on Brexit with the option to remain in the EU.

Cable: May running scared of meaningful vote

In Brussels today, Vince Cable met with leaders from other liberal parties across Europe, including prime ministers, where he led a briefing on Brexit.

Updating them on the changing political mood in the UK, the growing support for a people’s vote, and the Government’s failure to bring forward a meaningful vote in parliament on her deal.

Commenting on the meeting in Brussels, leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

From meeting with liberal leaders and prime ministers today it is clear Theresa May needs to change course.

Substantial changes are not going to be on the table and she is running scared of giving parliament a meaningful vote.

The only way forward is to offer the public a people’s vote with the option to remain.

Local government finance hits poorer communities the hardest

Responding to the Local Government Finance Settlement, Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

This settlement does nothing to address the growing inequalities across our country. The highly regressive council tax system means that, as the Conservative Government continue to underfund local government, subsequent council tax rises hit poorer communities the hardest.

There must be a reform of council tax to prevent the places with the highest demand for services for vulnerable people, struggling the most to fund it.

Liberal Democrats demand better than the sticking plaster that has been presented today. The Tories are once again kicking the can down the road, instead of setting out a long term financial package that provides security for our local services.

Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson for the House of Lords, Baroness Pinnock added:

The local government funding settlement that was released today is a drop in the ocean. The offer of £650 million for social care in 2019-20 falls drastically short when the funding gap is expected to reach £3.5 billion by 2025.

Social care should not be a post code lottery.

11 December 2018 – today’s press releases

Amidst the chaos that is Westminster at the moment, at least somebody was trying to do something liberal. Admittedly, it wasn’t successful, but as another step towards a more liberal drugs policy, it was certainly worth the effort. Otherwise, another day of national humiliation for our country, as Theresa May found herself child-locked into a […]

Amidst the chaos that is Westminster at the moment, at least somebody was trying to do something liberal. Admittedly, it wasn’t successful, but as another step towards a more liberal drugs policy, it was certainly worth the effort. Otherwise, another day of national humiliation for our country, as Theresa May found herself child-locked into a limousine. It’s a metaphor for something, isn’t it?…

So, what has gone out in the name of the Party today…

  • Lamb: Prohibition of cannabis is causing harm across the country
  • Cable: Govt economic analysis on Brexit misleading
  • EU confirms May has no room to renegotiate Brexit
  • Lamb: It is shameful that we continue to criminalise cannabis users
  • ‘Gold-plated’ visa chaos shows Home Office can’t take back control
  • Lib Dems demand more action on ‘dangerous’ short prison sentences

Lamb: Prohibition of cannabis is causing harm across the country

This afternoon, former Health Minister Norman Lamb will introduce a Ten Minute Rule Bill to legalise the possession and consumption of cannabis.

He will call upon the Government to provide for the regulation of the production, distribution and sale of cannabis; and for connected purposes. Identifying the clear benefit of legalisation to those suffering with chronic pain, and the protection of young people.

Norman is expected to say:

It is clear the recent reforms are not working. This leaves the Government with a choice: either it can tinker with a failing, arbitrary system which condemns many people to a lifetime of pain and misery; or it can look in the round at the harm that prohibition of cannabis is causing across the country and try to come up with a more enlightened approach.

My Bill offers a more rational alternative to this mess. With strict regulation of the growing, sale and marketing of cannabis, with an age limit of 18 for the purchase and consumption of cannabis, with clear controls over potency of what is sold in licensed outlets.

It’s time for this country to act on the evidence and to protect children and young people from harm.

Cable: Govt economic analysis on Brexit misleading

Responding to the Treasury Select Committee Report, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

This scathing report by the Treasury Committee rightly picks apart this Conservative Government’s misleading Brexit assessments.

If there’s one thing economists and business leaders agree on, it’s that we are better off remaining in the EU. That is why the people must get the final say on the deal, will the option to remain in the EU.

EU confirms May has no room to renegotiate Brexit

Speaking after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned this morning there would be no renegotiation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

This is yet further confirmation of the idiocy of Theresa May’s decision to unilaterally postpone the vote on her deal.

What was the point of postponing the vote when nothing about the deal will change? It was just about avoiding egg on her face with a humiliating defeat. The Tories have no regard for the uncertainty Brexit poses to businesses across the UK.

As the Prime Minister previously warned, this is the only deal on the table. It will make people poorer and reduce the UK’s standing in the world. That is why Liberal Democrats are fighting for a People’s Vote, including the option to remain in the EU.

Lamb: It is shameful that we continue to criminalise cannabis users

Responding to the narrow defeat of his Ten Minute Rule Bill that sought to legalise and regulate the use of cannabis in the UK, former Health Minister Norman Lamb said:

Its depressing that rational, evidence-based reform was opposed by Conservative MPs.

It is total hypocrisy that the most dangerous drug of all, in terms of harm to yourself and others, alcohol, is consumed in large quantities right here in our national Parliament, whilst we criminalise others for using a less dangerous drug – with many using it for the relief of pain.

It is shameful that we continue to criminalise people who use cannabis for the relief of pain. It is equally shameful that we criminalise many young people for using cannabis, when many people in Government will have themselves used cannabis at some stage of their lives.

‘Gold-plated’ visa chaos shows Home Office can’t take back control

Responding to today’s U-turn on suspending ‘gold-plated’ visas, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey has attacked the Government’s immigration plans as “simply unworkable”.

Last week, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes announced that tier 1 (investor) visas would be suspended from midnight last Friday, due to concerns that they were being used for money laundering. However, the Home Office Migration Policy Department confirmed today that the scheme “is not currently suspended”.

Ed Davey said:

The Home Office can’t even take action on one small part of the immigration system without creating chaos and confusion. How do the Tories expect it to cope with a whole new system for millions of European workers if we leave the EU?

The truth is that Theresa May’s plans are simply unworkable. That’s why she has refused to publish her immigration white paper for more than a year – because she knows it will expose the hollowness of her promise to ‘take back control’.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. Now that Theresa May has delayed the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal, there’s no excuse for her not to publish the white paper beforehand, so that MPs can properly scrutinise the proposals.

Lib Dems demand more action on ‘dangerous’ short prison sentences

Responding to the Prisons Minister’s appearance before the Justice Select Committee today, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey has called on the Government to introduce “a presumption against short prison sentences and greater use of community sentences”.

The Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, told the committee that the “wrong kind of short sentences actually endangers the public” because they increase re-offending and destabilise prisons. He also announced that the Ministry of Justice now has a new GPS tagging system that allows it to monitor offenders in the community.

Ed Davey said:

It is good to hear Tory Ministers finally admit what the Liberal Democrats have long been arguing: short prison sentences don’t cut crime.

But despite the evidence, the Government is trying to create even more short sentences. Even worse, some of these are mandatory sentences, which will tie judges’ hands and worsen prison overcrowding while failing to actually prevent crime.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. We need a little less talk from Ministers about ending short sentences, and a little more action.

That’s why we are opposing the Government’s new mandatory sentences, and calling for a presumption against short prison sentences and greater use of tough community sentences, which have been shown to be more effective at reducing reoffending.

10 December 2018 – today’s press releases

Well, that was the day that was, wasn’t it? Or was it? Theresa May has managed to get away again, somewhat in the style of a squid, squirting ink at its attacker and making for cover in the confusion. By avoiding a vote she seemed certain to lose, she keeps her plan alive and, perhaps, […]

Well, that was the day that was, wasn’t it? Or was it? Theresa May has managed to get away again, somewhat in the style of a squid, squirting ink at its attacker and making for cover in the confusion.

By avoiding a vote she seemed certain to lose, she keeps her plan alive and, perhaps, if she can keep doing that long enough, she may reason that she can eliminate other options so that, as Sherlock Holmes famously surmised, if all other options are ruled out, what remains, regardless of how unlikely it might otherwise seem, is the solution.

It needs someone to grab a hammer and a stake and put her Agreement to death. It’s a pity that Jeremy Corbyn prefers a non-violent solution…

So, what did today inspire our Press Team to put out?

  • ECJ ruling means no-deal can be ruled out and Brexit halted
  • Davey: Tories have a lot to answer for over failure of energy market
  • Cable: PM has lost her nerve
  • Corbyn must call for a vote of no confidence in the Govt
  • Brexit Vote Delay Solves Nothing – Welsh Lib Dems

ECJ ruling means no-deal can be ruled out and Brexit halted

Responding to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling the UK can halt Brexit by unilaterally revoking Article 50, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson and one of the MPs who brought the case Tom Brake said:

Liberal Democrats have fought tooth and nail to give the people the final say on Brexit. We are now closer than ever before.

The ECJ has made clear that the UK can stop Brexit unilaterally. The Government can therefore prevent a chaotic no-deal. For the sake of people’s livelihoods, the Prime Minister must end the uncertainlty and rule out a no-deal.

It is clear any Brexit will make people poorer and reduce the UK’s standing in the world. MPs should not only vote down Theresa May’s deal, but back a People’s Vote with the option to remain in the EU.

Davey: Tories have a lot to answer for over failure of energy market

Responding to the news that OneSelect have gone bust, the seventh household energy supplier of the year to do so, leaving 36,000 customers without a supplier, Ed Davey, former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said:

This is a deeply worrying trend for consumers, four energy supplier have gone in just a month. Not only does this create major uncertainty for customers, but also undermines competition in the market. People will not switch if they think their new supplier will go under.

The Tories have a lot to answer for, rather than trying to sure up competition in the market they’ve pursed their price cap folly, which clearly has had a negative affect on the small suppliers as the costs rise. Liberal Democrats demand better.

We would scrap the Tories price cap and instead bring in measures to effectively boost competition, while strengthening the rules to ensure smaller suppliers can stand on their own two feet and provided a decent service to customers, while offering cheaper deals.

Cable: PM has lost her nerve

Responding to reports that the Government is due to postpone the House of Commons voting on their Brexit deal, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Theresa May appears to have marched her depleted troops to the top of the hill only to lose her nerve. She is hopelessly weakened.

There is little point postponing the vote when nothing concerning the deal will change. The Conservatives are wilfully prolonging Brexit uncertainty because they can’t get their deal through Parliament.

This deadlock must be broken by giving the people the final say, including the opportunity to remain in the EU.

Corbyn must call for a vote of no confidence in the Govt

Responding ahead of the Prime Minister’s statement in the House, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

The Prime Minister’s authority has drained away. It is the duty of Jeremy Corbyn to call a vote of no confidence in the Government, which Liberal Democrats would support.

After that Liberal Democrats will continue to press for a People’s Vote. MPs from all parties should join us in giving the people a final say, with the option to remain in the EU.

Brexit Vote Delay Solves Nothing – Welsh Lib Dems

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised Theresa May’s decision to call off tomorrow’s planned vote on her Brexit deal; claiming only an Exit from Brexit can stop this crisis.

The UK Government choose to postpone the planned vote on the Brexit Deal after admitting they would have lost the vote by a significant margin.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said;

Brexit has become a national embarrassment. Negotiations with the EU have been chaotic since day one, but this is a new low. The fact Theresa May has postponed the vote on her deal to avoid defeat shows there is no support for her Brexit deal in Parliament.

Delaying the vote on her Brexit deal is an unprecedented blow to Theresa May’s authority, but it solves nothing. There is no majority for any Brexit deal in Parliament and now no majority for Brexit at all amongst the public. Whilst this remains the case, no Brexit deal will get through Parliament.

The only solution to the ongoing Brexit crisis is going back to the people. We must give the people the final say and the opportunity to choose an Exit from Brexit. This is the only solution and the Prime Minister should immediately back it.

9 December 2018 – today’s press release

ECJ ruling expected to make clear it is the deal or remain Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake has called on Theresa May to “stop scaremongering about a no-deal Brexit” ahead of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on whether the UK can halt Brexit by unilaterally revoking Article 50. The ECJ ruling on […]

ECJ ruling expected to make clear it is the deal or remain

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake has called on Theresa May to “stop scaremongering about a no-deal Brexit” ahead of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on whether the UK can halt Brexit by unilaterally revoking Article 50.

The ECJ ruling on this case, which Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake and Labour MP Chris Leslie were parties to is expected to come at 8am tomorrow morning (10th Dec).

The Advocate General for the ECJ, Campos Sanchez-Bordona, told the ECJ last week that it should allow the UK to withdraw Article 50. The ECJ normally follows the advice of the Advocate General.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said:

Liberal Democrats have campaigned for over two years for a People’s Vote, and that option is now very possible.

If the ECJ rules, as expected, it will make crystal clear that rejecting Theresa May’s deal will not result in a no-deal Brexit. The Prime Minister must therefore stop scaremongering about a no-deal.

The people deserve a final say on Brexit, including the option to remain in the EU. That is the best possible deal for jobs, the economy and the NHS. There is still time to deliver it, and it is up to MPs from all parties to make it happen!

Tom Brake MP writes: About that “split” with People’s Vote…

To keep up to date with Brexit developments these days it is best to have social media on a drip-feed. News of resignations, plots, and leadership bids leak out there first. It was no surprise, then, that social media was the first to pick up last week on an apparent split between the Lib Dems […]

To keep up to date with Brexit developments these days it is best to have social media on a drip-feed. News of resignations, plots, and leadership bids leak out there first.

It was no surprise, then, that social media was the first to pick up last week on an apparent split between the Lib Dems and the People’s Vote campaign. The ‘split’ was a small disagreement over the best way to maximise the prospects of securing a Final Say on the Deal through a People’s Vote.

But social media’s unsurpassed ability to pick up stories as they break is matched by an uncanny capacity to blow them out of all proportions just as quickly. Rarely has a greater storm been whipped up in a tinier tea-cup.

What caused this restlessness? Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment to the Prime Minister’s motion, in favour of a People’s Vote. Hardly a breach of the campaign objective!

There is total agreement between the Lib Dems and the People’s Vote on the need to maximise the chances of winning any vote on a People’s Vote amendment. But we can’t choose on Tuesday whether or not that is the moment to maximise support if the whole issue is left off the order paper. As things stand, we can choose whether to move it, based on changing circumstances.

Our amendment is a safety net. With the Government likely to be scouring Erskine May for the obscurest of Parliamentary loopholes or arcane procedural wheezes, no one can predict by Tuesday what will or won’t still be in play; the PM, her deal, No Deal, a vote of No Confidence, a General Election or a People’s Vote.

In a hugely volatile situation, we cannot reserve our arguments in the hope that the Labour frontbench suddenly comes to its senses. While Corbyn cynically hopes the costs of Brexit will push voters into his arms – more grist for his vision of socialism in one country – Liberal Democrats are clear that Brexit is wrong, the deal is dreadful, and both must be stopped. If we had not provided an opportunity to debate a People’s Vote amendment during Tuesday’s historic and final day’s debate, many millions of supporters – looking to us for a lead – would surely have felt betrayed.

The odd slight difference of opinion won’t stop us working across party lines to win a Final Say for the people of the United Kingdom.

* Tom Brake is Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, and the Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesman

Brexit would put the brakes on Britain, F1 bosses warn

Embed from Getty Images Following concerns from Formula 1 team bosses, reported by Autosport magazine, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake has warned that Brexit would “put Britain into the gravel trap”. Seven of the ten current F1 teams, including world champions Mercedes, are based in the UK. Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer of the […]

Embed from Getty Images

Following concerns from Formula 1 team bosses, reported by Autosport magazine, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake has warned that Brexit would “put Britain into the gravel trap”.

Seven of the ten current F1 teams, including world champions Mercedes, are based in the UK.

Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer of the Woking-based McLaren team, told Autosport that after Brexit “It would cost us more time and be more difficult to recruit” and that border restrictions will mean higher costs, as well as “more paperwork, more administration”.

Toto Wolff, team principal of Mercedes, which has its F1 factories in Northamptonshire, described Brexit as “not a very pleasant development”.

Meanwhile, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has suggested that his team will gain as EU staff leave the UK. “I suspect in the near future we will find a lot of people that are knocking on the door of Maranello,” he said, referring to the team’s factory in northern Italy.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Right now Britain is leading the race, but Brexit would put us into the gravel trap.
Our homegrown F1 teams rely on European talent to build winning cars and rely on our frictionless border to get them to the track. New restrictions will only hold them back.
Liberal Democrats demand better. We demand that the people get the final say, with the option of an Exit from Brexit.
It’s time to put the brakes on Brexit and get the UK back on pole position.

The full article in Autosport, by Scott Mitchell and Ben Anderson, is worth reading. They quote McLaren’s chief operations officer, Jonathan Neale:

The logistical concern of border restrictions is linked to the third “pillar”, which is the impact it will have on the cost of making sure things run smoothly.

It is going to cost more, it will be more paperwork, more administration, it’s more time.

In some cases complex systems are coming in, going back out and crossing borders, multiple times.

When you do that – if you’re having to do the customs forms, pay the VAT, do this, do the trade tariff – those inefficiencies just cost you not only time but it puts working capital requirements up.

* News Meerkat - keeping a look-out for Liberal Democrat news. Meerkat photo by Adair Broughton

7 December 2018 – today’s press releases

I’ve spent my evening helping Colchester Liberal Democrats to select their new PPC, which is why this is a bit late in the day. I’m hoping that we’ll have their press release tomorrow, which is why I’m not telling you who won… So, without further ado, here are today’s press releases… Davey: Brexit gambling UK’s […]

I’ve spent my evening helping Colchester Liberal Democrats to select their new PPC, which is why this is a bit late in the day. I’m hoping that we’ll have their press release tomorrow, which is why I’m not telling you who won… So, without further ado, here are today’s press releases…

  • Davey: Brexit gambling UK’s safety and security
  • Liberal Democrats lead the march to a people’s vote
  • Labour must guarantee a people’s vote
  • The Economist backs a people’s vote
  • Brexit would put the brakes on Britain, F1 bosses warn

Davey: Brexit gambling UK’s safety and security

Responding to the Home Affairs Select Committee Report on the Home Office and Brexit, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Security co-operation with the EU – from Europol to the European Arrest Warrant – helps to put criminals behind bars and keep our communities safe. Brexit would throw all that away.

Theresa May is asking us to bet the safety and security of the British people on her ability to negotiate a brand-new treaty within the next two years. Based on the evidence of the last two years, that’s not a gamble anyone should be prepared to take.

And on immigration, Ministers keep repeating their mantra of ending free movement, but still refuse to spell out what they will actually do.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must publish its immigration white paper now, before MPs vote on the Brexit deal. And the people must have the final say, with the option of an Exit from Brexit.

Liberal Democrats lead the march to a people’s vote

Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to the Brexit Deal motion calling for a people’s vote with an option to remain in the EU.

The amendment, supported by all Liberal Democrat MPs, will seek to ensure that the UK will not crash out of the EU nor be forced to accept a bad deal.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The Liberal Democrats have led the campaign for a people’s vote. We are proud to have tabled an amendment which, if passed, would ensure the people get the final say on Brexit.

Whilst we have heard warm words from Labour MPs, including the shadow chancellor, Labour seem unlikely to support a final say despite it being popular with their voters and members. However, if Labour MPs and others who are concerned about the country’s future want to join us, Liberal Democrats would welcome their support.

The Conservative government have brought a deal back that nobody wanted nor voted for. If Theresa May thinks the country is with her she must put it to the test by offering a people’s vote with an option to remain in the EU.

Labour must guarantee a people’s vote

Responding to the disagreement between John McDonnell and Len McCluskey, the Unite leader, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Whilst we appreciate that McDonnell has dismissed Len McCluskey’s nonsense and joined the Liberal Democrats in saying he would back staying in the EU over the Prime Minister’s deal in a people’s vote, this is not the time for just warm words.

The shadow chancellor and the rest of the Labour leadership must get off the fence and join their members of the Labour Party in supporting a people’s vote. The public will never forgive Labour if the frontbench lose their bottle on Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats can guarantee we will fight for the people to have a final say on Brexit, including the option to remain, at every opportunity. Labour must give that unequivocal guarantee too.

The Economist backs a people’s vote

Responding to the endorsement of a people’s vote by The Economist, Brexit Select Committee Member and Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse said:

It is great to see that with each day, more and more people are backing our call for a people’s vote. We welcome all those who wish to join us in the fight against this Brexit chaos created by the Tories.

The Conservative government have brought back a deal that nobody wanted nor voted for. It is time the people were given a final say on Brexit, with the option to remain in the EU.

Brexit would put the brakes on Britain, F1 bosses warn

Following concerns from Formula 1 team bosses, reported by Autosport magazine, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake has warned that Brexit would “put Britain into the gravel trap”.

Seven of the ten current F1 teams, including world champions Mercedes, are based in the UK.

Jonathan Neale, Chief Operating Officer of the Woking-based McLaren team, told Autosport that after Brexit “It would cost us more time and be more difficult to recruit” and that border restrictions will mean higher costs, as well as “more paperwork, more administration”.

Toto Wolff, team principal of Mercedes, which has its F1 factories in Northamptonshire, described Brexit as “not a very pleasant development”.

Meanwhile, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has suggested that his team will gain as EU staff leave the UK. “I suspect in the near future we will find a lot of people that are knocking on the door of Maranello,” he said, referring to the team’s factory in northern Italy.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Right now Britain is leading the race, but Brexit would put us into the gravel trap.

Our homegrown F1 teams rely on European talent to build winning cars and rely on our frictionless border to get them to the track. New restrictions will only hold them back.

Liberal Democrats demand better. We demand that the people get the final say, with the option of an Exit from Brexit.

It’s time to put the brakes on Brexit and get the UK back on pole position.

5 December 2018 – today’s press releases

I see that one of my colleagues has gotten here first… but here’s the list in full… Govt plan to trap Britain on a never-ending Brexit hamster wheel (as published here) Lib Dems: Asylum seekers need action, not a review of rights Corbyn too in pockets of the unions to back a People’s Vote Lib […]

I see that one of my colleagues has gotten here first… but here’s the list in full…

  • Govt plan to trap Britain on a never-ending Brexit hamster wheel (as published here)
  • Lib Dems: Asylum seekers need action, not a review of rights
  • Corbyn too in pockets of the unions to back a People’s Vote

Lib Dems: Asylum seekers need action, not a review of rights

In the Chamber this afternoon, Home Secretary Sajid Javid was asked about lifting the ban on asylum seekers working in the UK.

He said “We currently have no plans to change that arrangement but it is one of the areas that I would like to review.”

Responding to these comments, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

I’m pleased to hear that the Home Secretary is open to lifting the ban, but asylum seekers don’t need a review. They need action now.

Along with employers, charities and refugees, the Liberal Democrats are demanding better for asylum seekers. We are calling on the Government to give them the right to work while their cases are decided.

This would give asylum seekers a sense of dignity and more money, as well as enabling them to contribute to the Exchequer and saving taxpayers money.

Corbyn too in pockets of the unions to back a People’s Vote

Responding to reports that the Unite leader Len McCluskey warned Labour MPs not to support a People’s Vote, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Corbyn is still sitting on the fence while the rest of us dig in and try and get the UK out of this chaos.

The Labour leadership need reminding of the policy their members passed at conference – to hold a People’s Vote – but are too deep in the pockets of the union paymasters to disobey their diktat.

4 December 2018 – today’s press releases

It perhaps tells you all that you need to know about the state of our politics when the Government is found to have acted in contempt of Parliament and yet, hours later, nobody has resigned. But you can guess what’s dominating today… Lib Dems demand urgent action on prisons crisis (already covered here) UK can […]

It perhaps tells you all that you need to know about the state of our politics when the Government is found to have acted in contempt of Parliament and yet, hours later, nobody has resigned. But you can guess what’s dominating today…

  • Lib Dems demand urgent action on prisons crisis (already covered here)
  • UK can get out of Brexit mess
  • Moran: Govt is fostering a culture of senseless competition in our schools
  • Cable: Legal advice must be published urgently
  • Parliament wins back control, but people must have their say
  • Cable: Bring country together with a People’s Vote

UK can get out of Brexit mess

Responding to the recommendation from the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice that Article 50 can be revoked with no legal consequences, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson, Tom Brake said:

Liberal Democrats have long said that we can get out of this Brexit mess if we chose to.

As MPs begin to debate Theresa May’s terrible deal, many will be reflecting on how it compares with the deal we’ve currently got.

UltImately the Government must give a final say through a People’s Vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

Moran: Govt is fostering a culture of senseless competition in our schools

Ofsted’s annual report has provided a damning assessment of secondary schools undertaking ‘off-rolling’ and has identified a ‘worrying gap’ in the provisions for schools attended by pupils with special educational needs or disabilities.

The education watchdog warned that thousands of pupils could be “disappearing” from the school system as a result of illegal off-rolling.

The report found that 19,000 children dropped off school rolls between January 2016 and January 2017, during the time that students are undertaking their GCSE exams.

Around half (9,700) of those dropping off rolls between Years 10 and 11 are not reappearing on the roll of another state-funded school.

‘Off-rolling’, a practice where schools move difficult-to-teach pupils off their rolls to boost performance data, is illegal and leaves the child without access to educational support.

Commenting on the report by Ofsted, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

It is shameful that thousands of children are being let down in this way. Every child has the right to an education and should be supported to achieve to the best of their ability in our schools.

This Government is fostering a culture of senseless competition between schools, where results from a single set of narrowly focused, high-stakes exams, are made to feel like the be all and end all when it comes to judging a school’s success.

All this does is force schools to give up on pupils who are struggling – a decision which will have devastating consequences for their education, job prospects and self esteem for years to come.

Cable: Legal advice must be published urgently

Responding to the House of Commons finding the Conservative Government in contempt over its failure to release their Brexit legal advice, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

This is now a government on the ropes. Theresa May’s majority has evaporated, and the credibility of her deal is evaporating with it.

Parliament has asserted itself, and the full legal advice must now be published as a matter of urgency.

The Commons is now very likely to defeat the Government again next week on the Brexit deal, at which point the country must be given a People’s Vote, and asked to choose between the deal or remaining in the EU.

Parliament wins back control, but people must have their say

Responding to the House of Commons defeating the Conservative Government by backing an amendment that gives MPs control over Brexit if the deal is voted down next week, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Parliament has thankfully won back control from the loosening grips of Theresa May. If, as expected, her deal is voted down then MPs can now instruct the Government on what should happen next.

Brexit will hit the pockets of hardworking people up and down the country. MPs now have the power to give them the opportunity to escape this mess with a People’s Vote, including the option to remain. The path is open, MPs must now take it.

Cable: Bring country together with a People’s Vote

Speaking in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement debate in the House of Commons chamber this evening, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable reiterated his party’s position to hold a People’s Vote with an option to remain in the European Union.

He said:

We shall campaign to remain in the European Union because we believe unambiguously that it is the national interest and the right thing to do.

We want to bring the country together. We don’t want to perpetuate division, but the bitter truth is we are a country divided, and it will be even more so if we leave the EU under these terms.

There are overwhelming arguments for remaining members but the fundamental point is the impact on living standards; it has been acknowledged even by the Government that we would be worse off, we can have different scenarios or assumptions but none show that we would be better off.

This issue will not die in March of next year, let us have an agreement now to have a vote on Brexit now we know what it is.