Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tories failing on air pollution

New figures released by the Department for the Environment show that emissions of air pollutants have not dropped significantly over the past three years, despite the Government promising to tackle air pollution as a priority.
 
Responding to the figures, Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, said:

 
“These figures show that this Tory Government is failing to tackle air pollution, which they described themselves as ‘the biggest environmental threat to public health.’

"Long-term exposure to these emissions can cause heart and lung problems as well as potentially contribute to cancers, with the young and the old being particularly vulnerable. People deserve better and Liberal Democrats demand better.
 
“Liberal Democrats would pass a new Clean Air Act, giving people the legal right to unpolluted air wherever they live. New Clean Air Zones must also be brought forward in the most polluted towns and cities,  and we would also restore subsidies to electric vehicles foolishly cut by the Tories.”
 

Farron slams 'Tory death tax'

Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron has taken a swipe at the Conservative Government ahead of the introduction of what he has dubbed a “Tory death tax”.

From today, new regulations introduced by the Conservative Government mean that the cost of death certificates, as well as birth and marriage certificates, is going up from £4 to £11.

Citizens Advice recommends people get “several copies of the [death] certificate, for which there will be a charge.” Upon losing a loved one, people now face a charge hike of £49, on the basis that seven copies are purchased.

Mr Farron accused the Conservatives of introducing these measures “by the back door” as MPs have been denied a vote on them.

The former Leader of the Liberal Democrats added: “These regressive fees, charged to people just when they are grieving for loved ones, are nothing more than an insensitive death tax.

“People deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. Profiteering off the back of people losing loved ones should bring shame on those who call themselves 'compassionate conservatives."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

May's time wasting rejected by parliament


Responding to the defeat of the Government's motion this evening by 45 votes, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

"The vote this evening demonstrates a complete failure of Theresa May's Tory Government and Parliament's rejection of more reckless time wasting as they drag us closer and closer to the cliff edge.

"Theresa May's brinkmanship may seem to her as a clever tactic in trying to force MPs to support her deal, but tonight Parliament rejected this ploy. The reality is the Prime Minister's political games in refusing to take no deal off the table is having a serious effect on people's day-to-day lives.

"The Liberal Democrats have campaigned for a people's vote for over two years. Tonight's defeat of the Government makes clear it is long overdue that the Prime Minister took no deal off the table, and offered the public a final say on Brexit with the option to remain in the EU."

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Lib Dems back call for regulator to protect access to cash


The Liberal Democrats are backing calls from consumer rights charity, Which?, for a regulator to protect access to cash following new analysis revealing a rapid decline in cash-points.  

New figures obtained by Which? show cash-points disappeared at a rate of 488 per month between June 2018 and December 2018 with over 250 free-to-use machines also closing monthly.

Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron said: 

“This research will be concerning for people in smaller communities right across the country who depend on being able to access cash when they need it, without having to trek into the nearest town. 

“People deserve better. Conservative Ministers in Whitehall need to appreciate that not everyone is comfortable with or able to use digital payments and on-line banking. For many, cash is still king. These closures will mean rural areas in particular are being left behind.

“Liberal Democrats demand better. That is why we are backing the call from Which? for a regulator to ensure that no one is left unable to access their own money when they need it.”

Rudd's Universal Credit admission is too late for tens of thousands


Responding to comments from Amber Rudd about the link between the rise of food bank usage and the roll out of Universal Credit, Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

“This belated admission of responsibility comes far too late for the tens of thousands of people forced to rely on food banks because of the Conservatives’ stubborn refusal to fix Universal Credit.
 
“In 21st century Britain no one should be dependent on charitable handouts for their survival, yet that is precisely the situation that Government policy has created.
 
“While some tinkering around the edges has happened, the Conservative Government must go all the way and give UC claimants full flexibility over when and how they are paid, while completely reversing the swingeing cuts made to the programme in 2015.”

Digital exclusion shows Universal Credit not fit for purpose


Responding to reports that almost half a million people needed help to apply for the government’s flagship Universal Credit benefit on-line, DWP Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

"The Liberal Democrats raised the issue of digital exclusion with Conservative ministers months ago, but these concerns clearly haven’t been taken on board. This underlines the need to look again at Universal Credit, which is clearly not creating the simpler and more accessible benefits system that was intended.
 
“It is failing the very people it was supposed to be designed to help. Now the Government has acknowledged that Universal Credit has created a greater need for food banks, it is time they accepted it needs more than just the tinkering we have seen.
 
“Universal Credit just isn’t fit for purpose, and it’s time the Government accepted responsibility.”
 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Immigration rules for Commonwealth soldiers are outrageous

 

Hundreds of troops who joined the British Army after a targeted Commonwealth recruitment drive in 2016 are having to work second jobs in order to meet the Home Office threshold necessary to relocate their families.

Commenting, Lib Dem Defence Spokesperson Jamie Stone said:

"This is yet another example of the Tories' botched immigration policies. These soldiers were asked specifically to come and defend our nation and the government repays them with a hostile environment. It has all the hallmarks of the policies which caused the Windrush crisis.

"These people have responded to a call to serve the country and it is outrageous that immigration thresholds mean they must work second jobs just to bring their spouses and children with them.

"The Liberal Democrats demand better. Commonwealth soldiers who have been asked to come and serve must be welcomed into UK society."

PM's meaningful vote time-line irresponsible and insulting to parliament



Responding to the news that the PM will seek to wait until the end of the month for a second attempt at winning the meaningful vote, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

“This is worse than irresponsible.

"It is deeply insulting to the country and to Parliament. It goes against what she has been mandated to achieve. I would not be surprised if she faces a massive rebellion by Conservative MPs.”

Property guardians caught in poverty trap


Responding to the investigation by the i newspaper into property guardians , Liberal Democrat peer Olly Grender said:

"This undercover investigation shows how desperately bad the housing crisis has become. More and more people are living as property guardians in buildings that are dangerous and insanitary and the law fails to protect them.

"Safeguards must be introduced before the Government has another tragedy on its hands such as Grenfell. This is a hidden crisis for people caught in a trap of poverty and lack of decent housing and needs urgent attention. 

“The fact these properties are unsafe and unhealthy to live in should result in a rapid review of the relevant laws. It is vital that the Government now re-evaluate our HMO regulations to ensure that this form of tenancy, in all but name, cannot be ignored and left out of all important legal protections.

“There are responsible property guardian companies and they are working hard to provide cheap housing in empty properties. But the revelations in Colchester suggest a more exploitative approach and a growing crisis.”

Immigration white paper an enormous red tape threat to UK businesses

 

Responding to a report by Global Future which shows the deep costs to our economy of the Government's immigration white paper, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:
 
“Conservative immigration plans represent the biggest red tape threat UK businesses have ever seen – far outweighing anything that came from Brussels.
 
“Local hospitals are already struggling to recruit the doctors and nurses they need, and now the Tories would take millions away from front-line care to pay for the cost of navigating the Home Office’s complex and bureaucratic immigration system.
 
“These policies would be expensive and destructive for employers across the country, and Britain simply can’t afford them. That’s why the Liberal Democrats are opposing the Tories’ half-baked plans to end free movement with the EU.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Thousands dying waiting for social care as government ignores crisis


Responding to the research by Age UK showing that more than 50,000 older people have now died waiting in vain for care during the 700 days since the Government first said it would publish a Social Care Green Paper, Former Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb said:
 
“These figures are tragic for many families and the stories of some of those who have been impacted should give many in government and across politics pause for thought.

“People are turning for help in their old age and help is not there. Despite the crisis in adult social care the Conservatives are consistently and consciously underfunding these services and the social care green paper promised in March 2017 has now been delayed six times.
 
“The Conservative Government is incapable of solving this problem themselves. They must now work with other parties to achieve a genuine long term, sustainable settlement for the NHS and social care. 
 
“Liberal Democrats would put a penny on income tax and directly invest funds in social care. We will also keep making the case for a new, dedicated NHS and care tax to guarantee a modern, effective and efficient NHS and care system which will be there for our loved ones when they need it.”

Civil Service support for Tory meetings must be investigated

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable and Lib Dem Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake have today written to the Head of the Civil Service urging him to investigate allegations that civil servants are assisting with the so-called Malthouse Compromise working group.

This working group of Conservative MPs has been meeting with officials in the Cabinet Office. Given that the group are not members of the Government, the Liberal Democrats believe the provision of civil service support breaches rules and raises questions for the Prime Minister to answer.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

"The civil service should not be spending time on a Tory party peace initiative which has no relevance to our negotiations with the EU and which is undeliverable."

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake added:

“If Ministers have been instructing civil servants to assist Jacob Rees Mogg and Nicky Morgan in their quest to find a unicorn, that can piece the Tory party back together again, this would be a flagrant breach of Ministerial rules.

"Any costs associated with such a naked party political stunt would have to be reimbursed to taxpayers and instructions issued to all Ministers to refrain from abusing civil service resources in this way." 
  

Lib Dem peers force U-turn on knife crime


The Liberal Democrats have forced the Conservative Government to withdraw their amendments on controversial knife crime prevention orders.

Following the Home Secretary's announcement last week of his intention to introduce 'ASBO style' prevention orders, the Government intended to today amend the Offensive Weapons Bill at the House of Lords Grand Committee. 

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson in the House of Lords, Brian Paddick, threatened to oppose these amendments forcing the Government to withdraw them due to the need at Grand Committee for unanimity.

Responding to the withdrawal, Brian Paddick said:
“ASBOs were jettisoned because they unnecessarily criminalised young people, were seen as a badge of honour in some communities and did little to prevent crime, but now the Conservatives want to resurrect them under a new guise.
 
“The Liberal Democrats are wholly opposed to Knife Crime Prevention Orders being imposed on children as young as 12 who haven’t been convicted of any crimes, where a minor breach can result in a criminal record and a prison sentence.
 
“There are not enough community police officers to patrol our streets, let alone enforce these orders. Instead of gimmicks that won’t work, the Government must urgently give forces the funding they need to restore community police and stop the rise of violent crime.”

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Car emissions: government must act


Today a report from Friends of the Earth and the think-tank Transport for Quality of Life highlights that a rise in emissions from the roads could have a hugely detrimental effect on climate change and public health.

Commenting, former Liberal Democrat Climate Change Secretary of State Ed Davey said: 

“The Liberal Democrats welcome this report and agree more radical thinking needs to be done in the transport sector to tackle climate change.

"While real progress has been made in the power sector, with renewables now replacing by dirty fossil fuels, thanks in part to Liberal Democrat policies, the Conservatives must now cut emissions elsewhere.
 
“Transport is one of the biggest contributors of emissions so we desperately need a more ambitious plan to slash emissions.
 
“Liberal Democrats want a new Green Transport Act with a new programme of measures to significantly reduce emissions from road transport."

Jenny Randerson, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson said:
 
“The Conservatives are presiding over a shameful decline in public transport at a time when we need to cut emissions, not only to combat climate change, but to tackle the public health disaster in our towns and cities.
 
“Since 2015 the DfT’s own figures show a decline of nearly 200 million bus journeys. This Tory Government claim they are committed to public transport, but instead they are driving it into a wall. It is clear that for the Conservatives the car remains king.
 
“Liberal Democrats would aim to improve bus services, encouraging people to move out of cars and into public transport. We would create a nationwide bus plan, creating a model shift towards public transport use, we would enable councils to choose how they run their own services and we would introduce a discount card for Young People.”

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Nissan decision symbolises the loss of confidence in the UK


Responding to reports that Nissan is expected to announce that it is cancelling a planned investment at its Sunderland plant, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

"The Conservatives have lost the right to call themselves the party of business. If these reports are true, the extent to which the Government have destroyed businesses' confidence in the UK is clear.

"This is a massively significant decision which has largely been driven by Brexit. Nissan has been a big British success story based on confidence in the United Kingdom.  This decision is just as symbolic as it is important. 

"The Liberal Democrats are clear that the only way to give business the certainty they need and get the country out of this chaos is to offer a people's vote, with the option to remain in the EU."

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Landmark conviction in fight to stamp out FGM


Responding to the reports of the first conviction of female genital mutilation in the UK, former Liberal Democrat Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone said:

"We have waited a long time to see a conviction for female genital mutilation. The victim here was just three years old. There is no doubt that this is child abuse and this prosecution makes clear this practice is against the law.
 
“I welcome this prosecution and hope to see other perpetrators of this vile crime brought to justice. Communities in the U.K. will now know that if they commit FGM they will be brought before the courts.

"Prosecution is crucially important, but it is vital that the Government work to support those working in the communities to stamp out FGM, ensuring no future generations of girls suffer this crime."

Product safety symbol another Brexit hit for businesses

Responding to reports that the Government has drawn up plans to make companies change their packaging, advertising and products to replace the CE safety symbol in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:
 “Brexit has lost the Conservatives the right to claim they are the party of business. If we needed more evidence they didn't care, then here we are. It is within Theresa May's power to take no deal off the table, she is simply using it as an option to frighten people into supporting her already defeated deal.

 "However, Liberal Democrats are clear any Brexit will be damaging for business and result in a loss of jobs. The only way out of this mess is a people’s vote, with the option to remain in the EU.”

Friday, February 01, 2019

Tories failing to act on modern slavery in car washes

The Liberal Democrats have called for urgent action to tackle modern slavery in hand car washes after Conservative Ministers rejected a licensing scheme in their response to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report published yesterday.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

“Yet again the Tories are failing to take the necessary action to tackle modern slavery, even though Theresa May once called it ‘the great human rights issue of our time’.

“Both a committee of MPs and the Government’s own Director of Labour Market Enforcement have called for a trial licensing scheme to prevent car washes exploiting vulnerable people. Conservative Ministers, however, have decided to ignore them. Instead they are leaving it up to the public to choose ‘responsible’ businesses on the basis of a kitemark.

“The victims of human trafficking and modern slavery deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must urgently give the anti-slavery authorities the powers and resources they need to inspect car washes and enforce the law.”

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Knife crime: Government must follow evidence, not chase headlines


Responding to the Home Secretary's plan to give new powers to the police to tackle knife crime, Liberal Demcorat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

“The UK is in the grip of a knife crime epidemic, so all ideas should be considered, especially ways to stop the glorification and incitement of this violence on social media. 
 
“But Ministers must remember that ASBOs have a very mixed record - they were often seen as a 'badge of honour’ by young offenders and required significant police resources which no longer exist thanks to the Conservatives’ police cuts.
 
“Worse still, this plan ignores the evidence and the policy of the current Justice Secretary, that short term prison sentences won’t deter young people from carrying knives and instead increase the risk of re-offending.

“Ministers must follow the evidence not chase the headlines.

“The victims of knife crime and their families deserve better and Liberal Democrats demand better for them. We will recruit more officers to restore community policing and invest in a proper public health approach that brings together youth services, community groups, schools and the NHS to tackle this shocking rise in violent crime.”

Shocking new figures expose prison crisis


The Liberal Democrats have called for urgent action to tackle overcrowding and recruit more prison officers following new figures showing a dramatic increase in deaths, self-harm and assaults in prison.
 
The statistics, published today by the Ministry of Justice, show that in 2018 there were 325 deaths in prison, up 10% since 2017.
 
The figures also reveal self-harm incidents. Assaults have reached new record highs. In the 12 months to September 2018, there were:
  • 52,814 incidents of self-harmup 23% year-on-year;
  •               33,803 assaultsup 20% year-on-year & the highest on record; this includes 10,085 assaults on staffup 29% year-on-year.
Liberal Democrats Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:
 
“These shocking statistics are yet more evidence that our prisons are in crisis. They are stuffed full of people on short sentences, leaving overstretched staff simply unable to cope and unable to provide the rehabilitative and mental health services prisoners need.

“Prisoners are attacking staff, fighting, self-harming and even dying as a result. The Liberal Democrats demand better.
"Ministers should urgently recruit more prison officers and reduce overcrowding by ending pointless short-term sentences. Our goal must be to transform prisons into places of rehabilitation and recovery, to cut re-offending and make our communities safer.”
 

Vince says: cancelled recess shows extent of Tory chaos


Responding to the announcement that February recess for the House of Commons has been cancelled, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

“The Liberal Democrats have no problem with working hard to deliver whatever needs to be done in the national interest.

"But there is no doubt that the Tory Government is in this desperate position as a result of their own chaotic planning. There is a huge tranche of legislation which needs to be worked through and given proper scrutiny.

"The Prime Minister must accept reality and seek a postponement to the Article 50 deadline which would give time, not just for Parliament to legislate, but for the people to have the final say. Nobody voted for this no deal outcome the Conservative Government is threatening as they run down the clock.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tory cuts have made it easy for ‘county lines’ drug traffickers


Responding to the National Crime Agency’s report on the spread of ‘county lines’ drug traffickers, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

“When children as young as 12 are being exploited by drug gangs, the Conservative Government’s approach clearly needs to change. We need to stop both the supply and demand of illegal hard drugs.

“Unnecessary Tory cuts to the police have made it easier for organised criminal networks to spread; cuts to the Border Force have made it easier for them to traffic illegal drugs and weapons into the UK; and cuts to youth services have made it easier for them to prey on young people.

“That’s why the Liberal Democrats demand more community police officers to prevent gangs from operating, more Border Force officers to stop drugs and weapons entering the country, and more youth services to keep children out of the grip of criminal gangs.

“But we must also treat the addiction that fuels demand for these drugs. Rather than simply being locked up, drug users should be diverted into evidence-based treatment programmes and given the support they need to get off drugs.”

Safe standing an important opportunity for football fans

Responding to the announcement that Wolverhampton Wanderers are ready to become the first Premier League club to introduce safe standing if government approves a pilot scheme, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

"The Liberal Democrats have long called for safe standing at football matches and we welcome this first step.

"This is an important move in providing both safe and affordable space for fans watching the game. It is great to see clubs recognise that this is an opportunity to create a better atmosphere and cut ticket prices."

Local Liberal Democrat Frank Little added: "Government is being excessively cautious. Shrewsbury Town (I wish them well in the next round of the FA Cup) installed safe standing at the New Meadow ground, previously an all-seater stadium, at the beginning of this season. It has been a success with both management and the fans."


Travel insurance not guaranteed with no-deal Brexit

Five out of seven leading travel agents are unable to provide insurance cover guarantees in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a mystery shopper exercise has uncovered.

Following the Conservative Government’s own advice, the Liberal Democrats contacted seven of the UK’s largest insurers to ask whether or not they would provide cover for travel plans disrupted by a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

However, with only weeks to go until the UK could leave the European Union with a possible no-deal Brexit, only two of the seven companies could confirm insurance would be paid out as normal in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Another two insurers stated that travellers would not be covered at all while another three were simply unsure as to whether coverage would continue or not.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

“Just when people are booking their holidays, the Conservatives’ shambolic handling of the Brexit process could turn their trips into a nightmare.

“It is a nonsense that the Tory Government appeals to people to contact their insurance companies yet they themselves have been left largely ill-informed and unable to address any uncertainties.

“It is time the Prime Minister saw sense and ruled out a chaotic ‘no deal’ scenario. Better still, Liberal Democrats want to give people an opportunity to exit from Brexit with a final say on the deal and the option to remain in the EU."

The findings follow news that 10,000 customers of Brittany Ferries have had their travel plans changed as a result of the company having to prioritise the transportation of critical goods in the event of no deal, with further disruption likely according to a leaked Home Office document.

The findings compound news from March last year, when a report by the House of Lords found that, in the event of no deal, UK travellers to the EU would no longer have their medical needs covered by the EHIC card, meaning that, without insurance cover, they could face large healthcare costs.

More on the story here.

Excerpts from the transcript of the calls.


Question asked: I'm thinking of taking out travel insurance for my holiday in the summer. Could you let me know if you will cover me for disruption to my holiday as a result of a no deal Brexit?

AXA

A: "Yes, we will cover for any disruption to travel if it's a result of delay in departure, if it's a result of any hold up on the road or anything like that accident or breakdown, any strikes or industrial action they're all covered, if you're delayed due to public transport failure then absolutely that's covered. There isn't anything particular that says it's going to be covered as a result or anything with Brexit because we wouldn't imagine that would have an impact on your travel - it may be delays and things like that but they would be covered under the usual terms of your policy"

Allianz

A: "At the moment we do not know what we will cover because we haven't heard any word from the underwriter to say that so at the moment some of that is in the air.

If I were you I would assume at this very point in time there is no cover - well because we haven't heard anything from the underwriter about that, no one can really give you a specific answer but yes you will be covered or not....We do not know if there will be disruption… because that hasn't happened we do not know and there has been no word from any of the underwriter… Probably buy your policy around that time… the thing is I cannot advise you on what to do to be honest, I really can't"

Zurich

A: "It's not something that we've been made aware of I'm afraid, we haven't had any information about it yet... we're not sure at the moment, I'm afraid… Give us a call nearer the time we should hopefully have some more information"

Aviva

A: "All our policies wouldn't be affected by that because it's separate to like an EHIC card which is a separate thing but our travel policies nothing would change to the normal cover you'd have, so whatever you're covered for normally would still apply etc. etc... it's best sometimes if you do book ATOL protected holidays just to cover yourself a bit further obviously through our policy you'd still be covered for the same things you would if a Brexit deal was arranged or nothing happened or it's delayed however long etc etc.. it'll all be the same with no changes"

L&G

A: "We don't know anything about that at the moment, unfortunately, the best people to ask are the claims department... if you like I can pass you through to them to see if they have any answers about it at the moment"

The mystery shopper was passed through to claims department. The operator said:

"So it's Legal & General, we're not Legal and General we're Allianz… we sell insurance through lots of different companies...so if you're thinking about buying it through Legal & General, no the insurance wouldn't cover that situation I'm afraid… I've never come across one that would cover that.”

More Than (RSA)

A: "Let me get you through to the right team who can help you with that…"

The mystery shopper was passed through to the Allianz-Assistance claims line which the operator said could answer my query:

A: "Erm, just bear with me and I'll check... if there's a no deal Brexit the EHIC card would cease if there's no agreement by 29th March. If there is any agreement then the EHIC card will be valid for another year. That's the only information I have."

Direct Line

A: "I couldn't answer that question; we honestly wouldn't know that... I honestly wouldn't know"

Theresa May continues to scaremonger


Responding to reports that up to 1,000 defence staff could be redeployed to help the UK Government cope with a no-deal Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

“Once again this Tory Government are scaremongering about a no-deal Brexit when the Prime Minister could easily take the option off the table.

"Theresa May is attempting to run down the clock, tinker with unviable solutions to the Irish border and frighten MPs, businesses and the public into supporting her already defeated deal.

"The Liberal Democrats are clear the best way out of this deadlock is by giving the people the final say, with the option to remain in the EU.”

Monday, January 28, 2019

Britain deserves a better opposition

Labour U-turn on Immigration Bill

Responding to the Immigration Bill passing its second reading this evening, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

“The Government’s Immigration Bill is so bad that even MPs from their own party joined the Liberal Democrats in the ‘No’ lobby to vote against it this evening.
 
“But the most bizarre element of today’s debate was Labour’s U-turn on the Bill - from their original plan to abstain, to a mid-debate decision to vote with Liberal Democrats, against this Bill. 

“It is beyond belief that some Tory MPs were more organised on opposing the Government's hostile immigration policies than the Labour shadow cabinet. Just like on a People’s Vote, when it comes to the crunch, Jeremy Corbyn and co are absolutely useless.
 
“Britain deserves a better opposition, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. We will continue to fiercely oppose Tory plans to end free movement and fight for a People’s Vote and an exit from Brexit.”

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Tesco job losses show deep trouble within retail sector

Responding to reports that Tesco food counter closures and scale-backs could threaten up to 15,000 UK jobs, leader of the Liberal Democrats and former Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

"Job losses on this scale are very serious. 

"There are clearly deep problems within the retail sector, town centres have been declining for years but now out of town stores are struggling too. Perhaps British shoppers have stopped spending and we are on the verge of a serious downturn.

"Confidence in the economy is low and the government must provide some stability and security to individuals and businesses in the UK."

Friday, January 25, 2019

Taxpayer must repay £1.95 million to EU citizens


Today the Conservative Government has confirmed that it may have to return as much as £1.95 million to EU citizens who were forced to pay money to remain living  in the country under the 'settled status' programme. It is expected some of the money will be returned to NHS staff and other vital public servants. 

The Government were forced into an embarrassing U-turn of the policy on the back of pressure from Liberal Democrats and MPs across the political divide. 

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:

"Theresa May's mean spirited charge was always wrong and I'm proud Liberal Democrats led the campaign to get it abolished. These refunds are right and must be issued without delay - including to the public sector bodies that will have paid some of these charges.

"EU citizens have been fleeced out of millions  and treated appallingly by the Conservatives throughout the mess of their Brexit negotiations and they deserve an apology.

"Having u-turned on this it is now time for the Government to change course and give the people the final say on Brexit through a people's vote."