Sunday, November 29, 2020

Aid cut makes a mockery of ‘Global Britain’ promise


Responding to the Chancellor's announcement that the foreign aid budget will be cut, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

“Today the promise of ‘Global Britain’ became hollow. Shirking away from our global responsibilities by cutting development spending during a worldwide pandemic is short-sighted and wrong.

“The Liberal Democrats enshrined the 0.7% in law precisely so it was flexible with the economic reality. By changing the law the Government is breaking its promise to the British people and to the world’s poorest.

“The Liberal Democrats will always stand up for the life-changing power of UK aid, and I will work cross-party to oppose this callous move.”

Chancellor has made some unforgivable political choices


Responding to the Chancellor's Spending Review, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

"With the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the Chancellor needed to ensure today that no one is left behind. That was the litmus test, and he has failed.

"Far from a radically new approach to the recovery that tackles deep-seated inequality and builds a new green economy, we have a Government that is failing to support carers, children living in poverty and everyone in need of mental health services.”

“The Chancellor has also made some unforgivable political choices today. He has chosen to continue to ignore people excluded from support and chosen to reject calls to properly extend furlough, leaving too many people facing unemployment. People deserve better.”

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Lib Dems urge PM to secure Adjustment Period with EU to give businesses breathing space

The Liberal Democrats are  calling on PM to negotiate an “Adjustment Period” as part of the deal with the EU, to ensure British businesses have enough time to prepare for the new trading relationship with Europe.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Liberal Democrats warn of a potentially "existential" threat to businesses if they are not given time to adjust and argue that - by phasing-in new rules, regulations and procedures - businesses would have the "breathing space" they need to prepare and adapt.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said: 

"Businesses cannot afford to be hit with the double whammy of Covid and disrupted trade with Europe, our biggest trading partner. With job losses already mounting, the danger is unemployment will rise still further in the new year, unless urgent action is taken.

"Despite months of negotiations, businesses are still in the dark about the details of their future trading relationship with Europe. With just weeks to go and our economy on its knees, this is inexcusable.

"The Prime Minister must urgently recognise what's in the best interests of British businesses, and secure a time-bound adjustment period to allow firms to adapt to new trade arrangements and save jobs.”

PM's refusal to sack Home Secretary shows one rule for them and another for everyone else


Responding to the resignation of the Government's independent adviser on standards following the Prime Minister's refusal to sack Priti Patel, despite it being found she has breached the Ministerial Code, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
“Priti Patel has broken the Ministerial Code. Boris Johnson should have sacked her.
“The fact that the independent adviser on ministerial standards has felt the need to resign means that no one can have confidence in Boris Johnson’s handling of these bullying allegations.
“Bullying is a destructive force with devastating consequences. We must not tolerate it anywhere in our society – and certainly not at the highest levels of Government.
“The job of the Prime Minister is to set an example, but once again Boris Johnson has failed. He seems to believe there is one rule for him and his allies and another rule for everyone else. That is unacceptable.”

Friday, November 20, 2020

Report suggesting contract favours for those with "direct line to Ministers" demands inquiry

The Liberal Democrats have demanded a timetable for an inquiry into the Government's handling of the pandemic following the publication of an NAO report which revealed that Ministers agreed £18bn worth of supplies and services which bypassed usual standards for procurement.
Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:
"It is utterly galling the Government has sidestepped accountability and transparency rules. In no world is it fair that bids with a direct line to Ministers were ten times more successful.
"The Tories have left themselves wide open to serious and legitimate allegations that they have chosen to line the pockets of friends and donors. 
"The British people deserve clear, honest answers. Now more than ever we need a timetable for the inquiry into the government's handling of the pandemic.”


Cabinet Office investigation into Home Secretary must be published in full


The Liberal Democrats have written to the Prime Minister calling for the Cabinet Office’s investigation into the conduct of the Home Secretary to be published "in full and without further delay", as reports suggest that it has concluded she broke the ministerial code. 
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: 
"The allegations against the Home Secretary are extremely serious. Bullying is a destructive force with devastating consequences. We must not tolerate it anywhere in our society – and certainly not at the highest levels of Government.
"The findings of the Cabinet Office investigation must be published in full as soon as possible, without political interference.
"The public must have confidence that this issue is dealt with properly. There must be no stench of the Prime Minister trying to brush it under the carpet or cover up for his political ally.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Johnson plan for Green Industrial Revolution won't undo the damage of last five years

Responding to the Government's "Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution", Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

"This plan fails to undo the damage the Conservatives have done to the UK's progress on climate change over the past five years. It pledges to continue selling fossil fuel powered hybrid cars past 2030 and promises to extend the Green Homes Grant by just one year.

"We need a long term plan, backed by meaningful funding, to tackle the climate climate emergency and kickstart a green recovery from Covid-19, alongside a new Department of Climate Change to coordinate this plan and a significant devolution of powers across the UK, not more piecemeal pledges. 
"Liberal Democrats are calling for £150 billion in funding for a Green Economic Recovery, with investment across every sector of the UK economy to fuel sustainable growth."

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Tories' reckless brinkmanship on UK-EU trade risks livelihoods


Responding to George Eustice's comments on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, suggesting that next week is “a week when things need to move” for the UK and EU to agree to a trade deal, Liberal Democrat Brexit and Trade spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
"Up and down the country people are watching and waiting for the Conservatives to deliver the UK-EU trade deal that they have promised, and that we desperately need. The urgency of this situation could not be clearer.  
"Yet, with just weeks until the end of the transition period, the Tories' reckless brinkmanship continues to put people's livelihoods and vital supply chains at risk. Our economy is already in crisis due to Covid-19. We need absolute reassurance that Ministers will not take our economy over a new cliff edge.  
"Liberal Democrats are calling on Ministers to put the national interest first and secure the closest possible trading relationship with Europe - our largest trading partner. The Prime Minister must also restore our international reputation by permanently removing those parts of the Internal Market Bill which break international law."

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Economic recovery requires comprehensive strategy not last minute Johnson ripping wheeze

Responding to the latest figures showing that UK GDP grew by 15.5% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020, but that GDP is still 9.7% below where it was at the end of 2019, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said: 
"The growth in the last quarter is testament to the hard work of people in all sectors after the first lockdown. But our economy still has a mountain to climb and hasn't been helped by the Government's mistakes in the first wave of coronavirus.
“With a new lockdown in place in England and strict restrictions in other parts of the UK, people are increasingly worried about their jobs and livelihoods. The support the Government has given to date has simply not been adequate. 
"To ensure recovery we need a comprehensive economic strategy from the Conservatives – not yet more plans made up at the last minute. This includes supporting the three million people who are still excluded from support as well as extending the furlough scheme at least until June 2021.”

Monday, November 02, 2020

Four nations meeting a welcome "first step"

Responding to news that the four Governments of the UK have met to develop a UK-wide approach to restrictions for the festive period, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

"People across our family of nations will be reassured to hear that efforts are at last underway to ensure everyone is subject to the same guidance as they plan for the festive period, as first called for by the Liberal Democrats. 

"But today's meeting can only be a first step. We need to see results, not just platitudes. That means comprehensive, uniform guidance for family gatherings across the UK, as well as a common approach to transport, student return and asymptomatic testing. This must happen urgently.

"If we are to both keep people safe and ensure families have any chance of spending holidays such as Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas together, then Ministers across these isles must now get a grip on the failing test, trace and isolate trace system."