Author Archives: Michael Moore MP

Michael Moore MP writes…Scotland’s Future – my personal view

The EildonsA week today we will take the most important political decision of our lives.

Across the Borders, in the privacy of the voting booth we will each face the question: should Scotland be an independent country?

It’s the moment of truth as we weigh up what’s best for our families, our communities and our country.

I am proud to be a Borderer; I am proud to be Scottish; and I am proud to be British. For me the answer is straightforward – I want to continue to be a part of this family of nations which we call the United Kingdom, so I will be voting ‘No’.

Looking around me I see families whose stories tell the tale of these great British Isles –  parents and children from all corners of the country; life stories of careers down south, up north and all parts in between; shared experiences with others across the UK in our armed forces, on the sports field or in the culture of Coronation Street and the Olympics.

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Michael Moore MP writes…Securing the UK’s commitment to international development

Lynne Featherstone in UgandaI am pretty sure I have taken every chance available to enter the ballot for a Private Member’s Bill since being elected to the House of Commons in 1997.

What is certain is that I have never succeeded in securing one of the highly coveted slots that give backbench MPs a chance to pilot legislation through Parliament – until now, that is.

In the old days I am sure that those lucky enough to emerge in the “top 20” of the ballot would have learned of their good fortune by letter or maybe even messenger. By contrast, I became aware of securing the second slot by text messages and a sudden spate of social media ‘notifications’. The letter duly followed.

In the weeks since, I have had many enquiries asking which issue I would choose and have had just as many (mostly) helpful suggestions – my thanks to all who took the trouble.

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Michael Moore MP’s Road to Referendum: “A mutual meeting point between two nations, rather than an international border point separating two states”

September 14th "Welcome to Scotland"There was cross-party agreement last week in the House of Commons after I, alongside Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border Rory Stewart, made the case for United Kingdom cross-border unity at Scottish Questions.  Alongside Mr Stewart, I asked specifically about what independence would mean for Border constituencies.

The future shape of Scotland, and the very existence of the United Kingdom, is at stake in the forthcoming referendum. If Scotland were to leave the United Kingdom, the Border constituencies would be the first to feel the effects of …

photo by: amandabhslater
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Michael Moore MP writes… Scotland’s place in the world

scotlands futureIt is the duty of the government of any state to safeguard national security and to protect its people, territory, economy and interests from internal and external threats.

If Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom in September, there is no doubt that there would be major challenges for the national security of both Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The size and scale of our armed forces means the UK is considered a partner of choice by many countries around the world, delivering a geopolitical influence that few states …

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Tagged , and | 30 Comments

Michael Moore MP’s Road to the Referendum… A Vote for the United Kingdom: A positive Choice

IMG_2186Making a positive choice for the United Kingdom in the vote on Scotland’s future is as much a matter of the heart as well as the head.  Recently, those involved in the argument for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom have begun to argue more assertively that a vote for the UK is the positive choice.

We have just over five months to decide whether we stay in the United Kingdom family or go it alone. Five months to choose between remaining part of this four-nation partnership that we have built together or to break away and to start again.

I believe in the contribution Scotland has made over the last 300 years along with our friends and families across England, Wales and Northern Ireland – our common effort to create and share something bigger and that serves us all well.

photo by: ianpatterson99
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Michael Moore MP writes… Federalism: The best future for Scotland

st Andrews flag saltire scotland Some rights reserved by Fulla TLast week saw the intervention of two giants of Scotland’s political landscape in the debate over Scottish independence.  An emerging consensus came to light after Gordon Brown, the former prime minister, and Sir Menzies Campbell, former UK leader of the Lib Dems, issued separate calls for the Scottish parliament to be given sweeping new powers as an alternative to independence.

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Michael Moore MP writes…Standard Life, the most significant intervention in the Independence Referendum so far?

sl_logoOne of the most significant statements so far in the referendum debate has been from Standard Life. With over 4 million customers across the UK and thousands of employees in Scotland, their intervention matters to all of us.

Standard Life has been headquartered in Scotland for 189 years, so, it is clearly very important when they announce that they are putting in place contingency plans to relocate funds, people and operations to England if we vote for independence with many issues unresolved.

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Scotland’s place in the UK 

As the Referendum date quickly approaches, I was glad to have the chance to speak in a House of Commons debate last week on Scotland’s place in the UK.

As part of the United Kingdom we have fantastic economic opportunities through the single market, greater security due to having a seat at the top table at NATO, and the ability for Scotland to punch above its weight internationally due to the UK Foreign Office network around the world.

It …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

A Stronger Economy 

Last week, I welcomed the announcement of the strongest GDP growth figures since before the financial crisis began in 2007, with the UK growing by 0.7% in the last financial quarter and 1.9% throughout the whole of 2013.  Growth is vital for our prosperity so this is a really important development.

We have also seen the inflation rate dropping to 2% from a peak of 5.2% in September 2011, decreasing unemployment and both the World Bank and the IMF indicating …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Free Childcare

My colleagues in the Scottish Parliament have been making the case for extending child care provision in Scotland for some time. So the fact that from August 2014 thousands of two-year-olds in Scotland will be entitled a free childcare place for 15 hours a week is excellent news for families across the Borders.

This means that we now catch up with the situation in England where the Liberal Democrats have helped to deliver a similar plan for two years now. The …

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Michael Moore writes… Hullabaloo Tuesday

Heard much about the referendum lately?

I only ask because there is a curious phenomenon at play in Scotland at present.

Never mind “Will you be voting ‘Yes’ or No’ next year?”: the real divide in Scotland seems to be between those who think they have heard too much from politicians already and those who think they have heard nothing at all.

To campaigners on both sides of the ‘great debate’ this latter camp is intensely frustrating.

At my last count (I am in recovery now), the UK government had published over 600 pages of analysis and argument. The slackers at …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Mike Moore rocket look of wonderment croppedLiberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Apprenticeships Campaign

Over the last few months, I have been campaigning to encourage local businesses to take on apprentices. I have visited many businesses across the constituency to see how they have managed to create very successful apprenticeship schemes.

As part of this ongoing campaign to increase apprenticeships in the Borders, last week I visited Hawick Cashmere to meet the apprentices there.

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

As local MP, I am determined to do as much as possible to boost job opportunities for young people here in the Borders.  I believe that apprenticeships offer a great opportunity for businesses and young people.  They are not just for the traditional trades but can be in anything from marketing to business administration and customer service.  Apprenticeships help businesses reduce recruitment costs, lower staff turnover and improve productivity.

Over the last few months, I have been campaigning to encourage local businesses …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

A New Phase

Last week I was very grateful for all the very kind comments I received locally after finishing as Secretary of State for Scotland.

It was a huge privilege to serve as Scottish Secretary for over three years. The constitutional debate reached a rather critical point in that time and I am proud of the part I played in it as part of the government so far. I intend to continue to contribute, if from a different vantage point.

Delivering more powers …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

A Year to Go

These are exciting times to live in Scotland. In less than a year’s time, people the length and breadth of Scotland will make a choice that will affect our nation’s future forever.  This is an absolutely defining moment and a once-in-a-lifetime choice. That’s why I hope people will think carefully as they prepare for the vote.

I firmly believe that Scotland will be stronger, more secure and more prosperous if we remain as part …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Michael Moore MP with apprentices Cameron Collins and Mark Tully at Mainetti 30 08 13 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Jobs campaign

I recently launched a local jobs initiative as part of the Liberal Democrats’ ‘A Million Jobs’ campaign.

Apprenticeships are a really effective way of tackling youth unemployment because they enable young people to develop the training, skills and experience they need to enter fulltime paid employment. They also benefit businesses who gain value …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Surgeries and Shows

Over the past fortnight I have held my annual summer advice surgeries during which I have visited around 50 villages and communities across the Borders. These are an opportunity for me to hear the concerns of my constituents and are a highlight of my work as local MP.

In recent weeks I have also attended the annual rideouts, Common Ridings and Shows which take place across the Borders. This year’s have been as entertaining as …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Wimbledon

First of all I want to say a huge congratulations to Andy Murray for winning Wimbledon last weekend – the first British man to do so since 1936. It was a fantastic match and as Scots and Brits we can be extremely proud of his achievement.

Queen’s visit to Abbotsford

It was a great honour to attend the official re-opening of Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, by Her Majesty the Queen last week after its multi-million …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Royal Highland Show

Mike Moore et al at Royal Highland ShowIn the Borders we have a strong and successful farming industry with local farmers trading their products throughout the UK and abroad and constantly innovating and developing their businesses. Every summer I always attend local rural shows and events in the Borders which are an opportunity to meet with local farm businesses and discuss the work they are …

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Michael Moore MP writes…Scotland has a role in overseas aid

photoAmidst the fever of the independence referendum debate in Scotland on issues such as currency, financial services and pensions, Lynne Featherstone and I took part in a series of engagements in Glasgow recently which reinforced with me what would be lost in terms of international development if Scotland voted to leave the Union.
 
As a former International Development spokesperson for the Party I am still passionate about this issue. I’m proud that the issues we as Lib Dems have long campaigned for have become a reality

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

The Queen

Last week, the Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne since her coronation in 1953. She has been a dedicated servant of the nation throughout these years and I am sure everyone in the Borders will want to join me in congratulating her on reaching this milestone. It was a real pleasure to meet representatives from my constituency in Dover House who had travelled to London for the thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey.

Referendum

As the debate surrounding …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Apprenticeship Week

Last week was Apprenticeship Week in Scotland, which is a week to recognise and celebrate the commitment of employers and the talent of apprentices from all over the country. The Week also helps raise the profile of apprenticeships and encourage young people and local businesses to get involved. They are a vital way for young people to gain the skills they need to break into the job market and it has been good to see …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Vince Cable’s visit to the Borders

Over the past weekend, Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, visited the Borders to speak at our local Lib Dem annual dinner and meet with businessmen and women from across the area.

John Seed, Vince Cable, Rachel Cable, Michael Moore and Steve Jones at Woodend farm 11 05 13On Saturday, we spent the morning at John Seed’s farm near Duns looking at the work he is doing, with his family, to diversify the farm and transform the way it generates and uses energy. It is hugely impressive to see the scale of what they have achieved through biomass and other initiatives. (Photo shows John Seed, Vince, his wife Rachel Smith, Mike Moore and Steve Jones)

Next, Vince and I met with a small group of Borders businessmen and women to discuss the challenges and opportunities that diversified farm businesses are currently facing. From issues such as bank lending to red tape, each member of the group raised their particular concerns and it was certainly a productive discussion. It was good to have the chance to show off some of our finest farms businesses and I will continue to work with Vince beyond this visit to get the best deal for Borders businesses.

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Better Together

Last week the UK Government published its second Scotland Analysis paper, this time analysing the currency options for an independent Scotland. It set out four main currency choices: firstly, negotiating a formal sterling currency union with the continuing UK; secondly, adopting the pound without the formal consent of the continuing UK; thirdly, joining the euro area; or fourthly introducing an independent Scottish currency.

The paper sets out that all of these options would not be as …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Green Deal

Despite the fact that we are now well into March, it seems that there is no let up in the cold snowy weather and I know that at this time energy bills remain a major concern to my constituents. To help people reduce these bills and cut down their energy use, the Government has taken action and introduced a scheme called the Green Deal. This enables people to improve the energy efficiency of their …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Fairtrade fortnight

Fairtrade fortnight is now drawing to a close and it has been a great couple of weeks of raising awareness of the brand across the UK to inspire more people to buy Fairtrade. The theme of the fortnight was ‘Go Further’ to encourage people to try new Fairtrade products. I know that many Borderers already buy Fairtrade coffee, tea and bananas, but there are now so many more products available that are definitely worth …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Local television

Last week was an important one for local news coverage in the Borders as the broadcasting regulator OFCOM asked for views on its proposals to change the way local television news is provided here.

After years of shared news with Tyne Tees, they are now looking at options to return things close to the way they were in 2009. That would mean more coverage of the south of Scotland and particularly our part of it …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Scotland analysis

As the debate surrounding Scottish independence gets underway, the UK Government published its first in a series of ‘Scotland analysis’ papers last week to look at the legal implications of Scottish independence. The paper set out that, according to experts, a ‘Yes’ vote would make Scotland the ‘successor’ state and the rest of the UK the ‘continuing’ state. This rejects the First Minister’s idea that Scotland and the UK would both be regarded as …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Fisheries vote

Last week was crunch time in the European Parliament as MEPs voted in favour of ambitious proposals to reform the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). There has been much concern among local fishermen in Berwickshire about the reform of the CFP because the current system has damaged many local businesses. The measures passed last week are certainly a welcome step in the right direction because they will help end the terrible practice of discards and …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Green Deal

In my constituency I know that energy prices are a key concern for local people. It has been one of the UK Government’s top priorities to help tackle this issue by improving the energy efficiency of people’s homes, reducing the confusing number of tariffs available and making it easier for people to switch. The Green Deal, launched last week, will help with the first part by enabling people to insulate their homes or install …

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  • User AvatarPeter 22nd Dec - 10:23pm
    No
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 22nd Dec - 10:17pm
    I'd love to hear a SNP supporter's response to Lib Dem criticism of them for not abandoning their principles.
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    Was there an incident with this fetish porn or something? Why would the gov waste their time on this? Death by facesitting...well, I can think...
  • User AvatarHugh 22nd Dec - 8:54pm
    @ Tony "The British Medical Association, for a long time the most powerful trades union in the UK, has always insisted on there being a...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 22nd Dec - 8:29pm
    People say the LibDem demographic is skewed in some respects, such as the gender balance. Is this "normal"? Are there class or income-band biases too,...
  • User AvatarStephen W 22nd Dec - 7:53pm
    They promised the referendum would be once in a lifetime. Within a couple of months they are demanding another referendum. What's that about keeping their...
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