Author Archives: Stephen Gilbert MP

Stephen Gilbert MP writes…It’s time to let Britain fly

Often the debate on airports expansion in London and the South East focuses on Britain’s connectedness with the wider world and our increasing need to be able to easily reach far flung emerging market destinations such as Brazil and China. That need is no doubt critical if we are to build a stronger economy in the future, but there’s one important aspect of the debate that often gets neglected – Britain’s internal domestic connectivity and the need to link places like Newquay, Inverness and Liverpool to our thriving capital city.

Indeed I believe this important aspect of the debate goes to the very heart of how the regions and nations of the UK could benefit hugely from airports expansion in London and the South East if done in the right way.

As the MP for Newquay and St Austell I know all too well how important our air links are with London. This is equally the case for regions all across the UK. Domestic routes between London and the regions are a vital economic driver. In my constituency Newquay Airport brings over £50M to the local economy every year and my local airport’s links with London airports are a fundamental driver of its commercial success. If ever we lost our links with London, then the very viability of the airport itself could potentially be put at risk.

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Opinion: Shale Gas exploration – Why a cautious approach is the right one.

Many Liberal Democrats will, like me, have read with wry amusement the reaction of the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph and some Tory MPs to the local opposition to Cuadrilla drilling in Balcombe in Sussex and the potential of fracking in their area given their previous hysterical support for fracking and shale gas.

Clearly there are a number of groups who are taking the opportunity to mount a vigorous campaign against fracking with, for example, the publication of a map of a “licence to frack” raising fears of fracking taking place across the country. In fact the so called …

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Stephen Gilbert writes … Liberal Democrats should be proud of the Energy Bill

Energy-bills-006The Energy Bill will, today and tomorrow, be  going through its Report Stage and Third Reading in the Commons.  Ed Davey set out clearly on Lib Dem Voice why this is so important for decarbonising our power sector and keeping on the lights at an affordable price for consumers.  As a party we should be pleased that there is general cross-party support for the bill as it is vital that we maintain as far as we are able cross party consensus to provide the certainty for investors for our transition …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Stephen Gilbert MP writes… Equal marriage is now a litmus test for Cameron

Marriage ring - License Some rights reserved by jcoterhals May has been a good month for equal marriage. Minnesota became the 12th American State, plus DC, to allow same-sex couples to marry and France became the 9th country in Europe (the 14th around the world) to introduce this landmark change. Millions of gay and lesbian people are now able to marry the person they love.

This week, in Britain, the debate returns to the House of Commons. I have no doubt that a significant majority of MPs are in …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 14 Comments

Stephen Gilbert MP writes… Equal marriage: a step towards a fairer society

So, there we have it:  equal marriage for same-sex couples in the civil law and the chance for religious groups to choose to offer same-sex religious marriage if they want to.  It’s another step toward equality in front of the law for the LGBT community. The community has come a long way in the 43 years since the Stonewall riots in New York City.

And the Liberal Democrats have led the way in the UK. We were the first party to commit to a policy of civil partnerships, in a Private Members Bill, and at our conference in 2010 we were …

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Stephen Gilbert MP writes… Welcome news for park home residents

We all deserve a safe and secure place to live. But all too often for the 160,000 people living in park homes up and down the country the reality fails to live up to the utopian dream offered in the marketing brochure.

For those readers not familiar with the term, a ‘park home’ is a static caravan. Usually found grouped together in modestly sized communities (2,000 of them in all) often by the coast or in areas of natural beauty. This ‘peaceful’ life primarily attracts the retired, the elderly and the infirm – often seeking more peaceful surroundings to live out …

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Stephen Gilbert MP writes… The Pasty Tax is unfair, unworkable and unenforceable

There’s an awful lot that we, as Liberal Democrats, should be proud of in this year’s budget: the uplift in the personal allowance that takes almost 2million of the lowest earners out of income tax; the support for small businesses to help stimulate growth and create jobs; and measures to give a helping hand to aspiring home owners.

But, there’s one measure which I’ve been unable to accept. Not just because it’s politically unpopular, but also because I believe Osborne has – on this occasion – got it wrong. I’m talking, of course, about the VAT extension to hot food dubbed …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 32 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User Avatarpaul barker 25th Oct - 12:46pm
    Can people stop hyperventilating about the candidate, that was settled months ago & shes great. Anyone have a good idea of when it will be...
  • User AvatarGordon 25th Oct - 12:36pm
    Vince must not be the candidate. What does it say if a strong woman candidate is selected as PPC, and then shoved aside at the...
  • User Avatarmalc 25th Oct - 12:26pm
    In Richmond Park constituency the EURef split was REMAIN 72% LEAVE 28%. It is an absolute dream by-election for the Lib Dems, if you don't...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th Oct - 12:22pm
    Mary - fair enough. I'll have to do some research on our candidate then, if a by-election rears its head.
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th Oct - 12:20pm
    I think part of the block to our support amongst the public is this perceived lack of patriotism. We need to reclaim it from the...
  • User AvatarTony Dawson 25th Oct - 12:16pm
    Zac has announced that he will be standing down just as soon as he has talked with his constituency executive committee.