Category Archives: LibLink

For highlighting articles by Lib Dems that have appeared elsewhere in the media.

LibLink: Lord Teverson – Big challenges ahead as the PM pushes nuclear button on Euratom membership

Lord (Robin) Teverson has been writing for PoliticsHome on the UK’s membership of Euroatom:

Last year’s referendum was not about Euratom. Leave and Remain were silent about this low profile, essential institution – a body that uses the EU institutions but is not part of it.

Put simply Euratom acts on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) as the ‘safeguarding’ agency for all its 28 member states, the same 28 members of the EU.  It ensures that under international non-proliferation treaties all fissile materials are controlled and accounted for. Its inspections make sure the strict protocols and safeguards are in place on behalf of all its members, including the UK.

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LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: How to beat the ticking Brexit clock: let British business leaders do the talking

There are few people in this country who have as much experience in negotiating international trade deals as Miriam Gonzalez Durantez.  In her Made in Spain book published last year, she drops casually into a recipe that she came across guacamole when she helped to negotiate the EU-Mexico trade agreement.

She’s written in the Guardian about the many dangerous mistakes that the Government is making in its approach to the EU negotiations.

She has some scary observations about who is influencing these proceedings:

British business leaders were asked to share the table with the Legatum Institute, a thinktank with unparalleled access to Davis and Theresa May and that seems to have been at the origin of some of the preposterous positions on Brexit taken by the government so far. Its inexplicable presence at that table was the clearest signal that the government has not changed its views on Brexit after the general election even one tiny little bit.

The institute has established a special commission on trade that consists of more than 20 people with different “trade” backgrounds. It is run by a British American director. The Legatum member who has just been nominated the UK’s new chief trade negotiation adviser is a New Zealander. The funding of the institute comes from a foundation that is part of a Dubai-based private investment group. So much for the UK “taking back control”.

The Government invited 33 business leaders to a discussion with this organisation recently. She goes on to show how this institute may have influenced the Government’s comments on things like “frictionless” access to the single market.

Miriam goes on to describe exactly why such an approach is completely unrealistic:

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LibLink: Layla Moran: If Philip Hammond thinks driving a train is so easy “even a woman can do it” maybe a career change is in order

In an article for the Independent at the weekend, Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran took Philip Hammond to task for his alleged remark that driving a train is so easy “even a woman can do it.”

She pointed out that they can, but how many women do this highly paid job?

The key fact from the latest Hammond row was glossed over, but it is the real scandal: that just 5.5 per cent of train drivers are women. And the average annual salary of a train driver is just shy of £50,000, way higher than most women earn a year. What, I want to know, are ministers doing to enable more women to drive trains?

Hammond, she said, had form for sexist remarks:

Earlier this year he accused Labour MP Mary Creagh of being “hysterical”. Her crime? Daring to ask the Chancellor about the effect of Brexit on British businesses with bases in Ireland.

The question was all too pertinent. I was talking to one of the country’s most eminent constitutional lawyers last week (sorry Philip, but she did happen to be female) who flagged up the issue of the Irish border as one of the very most intractable in Brexit negotiations. Her conclusion was that ministers have no solution, because there is no solution.

And, of course, he is not the only Tory known for such casual sexism:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg – Nick Clegg: We were the world’s leaders in democracy. Now it’s Germany

Nick Clegg has the following to say in his regular column for Inews:

The more you lose your grip, the more you hold on to what you know. It is a sure sign that an institution is in steady decline when it fixates on past glories. A belief in the traditions of the past often masks discomfort about the challenges of the present.

And so John Hayes, a jovial mid-ranking Conservative Minister with reliably anti European, traditional views, revealed more than he probably intended when he recently declared in the House of Commons, “I will not be taking interventions by anyone who is not wearing a tie, on whatever side of the house they sit.”

21 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg – a deal can be done on freedom of movement

Writing in the Financial Times, Nick Clegg shows how, as on many other issues, British politicians are wrongly blaming the EU for the consequences of decisions taken in Britain affecting immigration from EU member states.

Crucially, there is far more latitude for member states to apply restrictions to freedom of movement than is commonly appreciated. The Belgian authorities aggressively deport EU citizens who do not work and cannot support themselves. Under EU law, the UK authorities could do the same for EU citizens who have failed to find work after six months. Access to Spanish healthcare requires registering with

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LibLink: Vince Cable: Labour won over young voters but it is betraying them on Brexit

It is pretty likely that Vince Cable will be our next leader. There has been some concern about his position on freedom of movement and membership of the single market. The is hardly surprising given that he wrote a New Statesman article headlined “Why it’s time to end EU free movement” back in January.

There are signs that his line on Brexit has softened since last year,  and his record is a million miles better than Labour’s. We’ll take no lessons from them  given that 80% of their MPs voted against membership of the single market last night in Parliament and Vince, like all the other Liberal Democrats voted for it.

Last week, Vince wrote a piece for the Guardian on Brexit and how Labour is betraying the young people who voted for them in the General Election.

The party could be mobilising effective opposition to a hugely harmful hard Brexit, yet contradictions abound. Spokespeople attack this hard Brexitm but then sign up to leaving the customs union and single market, which is in essence what hard Brexit means. Others, including Sadiq Khan, argue that the party should campaign to stay in the single market.

Labour was brilliantly successful in the election at mobilising young people, who were angry that their European future had been stolen from them but who perhaps didn’t scrutinise the small print in the manifesto. Before long they will. They may not know that Jeremy Corbyn ordered his troops into the division lobbies to support the extreme Conservative-Ukip Brexit, but may now notice his insistence that Brexit is “settled”. Make no mistake, on Brexit Corbyn is betraying many who followed him.

He looks at the reasons why Labour has abandoned the pro EU stance of Blair and Brown before looking at the issue of immigration. He is scathing about Labour’s stance:

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LibLink: Recalling Michael Gove is an act of environmental vandalism – Ed Davey

In an article in The Guardian Ed Davey writes:

Perhaps Theresa May has a sense of mischief after all. Putting Michael Gove in charge of the Department of the Environment is much like putting a wolf in charge of the chicken coop. To say that the Gove pulse is unlikely to race too much faster over environmental concerns would, from my experience of working with him, be an understatement. He probably regards global warming as an excuse to reduce winter fuel payments.

May bringing in her old enemy demonstrates her crippling weakness. This desperate attempt to buy off those who might bring her down may help her own survival for another few months. Sadly, it will do nothing to help the survival of the planet.

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