Category Archives: News

And the winner of our referendum day quiz is…..

Yes, I know these have been the questions burning through your mind for the last 48 hours: “What were the answers (questions) to the LDV referendum day quiz?”…”and who on earth won?”.

The answers (questions) were:

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EU Referendum: What do we do now?

I can’t be the only person who is asking that question and I see that Alisdair Calder McGregor was posing it yesterday.

However, a lot of the responses seem to miss the point. We have not left the EU.  What a small majority of the country has voted for is for us to withdraw. That can only be done by triggering Article 50 and beginning discussions on the terms of exit (as even Leave recognises).

Only one country has ever left the EU – Greenland. Their Article 50 negotiations took 3 years and they only really had to discuss fish. Nobody seriously expects we can do it in less time than them and most experts think it could take 4 or 5 years. Even if Gove et al continue to ignore experts, they will need to come back to the Houses of Parliament with their deal and get it passed.

And what will that deal look like? It is hard to see how they could ever come back with a deal which allows EU citizens free movement. It is equally hard to see that the EU would ever allow access to the single market without such free movement. So, the deal presented would likely be a full exit which they would have to get through a parliament where the overwhelming majority of parliamentarians voted for Remain. 

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We need to look forward. Let’s start with electoral reform

This is not a great day, the referendum is over. Remain lost. We can put away our posters, our hyperbole and our support for George, Dave and Jeremy. There is work to be done.

Perhaps more clear than a desire to leave the European Union. The result and accompanying commentary illuminates the stark divisions in our society. This was not just a no to the EU, its rules, and its immigration policy, it was a slap in the face of the political establishment. Yet the decision will not be an easy one to reverse, if possible at all. The recurring position of the EU was that out is out, to conspire through political back channels to return us to the union would be undemocratic and illiberal. Perhaps the only situation where this is possible would be if an election was called by the new Conservative leader before the activation of article 50, and the winning party stood on a manifesto on returning. Even still it is unlikely and our efforts would be better spent on working for a liberal, outward looking Britain moving forward than undermining the British public. 52% of such a large turnout is a mandate greater than that of most sitting governments.

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1000 new members join Lib Dems as Farron says “We will keep the vision of an open, optimistic, hopeful Britain alive”

So I still haven’t gone to bed yet. I feel just about alive. There seems little point in sleeping now as I need to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning to catch a flight to London for Federal Executive where we have a whole day of constitutional amendments ahead of us. I suspect we may mention the Referendum result as well. Just a bit.

“I’m for the 16 million, the 48%” said Tim Farron in a speech on the referendum result. By 1pm,1000 people had joined the party, reminiscent of the surge last year.

Tim’s speech was heartfelt and hopeful. He was furious about the way the campaign had been fought, so divisive and deceitful. He understood the concerns of those disengaged people who had voted for Leave but he also empathised with young people, who had voted for Remain in huge numbers but “whose future had been taken away by older generations” who had enjoyed the benefits of greater European integration.

He also announced that 1000 new members had joined the Lib Dems today.

You can watch the speech here on the party’s Facebook page. It darned well made me cry. Up until seeing it, I had been shocked. This tugged at the heartstrings. .

I am devastated and I am angry. Today we woke to a deeply divided country.

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What now for the Pro-EU Party?

Traditionally, at this point after a vote, Politicians start to mutter comments about “The will of the people”

I’m not going to.

Manifestly, the result of the EU referendum is not to our taste. However, I do not believe that it is to the taste of the voting public either – or at least, it won’t be once they’ve tasted the actual medicine that the Brexit campaign have prescribed.

The public have, throughout the EU referendum campaign, been systematically lied to, deceived and manipulated by the Brexit campaign. The warnings of the Remain campaign on the impact of leaving the EU were dismissed as “Project Fear” – and are already being proven horribly right, as the value of Sterling tumbles and the bleak reality of the economics of Brexit become apparent.

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Farron reacts to David Cameron’s resignation

Tim Farron has said that this “self-inflicted wound” will be David Cameron’s legacy as he commented on the Prime Minister’s resignation.

12 months ago David Cameron had the best result of his career. Today, the worst.

I was honoured to share a platform with the Prime Minster on this campaign, but this result, this self-inflicted wound, will be his legacy.

There have been many things I did not agree with the Prime Minister on, but I must thank him for his stewardship of the country and for the way he took the very bold decision to create a Coalition Government in 2010. It was an incredible act of bi-partisan cooperation.

The result of the referendum has left him with no choice. In this immediate period, the Government must act quickly to steady the economy, reassure the markets, and immediately set a new course.

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Scotland must have a “Which Union?” referendum

You can understand why many people in Scotland don’t like the idea of yet another referendum. In the last 26 months, we have had little respite from political campaigning with no fewer than five trips to the polling stations. But I would argue that the outcome of the EU vote means that another plebiscite must be organised in Scotland to settle the crucial issue of which union it prefers. And this needs to be staged sooner rather than later.

In September 2014, Scottish voters said they wanted to stay in the British union by 55 to 45 on a very high turnout. Yesterday, they said they also wanted to remain in the European Union by a substantially larger margin (62-38) but on a significantly lower turnout. It is now tragically clear that we can’t have both.

A key question has to be answered before a decision is taken to hold a “which union?” referendum. Will the EU 27 accept the principle of Scotland as a Member State in its own right with a special accelerated procedure to allow continuity of membership? This would entail Scotland leaving the UK on the day of Brexit, with Scottish EU accession taking place simultaneously.

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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarmatt 27th Jun - 1:00am
    well what is the purpose of saying you think 4% of people changed their mind since they cast that vote. even if those 4% had...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 27th Jun - 12:32am
    @matt "Where is the evidence to support such a claim??" I don't need evidence and I'm not make a claim. I'm saying what I think....
  • User AvatarChristopher Tanner 27th Jun - 12:28am
    Regarding the lessons from the 1979 Scottish Devolution vote, it is a pity we did not insist on similar conditions being placed on this one....
  • User Avatarmatt 27th Jun - 12:12am
    @Simon Shaw "And I’m saying that I think since Thursday that at least 4% of the people have decided they made a mistake." Where is...
  • User AvatarLoz 27th Jun - 12:06am
    @Simon - 4% of how many polled? if you are talking about Lord Ashcroft's poll then it was not asked of 17million people. The majority...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 27th Jun - 12:03am
    Jennie is also one of my favourite people in the entire universe and one of the great universal truths of the party is that she's...