Tag Archives: brexit

Defiant Conference rally sets out Liberal Democrat anti-brexit stall

The Conference rally is always an opportunity to enthuse the Liberal Democrat conference goers and to set the tone for the whole weekend.

Last night’s was a gritty show of defiance of a Government that refuses to listen to any sort of reason over Brexit, contempt for an opposition that helps them on their way and a strong statement that only the Liberal Democrats will stand up for the rights of the British people.

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Farron: Now is the time to stand and fight

The first big showcase event of Spring conference takes place this evening. At the rally, Tim Farron will call on pro Europeans to stand and fight.

First of all, though, he may gloat a bit about being named Remoaner in Chief by Arron Banks’s outfit:

If remoaning means standing up for EU citizens who have made their lives here in the UK.

If remoaning means demanding that the British people have the final say in this process

If remoaning means standing up for a family of nations that has healed the wounds of two world wars and a terrifying cold war

Then I am proud to be your remoaner in chief!

He will go on to talk about how we need to continue the fight against the destructive Brexit course chosen by the Conservatives and Labour:

I am not an enemy of the people, but I am the enemy of those people who seek to divide our country, to pervert the referendum result for their narrow ideology and trash our values by turning our backs on our neighbours.

And the more they come after us, the louder I will shout.

Despite what this government and their fanatical Brexit supporters in the press would like us all to believe, democracy did not end on the 24th of June.

It might be a political risk for us to speak out against the direction our country is going.

But it is the right thing to do.

Because what Britain does in the next two years will define us for the next one hundred.

So now is not the time to sit down and shut up.

Now is the time to stand up and fight.

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Irish Liberal Democrats and LDV St Patrick’s Day fringe at York

Theresa May dealt a blow to Ireland in her Brexit white paper when she said she wanted in effect to leave the EU customs union, confirming Brexit poses a huge threat to frictionless cross-border trade on the island of Ireland, the mainstay of the Irish economy.

The Irish Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Mulhall said last month that comprehensive customs and border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland are not remotely possible

Northern Ireland polled more europhilic than other regions in the UK before the election. Its Remain vote of 55.7 per cent was the third strongest in the country. Nationalists wanted the UK to remain in the EU, but unionists generally wanted to leave. Sinn Féin, the SDLP, the Ulster Unionists, Alliance and the Green Party wanted to stay. The Irish government also wanted a remain vote. The DUP, the TUV and the left-wing People before Profit party backed Brexit.

As Sinn Fein and the DUP jostle for position in a new power sharing agreement at Stormont the Brexit divide has come to the fore. If the parties are unable to agree an accommodation, we may yet see a return to direct rule of the province from Westminster.

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This time we should be firmly pro-Independence

 

At the last conference Alex Cole-Hamilton explained his opposition to Scottish independence by noting that he was a UK citizen, an EU citizen and wanted to remain both.

It is a fine sentiment.

The time, though, is fast arising when he and others may have to decide which is more important. When no amount of campaigning against the decision will prevent the outcome, when the Tory backbenchers melt and when the Labour leadership get behind the Brexiteers, then then people of Scotland are faced with a choice. It is a stark choice, it is a difficult choice and it is a choice, no doubt, that people do not want to make. But it is a choice they will be forced to: “UK or EU”, “both” will not be on the ballot paper.

So which to choose?

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Nick Clegg struggles to be polite about the government’s self-deluded piffle

Nick Clegg, blistering in the Standard, warns that the government is condemned to break its Brexit promises.

Recalling promises of a stronger trading position, the continuation of the benefits of membership, no hard border with Ireland (never mind Scotland), less red tape, taking back control – never mind the £350 million; Nick warns of an impending reckoning.

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Article 50 is not the only or the best way to leave

Now that the invocation of Article 50 is imminent, I thought I would reflect on how we managed, as a country, to gain such momentum for such a bad way of leaving the EU.

Firstly, it should be understood that before Article 50 was agreed, it was not impossible to leave the EU. Greenland did so, by agreement, and without that agreement being subject to an arbitrary one-sided deadline. The point of agreeing Article 50 was not to make it possible to leave, but to make it harder. Article 50, like Trident, is not meant to be used; that is not …

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Heartbreak

I’m feeling pretty heartbroken at the moment. Like Charles Kennedy, I’m a highlander, a Scot, a Brit and a European, with the first and the last most important. Now my rights as a European citizen (though I will be one no matter what) and a British citizen are under threat.

As I write, the Labour Party, the so-called opposition, is about to crumble  and let the Government have its way on the Bill that will pave the way for our exit from the European Union. It beggars belief that the Government has been able to get this through without any serious opposition. It’s the greatest issue of our time, and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party might as well have been part of the most right-wing, isolationist, dangerous government we have  had in my lifetime.

I’ve been fairly sure that the country has been headed to hell in a handcart before. There was the 80s, for a start, when Thatcher destroyed the industrial fabric of our country and championed selfishness over community. You thought things could only get  better with a Blair Government but he ended up ruining the country’s standing with the folly of Iraq.

I thought I had felt heartbreak in 2011 when I saw so many of my friends lose in the Holyrood election, when we lost our MEPs and the turmoil that followed, in 2015 when the General Election result was the worst we could have anticipated. None of that, tough that it was, comes close to my sadness and fear for the future.  I feel like we’re throwing away our safety net in so many ways. What will be left of workers’ rights and human rights in ten years’ time?

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 28th Mar - 4:48pm
    It is disgraceful that Labour did not oppose this. How can they claim to be a compassionate party that cares about the most vulnerable?
  • User AvatarDav 28th Mar - 4:45pm
    Sorry, four outs for the threes, not the sevens.
  • User AvatarDav 28th Mar - 4:44pm
    Though I suspect May and co have 2 of hearts, 6 of clubs, and a 4 and 5 of diamonds and the rest of the...
  • User Avatarmatt 28th Mar - 4:22pm
    @Richard Whelan These Pip changes should not really affect people with a physical condition, these changes to legislation are aimed at people with mental health...
  • User AvatarSesenco 28th Mar - 3:59pm
    The county election this May are likely to result in substantial gains for the Lib Dems, but nowhere near on the scale of 1985 and...
  • User AvatarRichard Whelan 28th Mar - 3:50pm
    Caron, What groups of disabled people are the higher mobility component of PIP being withdrawn from? Are they people with variable conditions? I have Cerebral...