Tag Archives: brexit

LibLink: Vince Cable The Tory fallacy that immigrants are taking British jobs and driving down wages

It is good that people like Andrew Adonis help to build the case for a referendum on the Brexit deal. However it is profoundly depressing when both he and Tony Blair feed the “immigration is bad” narrative.

Thank goodness somebody is out there saying that immigration is actually a good thing and that this narrative that these foreigners are coming over here and taking our jobs and driving down wages. Step forward one Vincent Cable, writing in the Guardian:

At the heart of the politics of immigration is the belief, repeated by Theresa May as a fact, that immigrants, especially unskilled immigrants, depress wages. At first sight the argument seems plausible – and undeniably there is low-wage competition in some places. But there is no evidence that this is a general problem. When the coalition embarked on its review of EU competences in 2013, I commissioned a range of reviews and studies to establish the facts. They showed that the impact on wages was very small (and only in recession conditions). By and large, immigrants were doing jobs that British people didn’t want to do (or highly skilled jobs that helped to generate work for others). This research was inconvenient to the Home Office, which vetoed the publication of its results. I have now written to the prime minister to ask her to publish them as part of the current public debate.

So, the Government has evidence, commissioned by Vince, that the right wing tabloid press is talking hogwash and refuses to publish it.

And he makes an important point about the costs of immigration and who they affect:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 31 Comments

WATCH: Tom Brake’s speech in Brexit Bill debate: This Bill must be resisted at every turn

Tom Brake spoke for the Lib Dems in the Commons debate on the Brexit Bill today. Watch in full here. The text is below.

There were some excellent speeches after the Secretary of State’s. Things went slight downhill after that but things started to look up with the maiden speech by the hon. Member for Canterbury (Rosie Duffield). I have just one slight criticism: she did not mention Barham in her list of villages, which is one I know very well. I thank the right hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve) for his speech and his reference to the monstrosity that is this Bill.

The Liberal Democrats believe that Parliament must be given comprehensive sovereignty and scrutiny over this process. This opinion is widely supported, not just by many Members on both sides of this House but organisations such as the Law Society, which states that the Bill

“must respect parliament’s role in making and approving changes to UK law”.

Parliament must drive the future of the United Kingdom and of Brexit, not Ministers using executive—indeed dictatorial—powers to exercise total control over the legislative process. The Government’s decision to provide just two days for Second Reading means that Members will have just five minutes in which to make their points and eight days in Committee for a Bill that unravels 40 years of closer EU co-operation, shows the extent to which Parliament is held in contempt by Ministers.

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International Office team up with the ALDE Party to answer the question ‘can Brexit be a success for Europe?’

Every year, the International Office delivers an extensive programme of events primarily aimed at diplomats and international guests at Autumn Conference. This year, in addition to this programme, they have teamed up with the ALDE Party to host a special fringe debate with a panel of liberal politicians from across Europe.

The fringe, entitled From a European Perspective: is a ‘successful’ Brexit possible?, aims to take a look at Brexit from the oft-forgotten perspective of other European countries. When – or if! – Brexit happens, it won’t just be Britain paying the price. Britain’s exit would constitute a monumental shift for the European Union itself and its member countries.

With a high-level panel that includes a former Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern (Fianna Fail Party), the Foreign Affairs Spokesperson of Polish liberals Nowoczesna, the fastest growing liberal party in Europe, and the Swiss Ambassador, this is bound to be a lively debate.

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Why are Lib Dems trying to find common ground with Eurosceptics?

Tom Brake calls on Eurosceptic MPs to back  Parliamentary Sovereignty screams the press release from LDHQ.  What’s that all about? The Tory hardcore aren’t going to listen to a damn thing a Lib Dem says. Not while the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Basically, he’s saying to them – you spent the referendum banging on about our Parliament getting its powers back, now it’s up to you to make sure it does.

In a letter to the 21 Brexiteer signatories of this pre-ferefendum missive in the Telegraph who are still MPs, Tom says:

I am writing to you regarding the European Union Withdrawal Bill.

I am sure that we are in agreement that this Bill is of the utmost importance for the future of the UK and its relationship with the European Union. This Bill will affect a wide range of policy areas and lead to the incorporation of hundreds of pieces of EU law into UK law.

It is therefore imperative that Parliament is given full sovereignty and scrutiny over this process. This opinion is widely supported, with the Law Society stating that the Bill ‘must respect parliament’s role in making and approving changes to UK law’ and Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London, stating that the Bill ‘isn’t simply cut and paste’ for transferring EU laws to UK law.

You may remember the letter you co-wrote and signed in the Daily Telegraph on 31st January 2016 regarding parliamentary sovereignty. In this letter you stated, ‘Whatever one’s views on the EU debate, many will agree that parliamentary sovereignty should be the key focus in any renegotiations.’   I am certain therefore that you will agree with me that parliamentary sovereignty should be the key focus also when considering a Bill of such importance to our future outside the EU.  To deny the importance of parliamentary sovereignty in relation to this Bill would be hypocritical and inconsistent with your previous stance.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 36 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg: Summer posturing has done little to advance Brexit

Writing in the Financial Times, Nick Clegg gives his assessment of where we are with Brexit at the moment. He is unimpressed with the Government’s Brexit papers, describing them as technocratic, insubstantial and lacking in leadership. He also sees Labour’s so called great shift on the single market as nothing more than a statement of the obvious.

The EU doesn’t escape criticism either, as he points out that they are being way too rigid on the timetable – but that, as he adds, is something that could easily have been foreseen.

There is a profound misreading among British negotiators of the psychology of their EU counterparts. This is not just the familiar difference in the political styles — the improvised repartee of Westminster versus a more formal and legalistic political culture — it relates to a deeper question: who bears responsibility? Across European capitals, there is a strongly held view that the UK has taken a decision that they wish had not happened, which they do not fully understand, and which they believe will make life harder for everyone. Some are aghast that, at a time when Europe faces US isolationism, Russian belligerence, a refugee crisis and threats from terrorism to climate change, the UK should choose to pitch everyone into an interminable navel-gazing negotiation. Not unreasonably, they believe that the overwhelming onus should be on the UK to explain what it wants from Brexit. Surely, they ask, if Brexiters have spent a lifetime campaigning to quit the EU, they should have developed answers as to how that should be achieved?

He’s not worried about the argument over money. We all knew this would happen and it’ll sort itself out. There are much bigger problems emanating from the Government’s incompetence, though.

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Vince Cable provides road map for “exit from Brexit”

Vince Cable has set out how the process of Brexit could be stopped, saying that there was a “strong possibility” of a further referendum on the facts. The FT has the story from an event they ran this weekend:

In a debate at the FT Weekend Festival held at Kenwood House in North London on Saturday, Mr Cable said: “I think there is more than a possibility that Brexit may never happen.” He added: “The balance of probability is still that it does, but there is a strong possibility of it being stopped because tensions within and between major parties are so large, that one or other may want to let the public decide on the facts whether this is something they want to go ahead with.”

He was speaking after Theresa May’s visit to Japan in pursuit of a trade deal:

The Lib Dem leader said that prime minister Theresa May was struggling to prove Britain could strike good trade deals with non-EU economic powers. “We’ve just seen in the last few weeks how absurd this is,” he said. “The PM has gone off to Japan to negotiate some special trade deal and they have said they would much rather deal with the EU.” Mr Cable said that the government had asked India for a special deal on whisky and financial services, and that India had asked for more visas. “To which said, ‘sorry we can’t, we are trying to keep people out,’ and the Indians said, ‘get on your bike’,” Mr Cable said.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 36 Comments

Lamb: Government failing abysmally on GP target

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Last week a study highlighted that almost a million EU workers could leave the UK after Brexit simply because they “feel less welcome and valued” in the country and in their jobs.

The impact that is going to have on our health service and the wider economy is severe.

Today, it emerged that the Government is going to spend £100 million recruiting GPs from abroad .

More than half of the Government’s 5000 targeted increase in the number of GPs are going to be recruited in this way.  Other health workers will also be sought.

As well as the £100 million, each GP who comes from abroad will cost  taxpayers £1000 per year because of the Immigration Skills Charge. Surely the sensible thing to do would be to exempt the NHS when we need these people so badly. In fact, why have it at all? It seems to me like a silly nonsense to convince the Daily Mail that we’re doing something about immigration.

Norman Lamb said that the whole thing was absurd.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAllan Brame 19th Sep - 10:51pm
    @ Dave Orbison You are wrong to suggest Vince was delivering "negative same old" or that he was not offering hope. Look at this section,...
  • User AvatarDave Orbison 19th Sep - 9:43pm
    Mark - fair point then, I will.
  • User AvatarCllr Mark Wright 19th Sep - 9:02pm
    @Dave Orbison - these are snippets from the full speech, which was much longer. Criticism of May's Tories was a constant theme, and there was...
  • User AvatarJohn Littler 19th Sep - 8:24pm
    PJ, Sovereignty should have been taken apart as an argument. It is not possible to go to the kind of cut yourself off from your...
  • User AvatarSheila Gee 19th Sep - 8:14pm
    “The British just are not that European and the referendum provided an opportunity to demonstrate it.” I would agree with that for the most part,...
  • User AvatarPaul D B 19th Sep - 7:57pm
    It is quite clear that post the referendum, "Leavers" are losing and maybe are now close to having lost the arguement. The facts are clearly...