Tag Archives: brexit

Senior Liberal Democrats respond to Theresa May’s hard Brexit

We brought you Tim Farron’s response to Theresa May’s announcement that Britain is seeking reckless isolation, but what have other Liberal Democrats been saying about it.

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder:

This government’s pursuit of a hard Brexit and pulling Britain out of the Single Market will mean losing so much more than just free trading arrangements.

Theresa May’s hard Brexit will strip future generations of the life-changing opportunities to travel, work and study across Europe.

Millions who voted both Remain and Leave on 23rd June don’t endorse this extreme version of Brexit. It must be the people who have a say on any final Brexit deal.

The EU referendum left Britain deeply divided and it seems Theresa May is intent on stoking further discord and division.

Sooner or later this Conservative Brexit government will realise that it cannot govern for only those who endorse Nigel Farage’s vision for Europe.

 

Paddy Ashdown:

Willie Rennie: The Conservatives are hell bent on a hard Brexit that nobody voted for

Nick Clegg:

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“A slightly erratic grip on the truth sometimes….” Who was Nick Clegg talking about

An interesting interview with Nick Clegg appears on the Huffington Post. Watch the video clips here to find out his views on Russia, the dynamics of President Trump and what he refers to as “Brexit by Daily Mail.”

He also outlines what he would have brought to the Remain campaign and is pretty caustic about George Osborne and David Cameron.

The answer to the question in the headline is Michael Gove, most recently pictured doing a very obsequious thumbs up next to Donald Trump. Listen to find out what else Nick thinks the two have in common.

And, of course, his well …

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Farron: May is leading the UK towards a hard Brexit that was never on the ballot paper

Reacting to Theresa May’s Brexit speech, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

Theresa May is leading the UK towards a hard Brexit that was never on the ballot paper. This is a theft of democracy, a presumption that the 51.9% of people who voted to leave meant the most extreme version of Brexit available.

The BBC reports further remarks from Tim:

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron says Mrs May has adopted “Nigel Farage’s Brexit plan” which is bad news for the UK, accusing the prime minister of “waving the white flag across the white cliffs of Dover” regarding single market exit.

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Brexit Mandate – Theresa May should beware of an expiry date

 

On 23rd June 2016, as we all know, the British people (or at least those who voted) voted to leave the European Union.

This was a significant and historic result, but despite the claims of some, it was hardly decisive. As we remainers are fond of saying, even Nigel Farage said a 52-48 result would not settle the matter – although he seems to have ignored this ever since 24th June.

But more importantly, how long is the result valid for?

51.9 % of votes were for leave, 48.1% for remain. A majority of 1,229,501 sound impressive, but it was less than 3 in every hundred electors. Any MP or Councillor with a majority that small is only too aware that they are in a marginal seat with a tiny majority. It only takes less than 2 in every 100 people to change their mind and the result would be different.

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Farron: There is no democratic mandate for a hard brexit

Tim Farron confirmed that Liberal Democrat MPs will vote against the triggering of Article 50 unless the Government agrees to a referendum on the final deal.

He added that Liberal Democrat peers would submit amendments calling for a referendum.

He was speaking to Andrew Neil on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

Here are ac couple of clips:

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Brexit means…Keeping mum

Brexit means Brexit… The oft repeated mantra has become as synonymous with Theresa May as Major’s “Back to Basics”, Blair’s “Education, Education, Education” and Cameron’s “Compassionate Conservatism”. Like those, the phrase has become something of a joke – not helped by the assonance of the words “Brexit” and “Breakfast”, and the trap this has provided to ministers and commentators alike. So far, so funny, so harmless. Well, not harmless, but there is a world of difference between soundbites and actual policy. Originally “Brexit means Brexit” seemed designed to simultaneously pander to those who want a hard Brexit, whilst leaving the government leeway to work out what to do.

Of course, the official explanation of a lack of policy is that we cannot “reveal our hand” in advance of negotiations. There can be no escaping the whiff of sophistry about this answer – particularly when you consider the conflicting signals from the various departments charged with coming up with some form of coherent plan for those negotiations, preferably before Article 50 itself is triggered. It is patently obvious that no such plan yet exists, and all the while the clock is ticking towards the government’s self-imposed deadline.

If taken at face value, then May’s approach shows a shocking disregard for parliament, and the people. Her original desire to exercise Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50 was but a symptom of a wish to retain control over every aspect of Brexit. I doubt those who voted to “Take Back Control” meant “take back control and hand it to the whoever is selected to lead the Tory party to do with as they wish”. Nonetheless in a few short months we have gone from having a government elected on a manifesto in which they said “yes to the Single Market” to a situation where the new Prime Minister will not now categorically repeat that affirmation.

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Farron: Corbyn’s relaunch shows that Lib Dems are the real voice of opposition

I have to say I do feel for my friends in the Labour Party – those people whose views on many of the issues of the day are not wildly dissimilar to mine. They stuck with Labour through Iraq and the erosion of civil liberties despite feeling uncomfortable with both of these things. And now they are faced with a leadership delivering them at the feet of Theresa May and her Brexiteers.

When you have devoted a huge amount of your life to working for a political party, you have a huge amount of your social and emotional ties wrapped up in it too. It’s not easy to walk away from.

I understand those ties because I feel them for this party, an organisation to which I have devoted more than two thirds of my life.

I wouldn’t ask or expect my friends to leave Labour – although I think most of them could be quite happy in the Liberal Democrats – because that has to be a personal decision for them. I’d welcome them if they did decide to join us and I will certainly find ways to work with them on the issues where we agree, most notably in opposing the Tory/Labour hegemony on Brexit.

This is the biggest thing that this country has done in my lifetime. The shock waves will be felt for generations. The vote was knife-edge close, so the government should have to prove itself at every step of the way by being scrutinised within an inch of its life – ultimately by the people of this country being asked to ratify the Brexit deal or not. Yet the Labour Party under Corbyn has capitulated and given the Tories free rein.

So I won’t be asking my friends in Labour directly to join us. They can make their own minds up about where their future lies. But I do extend an invitation to all those people out there who vote Labour, or who maybe have never been involved in party politics before but who are deeply uneasy about what they see unfolding before them.

Tim Farron this afternoon recorded a short video in which he outlined the two reasons why Corbyn’s relaunch is bad news. Firstly, the obvious Brexit one, but secondly and as importantly, having a Trump on the left is not a good thing. Populism is bad news wherever it comes from.

He also sent an email to Lib Dem members entitled “We’ve got to talk about Jeremy” saying:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 21st Jan - 5:22pm
    Well, after hearing him I was hoping Jeremy Browne was no longer a member!
  • User AvatarSimon Horner 21st Jan - 5:17pm
    The writer of this article poses the crucial question for all of us living in Scotland. "Can we back an independent Scotland as a better...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 21st Jan - 4:47pm
    Moderator's note: We do not publish "part two" or "continued" comments. There is a length limit in order to keep the debates fresh and stop...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Jan - 4:38pm
    Fair enough, Fiona - though you hear all sorts of funny things in Dundee. I don't think independence is a done deal - I do...
  • User AvatarCaron 21st Jan - 4:18pm
    When the public announce menu is made, yes.
  • User AvatarFiona 21st Jan - 4:01pm
    @David, you obviously didn't spend much time in Dundee during the referendum. The idea that Scotland could go fully socialist if independent was one of...