Tag Archives: eu referendum

EU Referendum: Don’t forget to register to vote and other musings

Ballot boxOn 23 June 2016, Britain will face one of the greatest electoral questions of this decade. Voters will be asked to decide whether or not they wish to see the UK remain in the European Union.  Yet as this crucial election draws ever-nearer, there is an important issue which must be contemplated: registering to vote.

The deadline to register to vote for the referendum is midnight, 7 June. The party-neutral Bite The Ballot (of which Lord Roberts is Honorary President) is running an innovative #TurnUp campaign in the week approaching this deadline. I urge everyone to support this cause. It’s vital to ensure that the 30% of young people missing from the roll are able to have their say.

Regardless of how you choose to vote, it is crucial that all eligible voters turn up to vote and have their say on the future of Britain’s membership of the EU. That said, Lib Dems have adamantly chosen to become the party of remaining ‘IN’ the Union. Our party chooses this path because it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s the smart thing to do. 

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Farron: Brexit threatens farmers and consumers

Tim Farron was in the west country yesterday.

He went to Yeovil for a spot of EU referendum campaigning:

While he was there, he visited a dairy farm whose owner is keen to remain in the EU.

Tim said:

Brexit is a real threat to our farming industry, and the many families that rely on exports for their livelihoods.

Our free access to 500m customers is invaluable, with 73% of UK agricultural and food exports going to the EU. Leaving would hit jobs and devastate rural communities.

The survival of rural businesses – and the precious environment they protect – is a fragile thing, and should not be put at risk by leaving.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Beware the brash bluff and bluster of the Brexit sharks

Nick Clegg has taken prominent Leave campaigners to task over their recent pronouncements in his latest Standard column:

He draws an analogy from the iconic tv programme Happy Days:

As the writers of the TV show Happy Days approached their fifth season they were running out of ideas for storylines. So, in the season premiere, they sent the Fonz to Los Angeles where, in a bid to prove his bravery, he put on a pair of water skis and jumped over a shark.

That moment spawned a phrase — “jumping the shark” — which is used to describe the moment when something is taken too far, loses all credibility and makes everyone involved look silly.

In recent weeks, the Brexit campaign has jumped the shark.

He then looks at the wilder pronouncements of Boris, Farage and Penny Mordaunt before turning on an old adversary of his, Dominic Cummings. Nick and Cummings have some pretty serious history. I doubt that they are on each others’ Christmas card lists.

Dominic Cummings, a senior figure in Vote Leave, has suggested that those who believe we should remain in the EU are like the appeasers of the 1930s. Wearing the slightly crazed look of someone who jumps sharks for a living, Cummings told the Commons Treasury Committee that the “conventional wisdom” of today is as misguided as it was then. The fixation with the Nazis among Brexiteers is as historically illiterate as it is revolting.

Cummings has asserted that the Cabinet Secretary, Jeremy Heywood, is running an intimidation scam out of the Cabinet Office, threatening people to toe a pro-European line. I saw the Cabinet Office at work for five years. It is a slightly herbivorous part of the government machine. The notion that it is the Whitehall equivalent of the Sopranos is laughable.

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ICYMI: Shirley Williams speaking on the EU at the National Liberal Club

On Monday, Shirley Williams came out of retirement to give a speech on why Britain should remain in the EU at the National Liberal Club.

The party made very good use of Facebook Live to broadcast the event – and you can watch the speech again here.

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Competition: How has the EU helped your area?

Dunfermline Liberal Democrats have come up with a way of highlighting how every town has benefitted from Britain’s membership of the EU. As you are out and about, keep your eyes peeled for signs that show that projects have been funded by the EU. Tweet them to @dunflibdems and whoever provides the most will get “a fantastic prize.”

This is the brainchild of local member Aude Boubaker and it’s a great way of understanding how the EU affects our daily lives.

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The dark side of Leave upsets even the Mail on Sunday

On Friday, the official Leave campaign released a deeply unpleasant video suggesting that Turkey is on the brink of joining the EU. Lib Dem Peer Meral Hussein-Ece was horrified:

This is more desperation from Brexit and Project Fear. This is a xenophobic attack from a leave campaign that knows it is losing the debate. Stigmatising Turkey and the people who live there is a dangerous move which comes from the propaganda playbooks of 100 years ago.

One of the great things about the EU is that it encourages us to work together; instead the leave campaign are offering a world of division and distrust. This is not a future we should be fighting for.

Boris Johnson knows that Turkey won’t be joining the EU any time soon; they have been a candidate since 1987 and have only met one target of the 36 stipulated by the EU. Yet again Boris has recklessly made up new ‘facts’ on the spot.

You have to wonder if there’s a myth that Boris won’t promote in the run-up to the referendum, from the bogus £350 million a week figure to his bizarre comments that you can’t buy bananas in bunches of more than three.

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ICYMI: Tim on Question Time

Tim Farron was on Question Time the other night and was everything you would want a Liberal Democrat to be – positive, optimistic, passionately internationalist and pro-NHS, progressive and practical.

Here is why he is voting to Remain:

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