Tag Archives: eu referendum

Farron: Britain deserves better than Tory MPs fighting like rats in a sack

Tim Farron has missed Cameron’s “Deal or no deal” performance today as he’s been away in Manchester and Edinburgh, but he’s been keeping an eye on developments. This is what he had to say:

The Prime Minister’s draft deal means the first stage of the campaign to keep Britain at the heart of Europe and global affairs is complete. Now, the Liberal Democrats will play a leading role in working and campaigning to deliver a ‘Remain’ result that will safeguard our economy.

Next Wednesday we will be launching our Liberal Democrat campaign to keep Britain in Europe. Our unity contrasts with the Tories.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

Farron challenges Scottish Tory Leader over EU Referendum

Way back in September last year, Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson made some positive noises on the idea that Britain should remain in the EU. She’s been pretty quiet since, presumably not wanting to scare the many Eurosceptic horses in her own party. Her Twitter feed was silent on the issue yesterday as news broke of the draft deal

Tim Farron is up in Edinburgh today (and so far the weather is very sunny for him) and, ahead of his visit, he challenged Ruth to take on those in her party who want to take Britain out of the EU.

He said she should stop being scared of her right wing:

In England, the Tories have been hopelessly split on the issue of Europe for a generation. Now it seems that Ruth Davidson is running scared of her right wing in Scotland too.

The Prime Minister has come back with his deal. The phony war is over. It is time for people to take a stand.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Migrants’ benefits debate is a proxy channel for xenophobia in some quarters

“EU referendum: David Cameron wins Theresa May’s backing” – reads the Guardian headline this morning.

Hello? Theresa May is the Home Secretary! It is incredible that her backing for Cameron on this is presented as some sort of surprise. What the Prime Minister does should automatically have the backing of the whole cabinet. Are we saying that there are cabinet ministers who do not support the Prime Minister on his referendum stance?

The cabinet’s support for the PM on a crucial national matter appears to be in question. This is quite an extraordinary state of affairs.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 131 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron: Now the draft plan is on the table, the referendum campaign begins in earnest

Tim Farron has been writing about the announcement of the draft EU settlement over at the Huffington Post. Well, actually, it’s more about the substantive issues of the referendum. His article is exactly the sort of positive voice the campaign needs, giving five reasons for us to remain in the EU:

1. Prosperity: Remaining in works for Britain. Britain is already stronger and better off trading and working with Europe. We are part of the world’s largest single market, allowing British businesses to grow and prosper.

2. Peace: After decades of brutal conflict, European nations came together in cooperation. To this day, neighbours and allies support each other in what remains the world’s most successful project in peace.

3. Opportunity: British people have more opportunities to work, travel and learn than ever before. Staying in Europe gives our children and grandchildren greater prospects, and the best chance to succeed.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 27 Comments

LibLink: Julian Huppert If you’re pro-science, you should be pro EU

There’s not enough Julian in these parts these days, sadly. In May just under 700 votes kept him from continuing as MP for Cambridge and one of the Commons’ few scientific experts. Today, though, he’s written for the Guardian’s Science column, saying that if you are pro-science, you really need to vote to remain in the EU.

Cambridge is massively pro-EU, for many reasons, but he highlights one in particular

The answer I think lies in another special feature of Cambridge: its world leadership in science and technology. We see this in the huge number of Nobel Prizes amassed here, 92 and rising; biomedical success, such as Humira, the Cambridge-developed anti-inflammatory drug that is currently the highest-selling prescription drug in the world; and technology leadership, such as the silicon chips designed by ARM, which now power almost every mobile device in the world. Last year there was as many ARM chips shipped, as there are human arms in the world.

All of this success, from pure research to the most applied technology, from huge global companies to tiny start-ups, benefits from our international connections, and particularly our role in the EU. We get large amounts of funding from the European Research Council – well above our expected share. Overall, about a quarter of the University of Cambridge’s research funding comes from the EU. Our students go on Erasmus exchanges, experiencing life and study elsewhere, and we get many students coming here from around the EU, benefiting from the free movement of people, enriching our cultural, academic and social lives – and spending their money in our city.

It’s not just Cambridge who benefits, though:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Shirley Williams makes her final speech in the Lords

I was out and about yesterday and ended up being marooned in Glasgow and not getting home till late so I missed Shirley’s final speech in the House of Lords. She has been a giant of common sense and wisdom and one of my political heroes from the moment I first realised politics was a thing. This is a speech that you have to watch as well as read for all sorts of reasons, the interaction with David Steel being one, so thank goodness the BBC have provided an embeddable version.

She talks about the great institutions of the BBC, the NHS and the EU and how important they are to our national life. Two of them didn’t even exist when she was born.

Heaven knows she deserves her retirement at 85 and we all wish her well, but we are so going to miss her regular contributions to the Lords. However, it looks like she will be campaigning in the EU Referendum, which is great news as her contributions were one of the very few high spots of the Scottish Referendum on independence.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

Tweets from the campaign trail: Snow edition

All over the country, Liberal Democrats have been campaigning today, some of them in the snow. Here are some of the icy tweets. Thankfully, the reception on the doorsteps was much warmer.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment
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  • User AvatarLorenzo 6th Feb - 1:16am
    P.S. Totally agree it is about supporting candidates too and changing our culture , the hours of parliament do not favour any one wanting any...
  • User Avatarjohn 6th Feb - 1:06am
    A criminal offence for anyone not to report it,routine medical examinations at school with strict liability for parents and mandatory prison sentences.
  • User Avatarmalc 6th Feb - 12:46am
    Last opinion poll I saw for Wales was carried out by You Gov in Dec 15. Lab 35% Tories 23% PC 20% UKIP 15% LibDems...
  • User AvatarLorenzo 6th Feb - 12:36am
    Alex , well said , nobody above dealt with any of the points I raised, I think not standing a candidate means people think we...
  • User AvatarJudy Abel 6th Feb - 12:02am
    I know what I'm going to say won't be very popular, but in all discussion on childcare, no one ever mentions what might actually be...
  • User AvatarTracy 5th Feb - 11:09pm
    Apologies for the typos above. I blame my phone!