Tag Archives: guy verhofstadt

Witney could be a turning point for the Lib Dems

The result in the Witney by-election was a substantial swing to the LibDems, jumping from fourth place on 6.8% to second place on 30.2%. Liz Leffman and her team did an outstanding job, and the party was clearly ready to rally to the cause.

Over the next few days there were speculations about what that would mean if replicated at a General Election, with estimates of the number of seats likely to switch from Tory to LibDem put between 26 and 51. The statistician in me is wary of those extrapolations: there are lots of unknowns at by-elections, and British politics is especially turbulent at the moment.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Introducing the new hate figure for the tabloid press…

The European Parliament has appointed its lead negotiator for the Brexit discussions. And it’s someone well known to Liberal Democrats. He announced it on his Twitter this afternoon:

The BBC has this to say about his appointment:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

LibLink: Guy Verhofstadt – David Cameron wants a two-speed Europe


Guy Verhofstadt heads the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament and is the former Prime Minister of Belgium. In the Independent he examines David Cameron’s stance on Europe under the headline “EU referendum: David Cameron should spell it out. He wants a two-speed Europe“. He writes:

This week, or so we are told, the Prime Minister will set out his Christmas list of EU reforms to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk. A broad agreement on the UK’s renegotiation package is envisaged at the December summit of European leaders. There will be battles and setbacks in the weeks to come, but there are reasons to think a deal can be found.

Many in continental Europe strongly agree with David Cameron that the European Union of today is not fit for purpose and is in need of fundamental reform. Most accept that the direction of travel has shifted towards some form of “two-speed Europe”, broadly based around eurozone “ins” and “outs”. And clarifying these two types of membership would surely be progress, compared with the chaotic multi-speed, hotchpotch EU of today. Maybe it is time for Cameron to be explicit and use the expression “two-speed”.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 36 Comments

Guy Verhofstadt tears into Greece/Alexis Tsipras in the European parliament – and the reply

Newshound covered this on Thursday, but here’s a second chance to view Guy Verhofstadt, Member of the European Parliament and leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, telling Alexis Tsipras very precisely and passionately what Greece has to do. It’s a real zinger of a speech (and much better than Nigel Farage’s foghorned nonsense).

If you haven’t seen this, it’s well worth looking at. It’s the one commentary on the Greek situation which, for me, has made real sense:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 27 Comments

Guy Verhofstadt tells it to Greece and the EU like it is

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament, has set out a potential solution to the Greek crisis in an article for Politico. He makes it clear that there are faults on both sides and both sides need to take constructive action to resolve the crisis fairly for everyone.

We are in this mess because the Greeks never made a real reform package, or a clear break with their mistakes from the past. But also because Europe has followed wrong policies — policies of pure accountancy that slowly but steadily choked the Greek economy. Everybody can make the wrong policy choices, but we have been clinging on to them far too long.

He implores people to stop the scaremongering:

Posted in Europe / International and LibLink | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Nigel, was there something you forgot to do?

Nigel farage photo by norbert1As the net migration figures come out today, Nigel Farage has never been far from a tv camera. He’s been on the BBC News Channel. on the Daily Politics, spreading his ill-informed nonsense that we have an open door to half a billion people as if the entirety of Europe was going to pack up and come here to live.

It must have slipped his mind that he was supposed to be in Strasbourg this morning, voting down the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker. He must have also forgotten to take part in the debate on the motion on Monday. The funny thing is, he’s been in Strasbourg this week, lining up to meet the Pope.  UKIP MEPs don’t often trouble the Parliament with their presence, but you would think that Farage would have bothered to turn up to support his own motion! He and others including France’s Front National leader Marine Le Pen had wasted Parliament’s time with the motion which was roundly defeated this morning.

ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt spoke against it in the debate and he didn’t mince his words:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 21 Comments

Antony Hook asks… Juncker nominated as next President of the European Commission – What happens next?

EU flagToday the European Council nominated Jean-Claude Juncker to be the next President of the European Commission. The heads of government of the 28 states voted overwhelmingly for Juncker. Only the UK’s David Cameron (European Conservatives and Reformists) and Hungary’s Viktor Orban (European People’s Party) voted against.

Juncker’s nomination reflects not only the European People’s Party’s status as largest group in the Parliament but also that it supplies more of the states’ heads of government than any other party. The Council’s nominee will go before the Parliament in its plenary, 14-17 …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , and | 33 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Walter 24th Oct - 12:57pm
    Stevan "Then sell it like that, as a re-run of Departure with more detail, instead of pretending and convincing no-one that it’s a destination question....
  • User AvatarMartin 24th Oct - 12:56pm
    Call him what you like (John Peters says 'prat' - evidently oblivious to irony), Tim Farron is right. Apart from objective notification of a "rise...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 24th Oct - 12:49pm
    Michael BG : I could not disagree more. In other Parliamentary by elections there have been poor results, even falls in the vote achieved in...
  • User AvatarMary Reid 24th Oct - 12:44pm
    That pumpkin is quite brilliant!
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 24th Oct - 12:42pm
    Was there an exit poll in Witney? A subsequent analysis would be affected by subsequent news, including the result. A Tory teller in Witney told...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 24th Oct - 12:41pm
    I'm afraid John Peters and wg are demonstrating the sort of one dimensional thinking and courtesy we have come to expect from Brexiteers. The clue's...