Tag Archives: research

Three Freedoms: the campaigning priorities for Brexit

The upcoming Brexit negotiations will be difficult for Liberal Democrats to watch. The vast majority of us campaigned to remain, and even those who voted to leave will, I imagine, be nervous at the prospect of an authoritarian Tory leader, probably without a specific mandate from the electorate for her party to run these negotiations, having so much power over what Britain’s negotiating position is to be.

As a parliamentary party, our lack of numbers will make it hard for us to get our message across when we’re needed the most. This is a time we as members and supporters are perhaps needed more than usual; to directly protest, write letters, persuade our fellow citizens, and hold the government to account from outside Westminster in support of our representatives inside.
Creating unambiguous messages to send to government on such a complex problem with such diverse viewpoints is difficult, and much ink has been and, I’m sure, will continue to be spilt on the subject. Today I just want to outline an idea of one specific strategy we could take, which I’m dubbing the “three freedoms” principle, as an attempt to boil down the terrifying complexity of the EU negotiations to something rather punchier.

Essentially, my view is that in the negotiations (setting aside the upcoming struggles on eg working rights and environmental protection which are likely to devolve to Westminster) there are three key things to secure.

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Can you help with a research project about civic participation in London next week?

From the LDV inbox this week, a request from Jorge Miguel, a research student at University College London’s Institute of Education for volunteers to help him with a study he is carrying out about civic participation:

The research aims to explore the reasons for participation in civic and political groups and it is based on interviews to people involved in different civic or political groups. With this purpose, I would like to interview three people who collaborate with your organization in a voluntary basis (not being paid for it). The views of the people participating in the interview are not thought to represent the view of the organization, just the personal stories and reasons of each person to get involved in a particular organization.

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Opinion: EU Invests €22 billion in Research and Innovation

The European Commission is set to invest large amounts into research and development to create well paid jobs and generate sustainable economic growth and boost Europe’s competitiveness across a range of key sectors which also aim to improve our quality of life.

Over the next 7 years a partnership between the European Commission, member states and industry will invest €22 billion in innovative medicines, aeronautics, bio-based industries, fuel cells and hydrogen and electronics. With the aim of generating high quality jobs across the EU covering these sectors through public-private partnerships called Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs).

The EU has seen its main competitors …

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An apology to Dr Vince Cable

In what will likely be my last political outing for a while, I got the train to Cheltenham recently for a talk by the Business Secretary, Dr. Vince Cable. It was hosted by Cheltenham Ladies’ College, organised by the impressive local Liberal Youth branch and attended by some exceedingly bright young students.

As expected, the Business Secretary spoke with the lucidity, insight and maturity which characterises his style of politics. He detailed the origins and consequences of the 2008 financial ‘heart attack’ – in terms even I could understand – to a packed room …

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Julian Huppert MP writes: promoting innovative science and technology, safeguarding NHS data for research

Science and research are absolutely key to our economy, both now and in the future. That’s why I and others have been pressing the Coalition Government to protect the £4.6 billion revenue budget for science and research programs. And we’ve managed more; since January, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has announced £495 million of investment in capital projects to maximize our research capacity.

This funding is extremely welcome. But it is how this money is spent – not just how many millions are pumped into the economy – which will determine whether the economy recovers and whether we will be …

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Opinion: Lynne Featherstone’s defence of evidence-based translational medicine is welcome


The sparsely-attended adjournment debate on Wednesday secured by Conservative MP David Amess, saw a rare thing – a genuine discussion based around the merits of peer-reviewed scientific research and a robust defence of an evidence-based approach to translational medicine from Lib Dem Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone. For a biology nerd interested in the application of scientific knowledge to public policy it had all the ingredients of a pre-Christmas gift – I can fully recommend the Hansard transcript for a full picture (yes, I am that sad…).

Mr. Amess has some track record of Parliamentary campaigning against animal cruelty, …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

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  • User Avatarpaul barker 21st Oct - 3:37pm
    This was a seat where we got 1% less than our Average vote share, I think if we got 31% in 2020 most of us...
  • User AvatarPaul Kennedy 21st Oct - 3:19pm
    Labour voters I met in Witney were absolutely convinced they were going to win, and that Lib Dems would struggle to beat UKIP. I suspect...
  • User AvatarTim13 21st Oct - 3:06pm
    Dav You speak of "values voters prioritise above finance". I am sure that is true of some voters. But I think where your thinking goes...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 21st Oct - 3:04pm
    It is clear that in the last 10 days Labour put in a big effort to shore up their vote in Witney. I saw one...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 21st Oct - 2:54pm
    Tonyj Good point, well made.
  • User AvatarChristopher Haigh 21st Oct - 2:45pm
    Tim Farron got a crude expression of disgust from the sad man on a train on 'This Week' last night which actually made Andrew Neil...