Tag Archives: tom brake

Tom Brake: Lib Dems will fight to keep citizens’ rights to sue the government

One of the things that worried me most about Brexit before the referendum was that it would lead to an erosion of the rights that we have as citizens to hold our Government to account.

In any civilised society, citizens must have the right to sue the Government. Governments make mistakes but are not very good at owning up to them or fixing them. Anyone who has worked as an MP’s caseworker will have seen shocking examples of this.  Sometimes the only way to sort things out is through the courts.

It seems that the not-so-great Repeal Bill is repealing that right. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

“Very good” Lib Dem statement on EU-Japan trade deal

The Lib Dems were praised today by Politics.co.uk editor Ian Dunt over shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake’s comments on the Brexit Bill.

Tom said:

Last year the Government estimated that an EU-Japan Free Trade Deal  could be worth £5 billion annually to the UK economy – roughly £200 per household. Sadly, by the time the agreement with Japan gets fully ratified, it is very likely the UK will be out of the EU.

Despite a change in public opinion,

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Tom Brake’s quiet revolution – but there’s so much more that should change about the Commons

Tom Brake achieved a bit of a baby step towards the 21st Century for MPs this week when he had the audacity to ask a Minister a question while not wearing a tie. Heaven forfend!

Conservative MP Peter Bone grassed him up to the Speaker and asked if the rules had changed. John Bercow replied that as long as the attire was “business-like” it was fine. No tie was necessary.

 So far as the Chair is concerned, I must say to the hon. Gentleman, although I fear this will gravely disquiet him, that it seems to me that as long as a Member arrives in the House in what might be thought to be business-like attire, the question of whether that Member is wearing a tie is not absolutely front and centre stage. So am I minded not to call a Member simply because that Member is not wearing a tie? No. I think there has always been some discretion for the Chair to decide what is seemly and proper. Members should not behave in a way that is disrespectful of their colleagues or of the institution, but do I think it is essential that a Member wears a tie? No. Opinions on the hon. Gentleman’s choice of ties do tend to vary, and it has to be said that the same could be said of my own.

This is of course not the first time that Lib Dem MPs have been at the forefront of such change. It was Duncan Hames who took his baby son through the division lobby back in 2014.

So that’s all well and good, but what about addressing some of the bigger issues about the way the Commons operates? There is so much else that needs to change to bring the Parliament closer to the people. Anyone watching the proceedings for the first time would not feel that they had any relevance in the real world.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Momentum builds behind Brexit deal referendum

We shouldn’t assume that our failure to break through in the General Election means that people don’t agree with our policy on a referendum on the Brexit deal.

Polling is consistently showing that a majority of people are coming round to that position. For that reason, it would be unwise for us to ditch it.

A Survation poll carried out less than two weeks ago found that 53% of those who expressed a preference favoured a further referendum.

A poll of Scots for STV similarly showed that 61% of those polled said they wanted to see a referendum on the deal. This is particularly interesting given that 70% didn’t want a referendum on independence at the moment. It is significant, though, that 22% of those want to wait and see what happens with Brexit, so that argument isn’t entirely over.

Over at the Huffington Post, Tom Brake set out the case to continue wth our policy on a second referendum:

I do not agree with the view that we should just remain silent during the negotiating process and accept any deal the Government comes up with. This issue is far too important to give the Government a blank cheque. This is like saying that after a general election we should just accept and rubber stamp all decisions until the next election, without holding the Government to account.

I believe, even more strongly than a year ago, that just as people were able to vote for departure from the EU, they should be given a vote on our destination in our future relationship with the EU.

If the process started with a referendum, why shouldn’t it end with another one?

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Queen’s Speech Round-up: What the Liberal Democrats said about it

The Lib Dem Press Office has issued a veritable storm of press releases in response to the Queen’s Speech today. Here’s a round-up of what our key figures said about their areas of expertise.

Tim Farron looked at the whole speech and was unimpressed:

This slimmed down Queen’s Speech shows a government on the edge.

Having dropped everything from the Dementia Tax to fox hunting I assume the only reason they have proposed a Space Bill is so they can shoot their manifesto into space and pretend it never existed.

People up and down the country are seeing our schools and hospitals in crisis.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 3 Comments

Grenfell Tower fire: Answers, accountability and help are needed

At approximately 00:54 on Wednesday morning an horrific fire was reported at Grenfell Tower in north Kensington, London. Within half an hour the flames were reported to have engulfed an entire side of the building, leaving many people trapped inside. We need answers and to do whatever we can to help the victims and ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Firstly, The Guardian has are some questions that need to be answered:

  • How did the fire start?
  • Why did the fire spread so quickly? Was the recently fitted new cladding at fault?
  • Did the new gas pipes, which were

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 33 Comments

Brake: May and Farage’s claim of an easy post-Brexit trade deal left in tatters

So, for long enough, the Brexiteers have been telling us that the EU would be pretty much begging us for a trade deal and we’d easily get one within two years.

Theresa May said last month that the deal could be done in two years , despite all sorts of evidence to the contrary.

Paul Nuttall said that it would all be so easy.

Well, in a sobering reality check, the European Court of Justice, who make the rules on this stuff, said today that all EU governments and national parliaments would have to agree such a deal. Remember how the Canadian EU deal was held up by a regional parliament in Belgium?

Tom Brake said:

Theresa May and Nigel Farage’s claims of an easy trade deal with the EU after Brexit have been left in tatters.

People don’t have to accept a bad Brexit deal that will mean fewer jobs, higher prices and less money for public services.

The Liberal Democrats want you to have your choice over your future.

You should have your say on the Brexit deal in a referendum, and if you don’t like the deal you should be able to reject it and choose to remain in Europe.

None of this is a surprise to the Liberal Democrat team. Their competent, credible and authoratitve statements have proven time and time again to be correct and Nick Clegg’s Brexit Challenge papers provide a comprehensive and accurate analysis of the complexities of all aspects of the risky course we are being dragged on by an incompetent government that hasn’t got a clue what it’s doing.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 38 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 19th Aug - 5:37pm
    Neil Sandison This article was originally about a new party of the moderate liberal centre but we appear to have become self obsessed on a...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 19th Aug - 5:27pm
    Thomas Then raise tax rates both on property (with a bigger focus on land rather than on development like in Pennsylvania) and income, as well...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 19th Aug - 4:55pm
    She's behind you!
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 19th Aug - 4:55pm
    David Thanks you are right , but it is more that I wake up and...! I like your dialect , only Cheryl Cole can speak...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 19th Aug - 4:52pm
    Peter, exporting countries don't need to spend there surplus on jet engines from RR or on expensive Scotch whiskies. Their sovereign wealth funds, firms and...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 19th Aug - 3:59pm
    September 9th is the day of the Demo against Brexit, I suppose it would make sense to announce any New Party there but unless Chapman...