Tag Archives: tom brake

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 | 32 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

LibLink: Tom Brake: The Westminster Attack was an assault on democracy, let it not be an assault on freedom too

Tom Brake wrote for The House magazine about the threats to civil liberties in the wake of the Westminster attacks. He said that the appropriate response to the horror was:

What the attacker sought to do in his rampage was to instil fear and division, erode our democracy, shake confidence in our institutions and rupture our way of life. Our response must be more unity, more democracy, and steadfast humanity in the face of evil. We must always counter hate with love. We will remain open, tolerant and united.

The article was written before Amber Rudd effectively conceded that she had been talking rubbish about encryption, but he highlighted why that was a bad idea and went on to talk about how the sweeping powers the Government had given itself could be absued in the wrong hands:

The bigger issue, of course, is this will not be effective. The 2015 Paris attacks were planned on non-encrypted burner phones, and the attackers were known to the authorities. The issue was the lack of police resources to track potential criminals, not the lack of access to encrypted messages. And drowning our intelligence services in a mountain of irrelevant data is unlikely to help, as the Danes recently discovered.

The Snooper’s Charter was a startling overreach when it was voted through last year, and this would be a horrifying extension of it. Few of us would give the government a key to our house to look through our drawers without a court warrant, and we must be careful to treat our online belongings with the same respect.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Tom Brake on human rights in Saudi Arabia

Tom Brake has written a letter to the Prime Minister urging her to raise human rights issues in her meeting with Saudi Arabia.

Here is the letter:

Dear Theresa,

I am writing in advance of your visit to Saudi Arabia tomorrow, to ask you to raise urgently with the regime a number of serious human rights concerns.

1. The targeting of civilians in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition
According to the United Nations, over 7,600 people have been killed and 42,000 injured since fighting began in March 2015, the majority in airstrikes led by the Saudi coalition. The conflict and a blockade imposed by the coalition have also triggered a humanitarian disaster, leaving 70% of the population in need of aid, including millions on the verge of famine.

The Saudi coalition, in contravention of humanitarian law, has repeatedly targeted civilians, including at funerals, weddings and in market places.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Brake: Great Repeal Bill is the biggest power grab since Henry VIII

There is a certain arrogance about naming a piece of legislation “great”  before it is even enacted. The Government has today revealed how it will legislate to get rid of those pesky bits of European law that the Tories hate so much. You’ll hear a lot about “Henry VIII powers.” This is what the Parliament website says about them:

The Government sometimes adds this provision to a Bill to enable the Government to repeal or amend it after it has become an Act of Parliament. The provision enables primary legislation to be amended or repealed by subordinate legislation with or without further parliamentary scrutiny.

Such provisions are known as Henry VIII clauses, so named from the Statute of Proclamations 1539 which gave King Henry VIII power to legislate by proclamation.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Tom Brake’s speech in the Article 50 debate

The final Liberal Democrat contribution in the Article 50 debate came from Tom Brake. We have published all the others as it is important for us all to be aware of what our MPs did and said on this most momentous of decisions.

I hope that I am wrong, but I believe that the decision that the country took on 23 June will result in the biggest self-inflicted wound since our disastrous intervention in Iraq. That wound is festering and it will leave the UK permanently economically weaker, even after it has healed. I believe that, when Members of Parliament believe that a course of action is going to be a catastrophe, they have a duty to harry, assail and oppose the Government, not to acquiesce.

I respect those who voted to leave. They had, and have, genuine grievances about a lack of jobs or education prospects, and concerns about the changes they see in our society, including concerns about immigration. The Brexiteers claimed that leaving the EU would address those concerns by stopping the cancellation of urgent hospital operations—paid for, presumably, by the tsunami of cash that was going to come to the NHS post-Brexit—improving teacher shortages in our schools and boosting housing supply. It will not do any of those things. In fact, it will make them worse. I doubt that even the leave campaign’s most prominent pledge, to reduce immigration substantially, will be achieved. Why would it be? After all, the Prime Minister has spent many years seeking to reduce the level of non-EU immigration, and nothing changed there.

What leaving the EU will do with certainty is diminish us as a nation and reduce our influence and international standing. That has already happened. Brexit has forced our Prime Minister, a born-again hard-line Brexiteer, to line up with Trump—indeed, to walk hand in hand with him. While European leaders and Canada condemned his Muslim ban, our Prime Minister’s initial response was to say, “Not my business.” Worse, she immediately offered him, with indecent haste, a state visit—far quicker than any other US President—which I am sure had absolutely nothing to do with her desperation to secure a trade deal, any deal, with the protectionist Trump.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments
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    I would have preferred a better description of yourself Holly – from the USA who has lived here for 10 years and is married to...
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