Tag Archives: vince cable

Lord Malcolm Bruce writes… Liberalism revitalised

I want to respond to the challenges issued by Paddy and Vince during our conference.

Paddy said the party was “intellectually dead.” Vince said our position on another referendum was disrespectful to the electorate.

Let me take on Vince first. We and our predecessors supported UK membership of the European Community from its inception. The SDP was created largely because of Labour’s equivocation over British membership. We campaigned unstintingly for Remain and we remain convinced that the UK ‘s interests are best served by being a key member of the European Union.

Yes, by a narrow margin the country voted Leave but we have not changed our view and, given that there is no clear idea of what kind of relationship people want – in or out of the single market – let alone the hundreds of cooperative agreements built up over the last 43 years.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 76 Comments

Tim and Vince write for the Times on the need for ministers to provide leadership on Brexit strategy

Tim Farron and Vince Cable have written for the Times’ Red Box website setting out what they think should happen in negotiations with the EU and in economic strategy as we face a self-induced Brexit recession.

As Nick Clegg said before the referendum, so called Project Fear was understating the impact Brexit would have. We are also suffering a void of leadership and some very unrealistic thinking from the Brexit camp who, as we discovered, didn’t really have a plan.

We can’t hang about, they say:

Business and investors won’t wait around forever to see leadership.  Many first tier organisations will simply pack their bags and go unless they see a path ahead.  Meanwhile our smaller businesses, and particularly those in high risk/ high innovation sectors will feel the squeeze as bank lending dries up as it did in 2008.

Two things need to be done. You get the feeling this was filed before yesterday’s extraordinary events:

The first can only be done by leaders of Leave – those who wish to lead us into the new unknown – and in particular, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.  They must now show his vision for the UK and provide a clear plan for Britain’s relationship with the EU.  To reassure the market they, and other potential prime ministers, need to make clear that membership of the single market is the priority ask for any negotiations.  Businesses need to know that, whatever else, their key relationships will not have to fundamentally change.

It will require real leadership, rather than populist platitudes.  It may mean securing a deal which pleases no one and does not address many of the concerns raised by leave voters about immigration and freedom of movement.  Leading is about making choices, it’s now time for Boris and Gove to tell us theirs.

The second urgent priority must be the responsibility of the current government.  There is now every likelihood of a Brexit recession.  If the government acts now, by abandoning its already unnecessary financial straitjacket and allowing capital investment and stimulus support to flow into precarious parts of our economy, we might avoid the worst impacts on jobs and livelihoods. The economy could be stimulated through the Network Rail Capital Project and local authorities being allowed to borrow to build houses. The £250bn the governor of the Bank of England has put aside could be put into the Funding for Lending and the Regional Growth Fund.

Of primary concern must be our most innovative industries.  Those businesses on the cutting edge are likely to see funding from traditional financial institutions dry up as banks revert to their core business model.  Giving serious financial help and stability to these industries is vital to ensure their long term future in the UK.

The British Business Bank, set up by the Lib Dems in Government, is a crucial part of the support for business that’s needed:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 14 Comments

Vince Cable: European single market represents a British vision of an open Europe

Britain has attracted the world’s top companies to invest here, creating jobs, on the basis of access to the European single market. That’s what Vince Cable told an audience in Bristol earlier this week. Far from being an invention of straight-banana obsessed bureaucrats, the EU represents a British vision of an open Europe, he added. Here is his speech in full.

It is great to be here in Bristol celebrating the best in British manufacturing with the leaders of our top manufacturing companies.

Manufacturing still provides half of our exports, three quarters of scientific innovation and two and a half million relatively

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Liberal Democrats for Free Trade

Vince Cable at Social Liberal Forum conference 19th July 2014 - photo by Paul Walter

In my view, trade benefits all countries. It spreads technology and good practice; it stimulates competition and rejuvenates economies.

Vince Cable, less than six months after being appointed Business Secretary, said that back in 2010 as he welcomed the EU-South Korea trade agreement.

Liberal Democrats should loud and proud make the case for Free Trade.

It ought to be inconceivable that we have to have this argument again.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 69 Comments

GCHQ apologises to gay people

 

The boss of GCHQ has apologised for banning gay people from working for the organisation right up until the 90s. Robert Hannigan was speaking at a conference run by Stonewall, when he referred to a spy called Ian who was sacked in the 1960s for being gay.

After seven years of exemplary service, with very strong prospects for the future, he was interrogated on suspicion of being homosexual, he was summarily dismissed and escorted out of the building. He got no support from anyone in authority at all, even his union, and no-one ever followed up to check on his well-being or to show any compassion. Not surprisingly, his health suffered and the psychological effects of that humiliation were long-lasting.

… Their suffering was our loss and it was the nation’s loss too because we cannot know what Ian and others who were dismissed would have gone on to do and achieve.

Whenever a group of people are excluded from areas of employment and expertise for reasons that have nothing to do with their competence, then we have to ask what could have been achieved if they had been included in the pool of talent. There is always the question about ‘what might have been’ if the organisation had been completely free to choose the best candidates for a job.

What caught my eye, though, were the references to Alan Turing in Hannigan’s speech:

But in our building he is revered as a genius, as a problem-solver who was not afraid to think differently and radically – an example to others. And in the horrifying story of his treatment, a small ray of light is that he was not abandoned by all of his colleagues at GCHQ – many stood by him and our then Head of Cryptanalysis – chief code breaker – testified at his trial.

… We did not learn our lesson from Turing.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

LibLink: Vince Cable makes the case for TTIP and free trade

Vince Cable, who was involved in negotiations over the proposed EU-US trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, in his role as business secretary, has been writing about the issue, and that of free trade more generally.

Vince first summarises the rationale for TTIP:

The European Commission has prioritised a bilateral agreement with the USA: TTIP, which is proving a source of unexpected controversy, although negotiations are still at an early stage. The underlying objective is to apply, on a transatlantic basis, the same approach that helped to create the EU Single Market. Since, as within the EU, tariffs and quotas are no longer a major issue the emphasis has been on preventing differences in standards, mainly technical, acting as a barrier to trade. There are, for example, different specifications for seatbelt design and testing that make it difficult to export in both directions. In effect, a different production line is required to sell into the USA, which can be prohibitive, especially for low volume manufacturers.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 41 Comments

Tim Farron on tax: “We must not miss this opportunity to change the system”

Tim Farron by Paul WalterTim Farron has written a note about tax on his Facebook page. As party leaders publish their tax returns, (including Willie Rennie, that’s 5 minutes of your life you won’t get back if you choose to read this unremarkable document), he says that it’s actually the system you need to change. He’ll publish his in the next few days, but that is not really the point. Here are his comments in full:

The politics of envy helps no-one, but trust in politics does.

I have no desire to poke around in the Prime Minister’s private wealth, and definitely have no desire to force him to relive the pain of losing his father, having to confront that time all over again through the pages of national newspapers.

It is absolutely essential that British people have full confidence in our leaders, and that when decisions are made and Budgets are written there is not even a slightest hint of a conflict of interest or personal gain. But we are now in a position where people no longer have complete faith in this Government’s decisions.

Trust in politics and our ability to get things done is taking another hammering. It’s an poor indictment of our political system that the demand is now so great for the public to see politicians’ tax affairs. Are we now in a world where there is an assumption that a politician is doing wrong, or is playing the system?

Posted in LibLink and News | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRoland 5th Dec - 2:18am
    "There is a window of opportunity available to any party which has been the most pro remain at the point Brexit is shown to be...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 5th Dec - 12:36am
    I've made my fair share of complaints at the time and after one time receiving a response I felt was unsatisfactory I began to support...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 5th Dec - 12:21am
    The odd thing to me is why so many in our party have such slavish loyalty to institutions, a very statist left or conservative right...
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 5th Dec - 12:04am
    I find the other Sarah's post entirely confusing. Goldsmith's big issue was Heathrow. He lost. So was that because Richmond Park voters didn't agree with...
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 4th Dec - 11:55pm
    I think Goldsmith's cult of personality had worn a bit thin.
  • User AvatarRoger Roberts 4th Dec - 11:39pm
    Liberals have been massive supporters of the BBC. . Lib Dems WON the Richmond Park by election yet this last Thursday's Question Time awaiting the...