1 February 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Tories failing to act on modern slavery in car washes
  • Lib Dems: Nobody should take lectures from Liam Fox
  • Landmark conviction in fight to stamp out FGM
  • Tories leading us to a Brexit wasteland

Tories failing to act on modern slavery in car washes

The Liberal Democrats have called for urgent action to tackle modern slavery in hand car washes after Conservative Ministers rejected a licensing scheme in their response to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Commission.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Yet again the Tories are failing to take the necessary action to tackle modern slavery, even though Theresa May once called it ‘the great human rights issue of our time’.

Both a committee of MPs and the Government’s own Director of Labour Market Enforcement have called for a trial licensing scheme to prevent car washes exploiting vulnerable people. Conservative Ministers, however, have decided to ignore them. Instead they are leaving it up to the public to choose ‘responsible’ businesses on the basis of a kitemark.

The victims of human trafficking and modern slavery deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must urgently give the anti-slavery authorities the powers and resources they need to inspect car washes and enforce the law.

Lib Dems: Nobody should take lectures from Liam Fox

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake has warned “nobody should take lectures from Liam Fox” ahead of the International Trade Secretary’s speech on reform of the World Trade Organization.

The Liberal Democrat MP branded Liam Fox “hopeless”, given the admission that the UK has yet to finalise agreements to replace nearly every one of the EU existing free trade deals. The EU has nearly 40 trade deals which the UK will need to ‘roll over’ by the 29th March to cope with a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Mr Brake has also called for the International Trade Secretary’s Department to be abolished as the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement, should it pass, leaves Mr Fox’s department with no powers to create its own trade agreements for the foreseeable future.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Fox has clocked up more air miles than the Apollo Lunar module, but has barely a single new trade deal to show for it. May’s deal means he won’t in the future either.

Fox has become an irresponsible embarrassment. Nobody should take lectures from him. It is time Fox was given his P45 and his Department abolished.

Even many Brexiters now admit that Brexit will leave us all poorer. Liberal Democrats demand better. The only serious option left on the table is a people’s vote, with the option to stay in the EU.

Landmark conviction in fight to stamp out FGM

Responding to the reports of the first conviction of female genital mutilation in the UK, former Liberal Democrat Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone said:

We have waited a long time to see a conviction for female genital mutilation. The victim here was just three years old. There is no doubt that this is child abuse and this prosecution makes clear this practice is against the law.

I welcome this prosecution and hope to see other perpetrators of this vile crime brought to justice. Communities in the U.K. will now know that if they commit FGM they will be brought before the courts.

Prosecution is crucially important, but it is vital that the Government work to support those working in the communities to stamp out FGM, ensuring no future generations of girls suffer this crime.

Tories leading us to a Brexit wasteland

Responding to reports that Government officials are preparing to deal with stockpiles of rubbish in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

How many reports of stockpiling and wasteful no deal preparations must we be subject to until the Tory Government agree to take no deal off the table?

The only reason no deal remains an option is because the Prime Minister wants to frighten people into supporting her deal, despite the fact it has already been thoroughly defeated. It is completely within the gift of the Government to rule out no deal as an option.

Rather than irresponsibly running down the clock, Theresa May should be supporting the only viable route out of this chaos which is a peoples’ vote, with the option of remaining in the EU.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

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One Comment

  • It is worth pointing out that the USA is blocking the appointment of new judges to the WTO. If this continues by the end of the year there will be to few judges to hear cases. The WTO will effectively be moribund. So when you hear Brexiteers claiming we will run under WTO rules, ask them how long for, if they just start blathering at you or just look puzzled you can be fairly sure they don’t have a Scooby Doo, but not having a Scooby Doo tends to be a Brexiteers default mode.

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