10 January 2019 – today’s press releases

I’m posting on the fly today, as I’ve allowed myself to become distracted by other things. So, if this posting changes before your very eyes, don’t be surprised… It’s a bit like Brexit in many ways, a kaleidoscope of images, none of which you can ever recreate again…

  • Lib Dems in bid to change asylum seeker employment rules
  • Cable: Moment of reckoning for our economy
  • Cable: No confidence in Govt or Corbyn
  • Lib Dems: We will use “any means possible” to secure proper Brexit debate
  • Lib Dems call for Venezuelan President to step down
  • Blackwood appointment shows Tories ignoring demands for House of Lords reform

Lib Dems in bid to change asylum seeker employment rules

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine will today introduced a Bill in Parliament which would give asylum seekers the right to work after three months of arriving in the UK.

Currently, asylum seekers in the UK can only apply to work if they have been waiting for than 12 months for their claim to be processed. The conditions are highly restrictive an among the toughest in the western world.

Ms Jardine’s Bill has received cross-party backing, including the Lift the Ban coalition.

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said:

Right now, banning the vast majority of asylum seekers from seeking employment costs the tax payer millions in housing and support payments. It also forces people who have risked everything to come here to live on the very periphery of society.

Being denied the right to work, and to put food on the table for you and your family, is cruel and undignified.

If passed, my Bill would recognise the contribution genuine asylum seekers want to make to our society by allowing them to work after three months of lodging their claim for asylum.

This change would also allow them to learn English faster and integrate into their local communities. For me it’s a no brainer.

On behalf of Lift the Ban, Paul Hook added:

We are delighted to see politicians from across parliament continue to support the Lift The Ban campaign.

We urge the government to listen to these voices – including many from within their own party – and finally give people seeking asylum the right to work and to earn a living.

The majority of the British public think it’s the right thing to do, it would be transformative for people seeking asylum, and the idea is widely supported by businesses nationwide.

Cable: Moment of reckoning for our economy

Responding to reports of job losses at Jaguar Land Rover and the sharp fall in sales during the Christmas trading period, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

With the high street reporting its worst December in a decade and retailers from John Lewis and Marks & Spencer to Debenhams and Sainsbury’s all feeling the pain, it is clear we have arrived at a moment of reckoning for our economy.

The damage isn’t limited to the high street either, with Jaguar Land Rover set to cut 5,000 jobs at sites across the country, and Japanese investors warning about the threat of a Brexit to their operations.

It is beyond doubt that the Conservative Government’s botched Brexit is contributing to this mess. While John Lewis staff look set to miss out on their Christmas bonus this year, the Government could give the whole country an economic boost by giving the people the final say on the deal, with the option to Exit from Brexit.

Cable: No confidence in Govt or Corbyn

Responding to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Liberal Democrats have no confidence in this Conservative Government. But neither do we have any confidence in Mr Corbyn.

In the public interest he needs to get 100 per cent behind a People’s Vote, including the option to remain in the EU.

Lib Dems: We will use “any means possible” to secure proper Brexit debate

Responding to reports Downing Street believes that if May’s deal is voted down, as expected, the Plan B debate outlined under the Grieve amendment will only be 90 minutes long with one amendment, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

This is yet another shameful attempt from Theresa May and her cronies to shut down the right of MPs to debate the unraveling consequences of this Brexit mess.

Clearly the Conservatives have learnt nothing from the last two defeats if they believe Parliament will accept a measly 90 minute debate with only one amendment.

Liberal Democrats demand better. We will use all parliamentary means possible to secure proper debate, including debating a People’s Vote with the option to remain in the EU.

Lib Dems call for Venezuelan President to step down

Commenting on the inauguration of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela for his second six year term, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Jo Swinson said:

Today Nicolás Maduro will be sworn into this second term following an election that was judged neither free nor fair.

With millions fleeing the county due to the economic catastrophe in his first term, and his refusal to even turn up to the Venezuelan Parliament, it is clear why Maduro should reconsider his inauguration. Last week a group of 13 countries in South America declared they would not recognise Maduro’s new six-year term and urged him to step down. We should echo that call.

It is vital that Britain maintains its commitment to human rights and democracy, making clear to the international community we regard these values as universal. Maduro should voluntarily step down and both the Government and the opposition must join me in this ask.

Blackwood appointment shows Tories ignoring demands for House of Lords reform

Responding to the reports that Nicola Blackwood has been given a peerage in the House of Lords, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords Dick Newby said:

With the announcement of another Tory peerage for life, the Prime Minister continues to move away from the proposals set out in the Burns Report which would ensure a fair reduction of numbers in the House of Lords.

The proposed reforms are completely undermined by this appointment. If we are to make serious progress with reform of the House of Lords we need cross-party agreement and, crucially, cross-party commitment.

Our outdated electoral system means that many feel politics does not work for them. It is long overdue that the Conservative Government stopped ignoring demands for reform.

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2 Comments

  • nigel hunter 11th Jan '19 - 12:23am

    Jo Swinson on Question Time had a comment on London Knife crime and the excellent work going on in Glasgow.. Later . Constable mentioned that drugs are one of the problems in knife crime. She missed commenting on our Drugs policy. Would it not be a good idea that if an MP was on Question Time that if one of our policies is relevant to a question that we should use that opportunity to mention the relevant policy?

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