11 June 2019 – today’s press releases

Regular readers may wonder where this feature disappeared to over the past week or so. The answer, North Macedonia and Georgia, and fascinating both countries were too. But there’s always a point where you have to come home…

Davey: MI5 revelations “a shocking breach of civil liberties”

Responding to today’s High Court hearing over MI5’s collection and storage of bulk data, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

These revelations represent a shocking breach of civil liberties by one of the agencies tasked with safeguarding them.

The Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed giving MI5 powers to collect bulk communications data, and the serious issues raised by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner show that we were right to do so.

Parliament needs to look again at the surveillance powers we give MI5 and other agencies, and roll back laws that unnecessarily erode privacy and liberty.

May’s hostile environment undermines fight against modern slavery

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech on modern slavery at the International Labour Organization, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable said:

Critical to tackling modern slavery is scrapping the hostile environment policies the Prime Minister has pursued, which make it far too hard for victims to come forward.

A central register of businesses’ modern slavery statements is a welcome but too-limited development. The Government must require those statements to include actual measures to deal with slavery – something the law currently doesn’t do.

And until enforcement agencies are given the resources they need to conduct proactive inspections, far too many people will continue to be exploited.

Net zero target made harder to achieve with Brexit

Responding to Theresa May’s announcement that the UK will today table legislation to set a target for net zero carbon emission by 2050, Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Climate change is a threat that doesn’t start and stop at international borders. It is therefore disappointing that in her last days in Downing Street Theresa May still doesn’t have the real ambition our country needs; to push the UK towards being net zero by 2045 with interim and transparent targets. We must demand better.

By stopping Brexit we can ensure the UK continues to be a leader on climate change in the European Union. Through working with our European allies we can set higher EU standards, increase investment in energy efficiency as well as introducing an EU wide ban on fracking and a binding international treaty to end plastic waste.

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