12 December 2018 – today’s press releases

So, another day when much has happened, but little has obviously changed. It’s a bit like ‘Waiting for Godot’, in that Brexit is supposedly coming, but never actually seems to turn up…

  • Cable: Conservative spat won’t resolve deepening divisions
  • Agreement Reached Between new First Minister and Kirsty Williams
  • Lamb: Labour’s abstention on cannabis vote ‘deeply depressing’

Cable: Conservative spat won’t resolve deepening divisions

Responding to the reports that the Prime Minister will face a vote of confidence in her leadership, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Theresa May’s deal is a total mess and is the latest backdrop for yet another Conservative meltdown over Europe.

The Leave campaign’s promises clearly cannot and will not be delivered, and the Conservatives are now engaging in a self-indulgent internal spat which won’t resolve their deepening divisions.

Theresa May should now show real leadership in calling a People’s Vote, to break the deadlock, with an option to remain in the EU. It is the way forward out of this mess.

Agreement Reached Between new First Minister and Kirsty Williams

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have announced that an agreement has been reached between Education Secretary Kirsty Williams and new First Minister Mark Drakeford.

The agreement affirms both parties’ commitment to the 2016 Progressive Agreement and its shared priorities. Alongside noting the significant progress made since Kirsty Williams became Education Secretary, the agreement also unveils new education policies and reforms that will be implemented over the coming years.

The agreement recognises the distinct identities and policies of each party, while allowing each party to on occasion express different positions on reserved matters. This has previously happened on certain occasions regarding UK/EU relations.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

The Welsh Liberal Democrats and I are proud of the work Kirsty is doing within the Welsh Government to implement Welsh Lib Dem policies and improve the lives of people across Wales.

Kirsty has already delivered many of the transformational policies contained in the first progressive agreement, including increasing funding for disadvantaged pupils, increasing the supply of affordable housing and delivering the most generous and progressive student finance system in the UK.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have a proud tradition of delivering for our communities and this agreement does just that.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Secretary Kirsty Williams commented:

I am pleased to reach this agreement with the new First Minister today. This agreement allows us to build on our achievements over the last two years and to continue on our national mission of raising standards, reducing the attainment gap, and delivering an education system that is a source of national pride and public confidence.

Lamb: Labour’s abstention on cannabis vote ‘deeply depressing’

Responding to the narrow defeat of his Cannabis (Legalisation and Regulation) Bill yesterday, in which Labour MPs were whipped against supporting the legislation, former Health Minister Norman Lamb said:

While it was sadly predictable that the Conservatives would block reform of our harmful and outdated drugs laws, it was deeply depressing to see the vast majority of Labour MPs sit on their hands and abstain.

It underlines the hypocrisy of Labour’s claim to offer a radical, progressive alternative to the Conservatives. The truth is that Labour remains a deeply small-c conservative party in many respects, driven by tough rhetoric and a tendency to ban what it doesn’t like rather than following the evidence. I applaud those MPs who voted in support of the Bill and strongly encourage others to reconsider.

The war on drugs has been an unmitigated failure, leaving young people vulnerable to dangerous strains of cannabis sold by dealers who have absolutely no interest in their welfare.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party calling for a pragmatic, evidence-based approach to cannabis which focuses on protecting public health. Only by legalising and regulating cannabis can we minimise the harms of this drug and protect the well-being of our children and young people.

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3 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 13th Dec '18 - 11:45am

    I am reluctant to criticise Norman Lamb on this subject, but whatever Labour MPs did, the reality is that the problem is getting worse, much worse. It is not confined to cannabis, which is partially about newish, and much stronger, forms of cannabis. It is also about new, and totally artificial, forms of dangerous drugs. Reportedly manufacturers in China are developing new drugs quickly to circumvent existing laws. This is presumably outside clinical trials, which would normally be intended to establish safety, or, at least, to document the limitations and risks of adverse consequences. These new drugs are presumably intended for export only and might imply a revenge for the opium wars, or a de-centralised form of capitalism under a nominally communist government.
    The USA is negotiating with China, but has not reported yet in any detail on what the negotiations have achieved. They might include intellectual property rights, so that US-based companies can make more money, but USA has its own problems with these drugs to an extent that their national economy is undermined to an important extent and it is not yet clear that the current US President has options which are politically acceptable to his electoral base or his own prejudices.

  • Richard Underhill 13th Dec '18 - 11:56am

    Well done Kirsty in coalition with Labour in Wales. Hopefully she is not alone. Hopefully the Liberal Party in Wales is well aware of the lessons from many parties in European democracies, (most of whom have electoral systems of proportional representation, although Wales does for the devolved assembly). The smaller party in a coalition tends to lose out at a subsequent election/s. It is therefore vitally important to get political thanks for Lib Dem actions and achievements.

  • Richard Underhill 13th Dec '18 - 11:57am

    Typo, sorry. delete Liberal include Liberal Democrat.

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