13 November 2018 – today’s press releases

We’ve had a deluge of press releases today, perhaps unsurprisingly, given events…

  • Moran: Isolation booths are a symbol of a broken education system
  • Davey: Brexodus already damaging NHS and social care
  • Lib Dems back move to defeat ‘craven’ Govt over FOBT delay
  • Brexit will derail the gravy train
  • Davey: Tory cuts make our borders less secure
  • Both Tories and Labour must be transparent about Brexit mess
  • Layla Moran: Botched Brexit can be stopped
  • Cable: Deal will be torn apart before ink is dry
  • MPs must now let people have final say on Brexit

Moran: Isolation booths are a symbol of a broken education system

Responding to a report by the BBC into the use of isolation booths in schools, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Isolation booths are barbaric, counterproductive and symbolic of a broken education system.

More and more schools are picking up the pieces of local government cuts with increasingly stretched resources.

People do not go into education to isolate pupils and dole out punishments reminiscent of custodial sentences. Government must make more funds available for schools so that behavioural issues can be managed in a proper way.

Davey: Brexodus already damaging NHS and social care

Responding to new official figures showing an unprecedented fall in the number of EU workers in the UK, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Even before we’ve left the EU, we’re seeing a Brexodus that is bad for British businesses and especially bad for our public services.

The NHS is already struggling to hire the doctors and nurses it needs. The social care system is desperately short of workers. And it will only get worse if the Tories take us out of the EU – deal or no deal.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. That’s why we’re fighting to keep the UK in the EU, by giving the people a final say on the deal with the option of an Exit from Brexit.

That will ensure we retain the supply of EU workers that strengthens our public services and our economy, while also retaining the rights of British people to live, work and study elsewhere in the EU.

Lib Dems back move to defeat ‘craven’ Govt over FOBT delay

The Liberal Democrats have today announced they will back a cross-party amendment to the Finance Bill to ensure the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals are introduced within six months.

Speaking ahead of the vote next week, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:

A few months ago I was approached by a mother who was distraught after her son had committed suicide as a result of distress caused by debts that had accrued from compulsive gambling.

There is now a network of grieving relatives who have been brought together by the same dreadful experience. Like them, I want the NHS to recognise gambling addiction as a serious mental health condition. Preventive action is also needed including urgent steps to curb some of the more exploitative practices like high stake fixed-odds betting terminals.

I and the Liberal Democrats will therefore work with others to stop these abusive practices and introduce a crackdown as promised. The Government has been utterly craven in giving in to lobbying from the industry and must now back the cross-party amendment or face defeat.

Liberal Democrat Culture, Media & Sport Spokesperson in the House of Commons, Christine Jardine, added:

Further delays are causing more and more vulnerable people to face financial stress, mental health problems and worse.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Liberal Democrats demand better, which is why we have been calling for the maximum stake to be reduced to £2 for nearly a decade.

The Tories have already taken too long to act, now they are kicking it into the long grass. It simply isn’t good enough.

Brexit will derail the gravy train

Responding to the reports that Premier Foods, who own Bisto, Oxo and Mr Kipling, have said it intends to stockpile raw materials in the run-up to Brexit as fears grow over gridlock at UK ports, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Last week we heard how dangerously close the UK is to not having a secure supply of the critical drugs or medical devices our NHS needs. This week, it is a major British food company which is being forced to make plans to stockpile ingredients to ensure they are ready for any Brexit scenario.

Premier Foods, which own the ‘nation’s favourite’ gravy, are expecting to spend up to £10m on Brexit preparations. This is simply further evidence of how Brexit will harm British businesses.

When the Brexiters spoke of “ending the gravy train”, the public did not expect a dry Sunday lunch. Nobody voted for this chaotic Brexit, people are entitled to a final say on Brexit in a People’s Vote to put a stop to this unnecessary, draining mess.

Davey: Tory cuts make our borders less secure

After an inspection report revealed Border Force staff shortages at British seaports, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey has called on the Government to recruit more officers to secure our borders.

The report by David Bolt, the Government’s Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, details concerns among Border Force officers that the agency is “resourced to fail” and that, due to staff shortages, “the border is not secured by any stretch of the imagination”.

Home Office accounts show that funding for the Border Force has been cut by 8% in real terms since 2015 and the number of officers has been reduced by 7%, from 8,332 to 7,734.

Responding to the report, Ed Davey said:

The Border Force doesn’t have the officers it needs to cope with the pressures it faces now, let alone the extra pressures it will face if we leave the EU.

Despite all their tough talk on immigration, Tory cuts have left our borders less secure, allowing organised criminals to traffic people, weapons and illegal drugs into the UK.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. We will recruit more officers to an accountable, intelligence-led Border Force. That will help to secure our borders, rebuild trust in the immigration system and make our communities safer.

Both Tories and Labour must be transparent about Brexit mess

Following the passing of a motion in the House of Commons today calling on the Conservative Government to publish the legal advice it has received on Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Tory Ministers must now be honest and upfront with the public and make available the final legal advice they have received on Brexit and the Northern Ireland backstop.

But frankly, Labour too have a problem with legal advice. Does their legal advice confirm whether Brexit is stoppable or whether their six tests are legally compatible? The public are entitled to know.

Both parties need to be transparent with the public on what Brexit will actually mean. It will be up to backbench MPs as to whether they blindly follow their shambolic leaderships or support a People’s Vote, including the option to remain in the EU.

Layla Moran: Botched Brexit can be stopped

Today, at the Best For Britain & People’s Vote joint rally, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran will declare that Brexit can be stopped but only through a People’s Vote, with an option for remain.

Full speech – **check against delivery**

Cast your minds back to that summer in 2016. I don’t just mean the vote I mean you. Where were you in your life?

Now think how much has changed? For me the single biggest change is that I was a teacher then, now I’m a member of Parliament.

And what made that happen? We had an election. An election where the country took away Theresa May’s majority and gave her a hung Parliament. The people said: work together, across Parliament, across all parties and deliver something we can all get behind.

But instead what did she do? She reached out to the hardliners in her Party and the DUP. And she’s botched it!

Turns out those hardliner demands weren’t deliverable.So now we face a deal that literally no one really wants.

Ok I admit I never wanted any deal other than the deal we have already. But this deal is a world apart from was promised by the Leave campaign.

This deal leaves us as a vassal state. It strips us of our voice and our seat at the table. If the Leave vote was about taking back control, this deal does the exact opposite.

And now the Government’s panicking. They want us to think that the only two options are no deal or bad deal.

But that’s not true. There is another way.

May’s deal will pale in comparison to what we’ve already got.

This botched Brexit can be stopped. This government has messed this up and they can’t deliver.

But we can stop this mess. Through a people’s vote on the deal with a choice that actually make sense. The bad deal – or the deal we’ve already got.

So this is a call to all those MPs who have yet to speak out. We are on the brink of one of the biggest, most pivotal moments in British history. Join us!

This is a call to all their constituents. If you haven’t written, email them tonight. Tell them what you think. Demand to be heard.

Demand that they do what is right by you and your family and the country and that they must do everything in their power to help avoid this catastrophic deal.

Demand for the people not politicians to be given the final say.

Cable: Deal will be torn apart before ink is dry

Responding to reports that the EU and UK negotiators have agreed the text of the EU withdrawal agreement, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Any Brexit deal will leave the UK weakened and the public poorer.

And before the ink is dry, the Conservative Party will tear into what little Theresa May has been able to agree.

The Prime Minister now faces a defeat in Parliament, as a majority will be hard or impossible to secure for what she has come up with.

A People’s Vote is now the only way to escape from this mess.

MPs must now let people have final say on Brexit

Responding to reports that the EU and UK negotiators have agreed the text of the EU withdrawal agreement, Liberal Democrats Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

No matter the deal, Brexit will hurt the pockets of ordinary people and leave the UK weakened. No one voted for this. No one deserves to be punished because of this Tory Brexit mess.

The Brexiters are now circling around the Prime Minister as the country edges towards chaos. The country deserves better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to a People’s Vote. We have campaigned for it, we have marched for it and we will vote for it. It is time MPs do the right thing and let the people decide.

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10 Comments

  • “The Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to a People’s Vote.”
    Mmmm. Not so much Tom. We have to give the Greens, the SNP and Plaid their due. I think it’s fair to say we were the first and most consistent, but we do the PV campaign no favours at this point by talking down the breadth of support that exists for it.

  • David Evershed 14th Nov '18 - 2:58am

    Still no news on Lib Dem organisation cuts.

    Rumour has it the HQ savings will be partially used to increase region campaign staff. An HQ decision it seems.

    What’s the feeling about this at the grassroots?

  • David Becket 14th Nov '18 - 10:32am

    Nine Press Releases in a day from a small party, six of them on Brexit, none of them saying anything new.
    Whilst I have always argued the party needs to make a lot of noise, this does not make sense. Does anybody think any of these will make it into the media.
    The country is in the biggest mess any of us has seen.
    The time has come for statesmanship, not yet seen from Corbyn, May or us.

    As an outline suggestion we should
    * Call for the Brexit process to be put on hold, and apply to the EU for that to happen.
    * Immediately offer to EU leaders (at least Germany and France) a willingness to start negotiating the reforms needed to curb the rise of the far right (and Brexit)
    * Establish an all party committee to address the issues that caused many sidelined residents to look to Brexit for a solution.
    * Work with industry and the trade unions to produce a Brexit that would work for UK and the EU in the event we restarted the process.
    * Remove unrealistic time tables
    * Stop talking Rubbish, e.g. May’s claim that this was the greatest democratic decision ever is rubbish. If numbers count every general election up to and including 1992 produced a greater turnout than the Referendum.

  • David Becket 14th Nov '18 - 10:39am

    Just an update on the above
    Layla Moran got on the Victoria Derbyshire programme this morning.
    She made sense and came over well, and was reported on the BBC on line news channel.
    How do we get more of this? Make better use of our female MPs? Layla and Christine are both polished media performers!

  • @TonyH

    We ARE the only UK-wide party with more than one MP to support a People’s Vote.

    There is ONLY one way that we are going to get a People’s Vote and that is for the Liberal Democrats to be a growing political force. Feeling our electoral threat then Labour will move towards a People’s Vote. Credit to the 50+ Labour MPs, I believe, that do support a People’s Vote but we need their leadership and the other 200+ Labour MPs to do so. And the ballot box is a great persuader!

    9 out of 10 doctors say that the NHS will suffer under Brexit. Under Brexit there is tens of billions in upfront costs and tens of billions a year in ongoing damage to the UK economy – harming our prosperity and our public services.

    So to those reading this who are not Lib Dems come and join us. To those of us that are Lib Dems, we need to redouble our efforts to build the party!!!

  • @ Michael 1 Are you saying that the non UK wide parties are of no relevance to demands for a second referendum ? In the present parliament they most certainly are relevant.

  • Malcolm Todd 14th Nov '18 - 12:51pm

    Michael 1 14th Nov ’18 – 11:41am
    “We ARE the only UK-wide party with more than one MP to support a People’s Vote. ”

    That’s not what Tom Brake said, though, is it? You’ve just added “UK-wide” and “with more than one MP” in an attempt to make it true. Of course, you didn’t need to add “with more than one MP” to exclude the Greens, since the Scottish Greens are a separate party and Caroline Lucas’s bunch are in fact the Green Party of England and Wales. But then, it’s not really true that the Lib Dems are UK-wide anyway, is it? Northern Ireland is still (just about) a part of the UK…

    In short, if you’re going to be a pedant (which, by the way, don’t), at least get your pedantry right!

  • @David Raw
    Are you saying that the non UK wide parties are of no relevance to demands for a second referendum ?

    No! I clearly welcome EVERY MP who supports a People’s Vote – SNP, Labour, Tory, Green etc.

    As we discussed yesterday unfortunately this is not the position of the Labour party – (well, OK their first three steps rule it out – their fourth doesn’t rule it in but doesn’t rule out!)

    This means that we need pressure on Labour MPs and this will ONLY come from the Lib Dems. In that regard (but not obviously as a group of MPs) the SNP are fairly irrelevant if not totally as only standing in Scotland.

    (I did though try and persuade Jeremy Corbyn to change his policy when he popped round yesterday – rather unexpectedly – with a pot of strawberry jam but he wasn’t having it unfortunately 🙂 ! )

    @Malcolm Todd

    ““We ARE the only UK-wide party with more than one MP to support a People’s Vote. ”
    That’s not what Tom Brake said, though, is it?”

    No – it is not and I didn’t say it was!

    I was going to add to my comment (but was trying to keep it short!) that when writing press releases it makes sense to try and keep them short and punchy and to interest bored journalists so you don’t necessary want to write ten words when one will do.

    It is a fair pedantic point that we are basically a GB-wide party as supposed to a UK wide party in terms of standing MPs. Although there is a Northern Ireland Lib Dem local party and I understand Alliance Party members of the House of Lords take the Lib Dem whip (except on NI matters) although Naomi Long didn’t in the Commons when she was APNI MP. Equally the Green Party has MLAs and stood for the Westminster parliament in NI – although I understand from Wikipedia that it is a region of the Green Party of Ireland. I would assume both Scottish and possibly NI Greens would take the Green party whip if elected to the Westminster parliament. The Conservatives have also stood for the Westminster Parliament in Northern Ireland. So there is an interesting (well probably not!) debate on whether the parties are GB or UK wide.

    Back to the merits of D’Hondt versus STV for elections – now there IS an interesting debate 🙂 !

    It does though (mildly) irritate me that youtube says by its logo in this country GB rather than UK.

  • So Scotland – with the highest remain vote – is “fairly irrelevant.”

    How to win friends and influence people, Michael ?

  • Come off it, David, that’s not what I said. The point was about the SNP. There is a LITTLE pressure that they can exert. But IF our poll rating was to surge and Labour’s to fall – I suspect that Labour MPs would notice that and more would come out for a People’s Vote – and by definition that is not something that the SNP can achieve.

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