14 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Tories should be cutting emissions, not air passenger duty
  • Lib Dems call out Johnson duplicity on Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Home Office cover up slammed by Lib Dems

Tories should be cutting emissions, not air passenger duty

Following the reports that the Conservative government is considering cutting air passenger duty on domestic flights as part of a plan to save regional airline Flybe from collapse, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Flybe looks set to follow Thomas Cook, despite only being “rescued” last year. The way to ensure our businesses stay afloat is to provide certainty, rather than the chaos the Conservatives have presided over for the last three years.

Offering troubled airlines like Flybe cuts to Air Passenger Duty is not the answer and a huge worry for climate campaigners – particularly when Boris Johnson is going soft on his commitment to high speed rail.

This Conservative Government must not only commit to building HS2, but start taking the climate emergency seriously. In a year when the UK is hosting the COP26 climate change conference, we need action to cut emissions, not air passenger duty.

Lib Dems call out Johnson duplicity on Iran Nuclear Deal

Responding to the Prime Minister’s suggestion that the Iran nuclear deal should be replaced with a ‘Trump deal’, Ed Davey, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats said:

Johnson’s dishonesty is apparent yet again. His claim that he will continue to support the current Iran nuclear deal is immediately undermined by his suggestion of a ‘new Trump deal’. Let there be no doubt: when Trump says jump, Johnson asks ‘how high?’.

The current nuclear deal with Iran is all about stopping this brutal regime from becoming a nuclear state. Johnson needs to remind President Trump just how high these stakes are.

The UK is best served by working with our allies in Europe and the wider world to reinvigorate the Iran nuclear deal as a means to deescalate the current crisis.

If Boris Johnson won’t robustly defend what’s in our national interest and in the interest of stopping Iran from enhancing their nuclear capabilities – by keeping the deal on the table – then what hope do we have of negotiating a positive outcome for the UK-US trade deal Johnson is promising?

The Prime Minister is sending a clear message to Donald Trump: your wish is my command.

Home Office cover up slammed by Lib Dems

Responding to news that the UK failed to pass on the details of 75,000 convictions of foreign criminals to their home EU countries and tried to conceal the scandal, Christine Jardine MP, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson, said:

UK police rely on EU-wide data-sharing systems to identify criminals and keep us safe. For the Home Office to fail so badly to live up to its side of that agreement is shameful.

The Home Office has serious questions to answer over this. Not just the failure to pass on details of convicted criminals to other EU countries, but the cover up afterwards as well.

Ministers must also tell us how this affects negotiations for a future security partnership with the EU. We urgently need a deal that protects access to these databases for our police, but this scandal doesn’t inspire confidence that they will achieve one.

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4 Comments

  • Jenny Barnes 15th Jan '20 - 9:57am

    I disagree that HS2 is any sort of solution. The latest justification is capacity. Well, a normal speed line would provide capacity, and probably wouldn’t have to go through and destroy over 100 Ancient Woodlands. Oh, great, we’ll plant some trees. It’s like blowing up a gothic cathedral and replacing it with a steel and concrete box.
    Air Passenger Duty needs to be increased. Ok, there’s a case (as I believe is current anyway) for routes like to Shetland to have lower APD, but there are perfectly good trains from places like Exeter to London.

    HS2 is going to cost the best part of £100 Billion. Money that would be far better spent on building proper cycling infrastructure, and buses, if we’re serious about climate change.

  • David Becket 15th Jan '20 - 11:10am

    This is possibly not the place to start a detailed thread on a complex subject like Environment v UK Economy and Connectivity.
    Yes we need additional rail capacity, but not at crazy high speeds. Apart from London to Scotland the UK is too small.
    We need to be able to connect all parts of the UK to enable local business to grow, and Cornwall to Scotland will only be achieved by air. This brings us on to the issue of subsidised transport, trains, buses, and in a few cases air. In the case of air it should be routes subsidised not general tax refief.

    Nobody has an integrated policy that includes tackling Climate Change and Communication. Lib Dems are in a position where we could make this our own, but there will be a lot of hard work and some unpopular policies. Are we up to it??

  • Peter Hirst 15th Jan '20 - 4:05pm

    Hard decisions will need to be made as we move toward net zero emissions. Connectivity is all very well and needs to be sustainable. We don’t need air travel by present fuels to connect remote communities. Business will need to adapt. The easiest way is to tax heavily short haul air transport whatever the cost.

  • Jenny Barnes 15th Jan '20 - 5:43pm

    Cornwall to Scotland by train? The bit from Newquay to Plymouth takes 2 hours! But there are sleeper trains from cornwall to london and london to aberdeen. Do one leg in the day, one overnight, arrive first thing in the morning.

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