16 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems call on PM to back automatic rights for EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: Tories have failed on knife crime
  • Lib Dems demand more action on gambling addiction

Lib Dems call on PM to back automatic rights for EU citizens

The Liberal Democrats have called on the Conservative Government to back legislation to guarantee automatic rights for EU citizens, as new official statistics show the number not granted permanent Settled Status has risen to more than 1 million.

Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates this week tabled amendments to the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill to automatically guarantee EU citizens’ rights in law.

The latest EU Settlement Scheme Statistics, published today by the Home Office, show that more than 1 million EU citizens have now been given the weaker “Pre-Settled Status”. This means that they will have to reapply for the right to stay in the UK within 5 years, while a further 16,000 have not been granted either status.

The figures show that, as of the end of 2019, just 1.43 million of the estimated 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK have been granted Settled Status.

Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

EU citizens are our families and friends, our colleagues and carers. Boris Johnson promised to automatically guarantee their rights in law, but today’s figures show that his Government’s Settled Status scheme is anything but automatic.

Unless the Government changes course, tens of thousands of EU citizens will be left without legal rights in less than 18 months – at risk of eviction, detention and deportation.

Liberal Democrats are fighting for the rights of EU citizens. We are calling on Boris Johnson to honour his promise by backing our amendments next week.

Lib Dems: Tories have failed on knife crime

Responding to new statistics revealing knife crime is at a 10-year high in England and Wales, Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

With knife crime at its highest in a decade, the Conservatives’ approach to knife crime has clearly failed.

They have unnecessarily criminalised thousands of young people, made them more likely to offend by locking them up on pointless short sentences, and undermined trust in the police through a surge in suspicion-less Stop and Search.

Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to stop wasting money trying to seem tough on crime, and instead spend it on the things that actually make our communities safer. We need more community policing, more youth services and a proper public health approach to serious violence.

Lib Dems demand more action on gambling addiction

Responding to news that the head of mental health services in England has demanded urgent action to tackle gambling addiction, Daisy Cooper MP, Liberal Democrat DCMS spokesperson said:

Thousands of people in the UK today are struggling with gambling addiction.

The decision to stop people gambling on credit cards, which can lead to dangerous spirals of debt, is certainly a step in the right direction.

However, more must be done to support those in the grip of a gambling addiction. The 14 clinics the Government plans to open across England will not be adequate.

We need to make support accessible to individuals wherever they live, so that anyone worried about their gambling can easily seek help, and ensure gambling firms pay their fair share towards it.

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