16 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Another slightly startling day, with today’s BMG Research poll showing the Liberal Democrats with 18% if a General Election were to take place today, up ten percentage points in just five weeks… Don’t get vertigo, everyone…

  • Lib Dems call for EU-wide fracking ban
  • Lib Dems call for creation of youth council
  • Chris Grayling botched his probation reforms just like he botches everything
  • Brexit threatens UK’s ability to monitor climate change
  • Welsh Lib Dems condemn praise for Tommy Robinson

Lib Dems call for EU-wide fracking ban

The Liberal Democrats have today committed to campaigning for an EU-wide ban on fracking because of its negative impacts on climate change, the energy mix and our environment.

Lib Dem Leader Vince Cable will be discussing the party’s commitment to the environment with shoppers at a Zero waste shop ‘Unwrapped’ in Sheffield later today. He will say the Lib Dem manifesto is a “blueprint for what the UK could achieve if Brexit was stopped.”

The party is calling for Europe to adopt a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050, higher EU standards of and greater investment in energy efficiency, an ambitious EU-wide action plan on deforestation and immediate action to tackle the use of plastics through a new binding international treaty.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

We are unequivocal in our commitment to an EU-wide ban on fracking.

But we can only achieve what is needed to face up to the climate emergency by working together with our international partners as a leading member of the European Union.

To proceed with Brexit would be to throw away the biggest tool we have in the battle against climate change.

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to Stop Brexit and protect our planet for the future generations.

Lib Dems call for creation of youth council

Today, ahead of the Liberal Democrat debate on delivering equality of opportunity for young people, Lib Dem peer Olly Grender has called for the Government to create a UK Young People’s Strategy Council.

Baroness Grender has written to Lord Agnew, a minister in the Department for Education, stating that the Liberal Democrats “are not willing to stand by and let the voices of young people be unheard for any longer”.

The letter has also been signed by Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran and 40 Liberal Democrat peers.

Speaking ahead of the debate in the House of Lords, Olly Grender said:

For far too long the Tories have ignored young people and the issues that affect them most.

The Liberal Democrats have called not only on the Government to support a package of measures that would genuinely improve the lives of young people, but also to create a UK Young People’s Strategy Council which would put young people’s voices at the heart of the executive.

From Brexit to the housing crisis, from our cash-strapped education system to the climate emergency, the Tories are ignoring what young people care about. Liberal Democrats demand better.

It is time the Tory cabinet was held to account by young people themselves. If they won’t listen to us, they must at least listen to those whose futures will be wrecked if they don’t change course.

Chris Grayling botched his probation reforms just like he botches everything

Responding to the Government’s plans for probation reform, Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Chris Grayling botched his probation reforms just like he botches everything. Reversing them is long overdue.

But the damage Grayling did to probation won’t be easy to repair. Morale among probation officers is at an all-time low, and far too many people end up being sent back to prison because they do not receive the supervision and services they need to build a life free from crime.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must fund probation and rehabilitative services properly. Only then will we cut re-offending so that there are fewer victims of crime and fewer people in prison.

Brexit threatens UK’s ability to monitor climate change

The UK is at risk of losing the ability to monitor climate change if a Brexit deal is not agreed the Liberal Democrats have warned today.

If the UK leaves the EU then we will no longer be able to participate in the Copernicus programme as a member state and will have no role in how it is run. This is the most ambitious Earth Observation programme to date and provides accurate information to improve the management of the environment in order to tackle the effects of climate change.

The Copernicus programme is not the only satellite programme the UK could lose access to. The Prime Minister has already made clear the UK will not use the Galileo satellite for defence or critical national infrastructure once the UK leaves the EU.

The UK currently has no existing way to launch satellites into space, with the last one being launched in 1971, when Black Arrow carried a satellite called Prospero into low Earth orbit, albeit from a launchpad in Australia.

The Conservative Government are rumoured to be proposing new measures to safeguard space infrastructure as part of their first defence space strategy. However, experts have widely critiqued the strategy as completely unfeasible due to the amount it would cost.

Ahead of the EU elections, Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesperson Jamie Stone warned:

Not only would the UK lose access to vital programmes which the Conservative Government will spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer’s money trying to replace, but the European Union will continue to advance and progress with technology in space whilst we lag behind. As threats on the global stage increase, this is not the time to be leaving satellite programs which help keep us safe.

The EU’s satellite programmes are also vital if we are to effectively counteract the damage we are doing to the planet. The Conservatives have not only remained unambitious in tackling climate change, but they have doggedly undone the hard work Liberal Democrats did in coalition to help protect our environment. They are clearly showing no signs of stopping.

By threatening the UK’s access to Copernicus with no replacement the Tories have once again revealed their disdain for saving our planet.

The Liberal Democrats are clear if we want to tackle climate change and keep our country safe, we need to remain members of the European Union. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats in the European Elections on 23rd May is a vote to stop Brexit.

Welsh Lib Dems condemn praise for Tommy Robinson

The Welsh Liberal Democrat have condemned David Rowlands decision to praise Tommy Robinson and urged him to immediately apologise.

David Rowlands AM called Tommy Robinson a “courageous character” and claimed he “reflects the views of a great many people.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:

It is disgraceful a member of the Welsh Assembly has praised the views and actions of a thuggish, fascist bully like Tommy Robinson. Does David Rowlands represent the views of the Brexit Party? If not, will they condemn him in the strongest terms?

Tommy Robinson has repeatedly shown hatred, bigotry and intolerance towards a multitude of minority groups and especially Muslims. What must the constituents of David Rowlands in South East Wales think when they hear him praise a man who hates them just for who they are? David Rowlands must immediately apologise to his constituents.

We despise everything Tommy Robinson stands for. His values are not our values and they are not Wales’ values. They have no place in Welsh politics, in Wales or in any civilised country. It is incumbent on every reasonable and tolerant politician in Wales to oppose him and his allies with all their might.

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