16-17 March 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 2)

Lib Dems: Revoke Article 50 if a deal isn’t agreed

The Liberal Democrats have today called for the Government to revoke Article 50 if no Brexit deal can be agreed a week before departure date.

The proposal, debated and passed by delegates at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in York today, comes after a week of key Brexit votes in the House of Commons in which MPs again rejected Theresa May’s deal, ruled out no-deal and voted to extend Article 50.

Speaking after the debate, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake MP said:

It is absolutely clear that Brexit will hit jobs, the NHS and weaken our position in the world. No matter how someone voted in 2016, nobody voted for that.

People deserve better than this utter mess cooked up by the Tories. Liberal Democrats will not allow the UK to crash out of the EU. If that possibility comes close to becoming reality, we will argue for Brexit to be cancelled, by revoking Article 50.

Ultimately, however, what started with democracy should end with democracy. That is why the Liberal Democrats have led the campaign to give the people the final say on Brexit, including the option to stay in the EU.

Lib Dems back access to justice for all

Today Liberal Democrat Spring Conference voted for the restoration of Legal Aid and a new legal right to access to justice for everyone.

In a motion this morning, conference asserted that access to justice is a crucial right and that cuts to Legal Aid have undermined it.

Liberal Democrats voted for the restoration of Legal Aid for early legal advice, assistance and representation in benefit, debt, employment, immigration, housing and family law cases.

Conference also voted to establish a new right to affordable, reasonable legal assistance with a new, independent Justice Commission to monitor and enforce it.

Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Wera Hobhouse, who summated the motion, commented:

Access to justice is a critical right. Without it, people can be wrongfully evicted, deported, denied benefits or deprived custody of their children – with no real chance to fight for their rights in court.

The Conservative Government’s cuts to Legal Aid have gone far beyond what was envisaged in 2012, leaving far too many people – especially vulnerable people – without legal advice or representation. That in turn contributes to poverty and social exclusion.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. The motion we have passed today would ensure access to justice through a properly-funded, simpler Legal Aid system. That is a fundamental part of building the fairer society we all want to live in.

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