17 December 2019 – today’s press releases

We’re back, or at least, the Press Team are back, and thus this feature returns…

  • Reckless Johnson risking sending the UK straight off the no-deal cliff
  • Brexit jeopardises pigs in blankets
  • New figures show 2.3 million EU citizens without Settled Status
  • Boris Johnson set to crash UK economy
  • Lib Dems: Whirlpool’s stained reputation on the line

Reckless Johnson risking sending the UK straight off the no-deal cliff

Responding to reports the Government is to add a new clause to the Withdrawal Agreement to make it illegal for Parliament to extend the transition period beyond December 2020, interim leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

This Tory Government’s reckless approach to Brexit will send the country straight off the no-deal cliff.

The only way Johnson can meet the December 2020 timetable is by giving up all his previous promises to Leave voters and agreeing to all the demands of the EU.

Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for Remainers up and down the country and oppose Brexit. People deserve better than a future where a Prime Minister willingly threatens jobs, the environment and the NHS.

Brexit jeopardises pigs in blankets

Responding to a BBC report that Wetherspoons has been hit by a ‘temporary’ shortage of pigs in blankets, Christine Jardine, Liberal Democrat MP, said:

Every pig deserves a blanket this Christmas.

The fact that some Wetherspoons’ customers were deprived of this time-honoured British tradition looks like it’s the fault of one thing only: the Conservatives’ Brexit policy.

The fact that Wetherspoons – the face of Brexit – could no longer serve pigs in blankets as a possible result of the shortage of EU seasonal workers would be laughable if it wasn’t such a dire warning of what is yet to come.

We haven’t even left yet and Boris Johnson is already threatening a damaging no deal Brexit. The Prime Minister is looking more like the Grinch than Father Christmas.

New figures show 2.3 million EU citizens without Settled Status

The Liberal Democrats have warned that the Conservatives are failing to guarantee the rights of all 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK, as new official figures show just over a third EU citizens have been given Settled Status by the end of November.

The latest EU Settlement Scheme Statistics, published today by the Home Office, show more than 140,000 EU citizens applied to live and work in the UK after Brexit in November compared to more than half a million submitted in October.

The Liberal Democrats have also raised concerns over the number of applicants receiving neither Settled or Pre-Settled Status. Today’s figures show 361,900 people are still waiting for a decision, with 2,592,800 applications received but only 2,230,900 concluded.

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said:

Too many EU nationals are deeply anxious about their right to stay. Many of them fill vital roles in our health service and our schools. It’s disgraceful for the Conservative government to leave them in legal limbo like this.

Boris Johnson continues to break his promise to automatically guarantee the rights of EU citizens in law. Thousands of EU citizens are set to miss out on Settled Status and be left vulnerable to the Tories’ Hostile Environment.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for EU citizens by opposing Brexit. We will fight to guarantee their rights to live and work in the UK.

Boris Johnson set to crash UK economy

Today it has been revealed by the CBI that Britain’s factory sector has suffered its worst quarter since the financial crisis, as Brexit uncertainty hurts the sector.

This follows warnings earlier this morning that the pound is likely to weaken in 2020, as renewed Brexit uncertainty threatens to drag the economy into recession.

Liberal Democrat interim Leader Ed Davey said:

Today’s news is evidence that Boris Johnson’s government looks set to crash our economy thanks to his disastrous Brexit plans.

Whether its putting people’s livelihoods on the line in our factory sector, or increasing prices with the pound weakening in 2020, it is clear that Boris Johnson’s promise to unleash Britain’s potential is nothing more than empty rhetoric.

We haven’t even left yet and the damage to communities right across the UK is already being felt, not to mention the no deal threats he is now trying to force into law.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose Brexit and hold the Conservative government to account for the damage they look set to unleash.

Lib Dems: Whirlpool’s stained reputation on the line

Responding to news that Whirlpool is to recall and replace an estimated 500,000 Indesit and Hotpoint washing machines in January 2020, Liberal Democrat interim leader Ed Davey said:

This news will blight the Christmas period for many families. No-one should have to go to sleep at night worrying if their homes are safe to stay in.

Ministers must iron out why it has taken the best part of five years to identify this problem and ensure anyone who may be in possession of a faulty appliance is aware of how to check the safety of their model.

Whirlpool’s stained reputation is on the line. They must be held to account for replacing dangerous appliances as quickly as possible, or providing refunds to allow customers to replace faulty goods.

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11 Comments

  • If you want a decent deal you have to pressure the EU, yesterday the reactions from the EU were not non, non but somewhat mealy-mouthed and restrained with the odd having your cake and eating it quip. EU is in near recession with some huge banking problems in Italy and losing a whole load of trade to the UK would cause riots and mayhem over there so I think they will give us a good tariff free deal rather than try to face Boris down who if things go wrong has the rest of his term to turn things round.

    In a Green world the business model of whizzing parts back and forth all over Europe is ridiculous, so the current business model for car manufacturers is dead, anyway… onward to electric car manufacturing, hopefully with new innovative (British) companies. The confiscatory progressive policies of the Left frightened off Dyson (and loads of others of less wealth) to Singapore, wonder what it would take to get him back?

  • Dyson left for Singapore for the following reason

    The company’s chief executive Jim Rowan insists that the move has nothing to do with Brexit or the UK’s tax regime. Instead, he says, Dyson wants to be “future-proof for where we see the biggest opportunities.”

    “We have seen an acceleration of opportunities to grow the company from a revenue perspective in Asia,” Rowan said. “We have always had a revenue stream there and will be putting up our best efforts as well as keeping an eye on investments.”

    https://www.wired.co.uk/article/dyson-moving-hq-to-singapore

    He moved to be nearer his markets Mr West. What bit of twaddle should we destroy next, O yes

    “onward to electric car manufacturing, hopefully with new innovative (British) companies. “”

    Dyson tried that (OK his plant wasn’t going to be here but he tried)

    Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020,” Mr Dyson wrote, formally kicking off an ambitious project for his company, which is better known for its vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans.

    A year later on Oct 23, the company said it had picked Singapore as the place to build its much-anticipated electric car plant. It followed up with another announcement three months later that it was moving its corporate head office to Singapore…

    Breaking the news in an email to employees, Mr Dyson wrote: “Though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable.
    “I wanted you to hear directly from me that the Dyson board has therefore taken the very difficult decision to propose the closure of our automotive project.”

    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/dyson-hits-brakes-electric-car-what-the-shift-means-singapore-11992980

    Which really only leaves us with “They need us more than we need them” well that seems to be the sole card left for the Brexi’s and Lexi’s let us see some proof and not idle bluster.

  • Peter Martin 18th Dec '19 - 9:21am

    ” Britain’s factory sector has suffered its worst quarter since the financial crisis, as Brexit uncertainty hurts the sector.”

    Germany’s factory sector is having even worse problems. Is that down to Brexit too?

    And why we did we have that financial crisis? We weren’t even thinking of leaving the EU then? Have you ever considered that the financial crisis has never really been properly addressed? We only temporarily staved off the effects of too much private sector debt by reducing interest rates to create even more private sector debt.

    “…or increasing prices with the pound weakening in 2020”

    If you know that you’ll be able enough money by forex trading to cover LibDem election expenses for many years to come!

    The point about having a floating currency is that the pound can, er, float. That means it can go up or it can go down according to world economic conditions. If you want a fixed pegged currency, if you want to repeat the same mistakes as the Tories in the late 80s, then you should say so.

  • Deflector screens up, engage the whatabottery cannon. Your concern for Germany is admirable Peter, let us hope your concern for a devastated Sunderland is equal to the task.

  • Peter Martin 18th Dec '19 - 11:03am

    “The confiscatory progressive policies of the Left frightened off Dyson…..to Singapore”

    Dyson has never wanted to manufacture in the UK anyway. Singapore is highly interventionist and protectionist in its own trading relationships. It’s probably more state capitalist than the free market capitalism that Dyson would claim to support himself.

    They’ll be offering him a good deal to move. That’s what it’s all about rather than any supposedly “confiscatory progressive policies of the Left”.

  • Well Peter your concern for the Germans seems to be paying off, someone has heard your plea

    German business confidence rises

    Newsflash: German business confidence has risen, as Europe’s largest economy continues to swerve a recession.

    The IFO think tank has reported that Germany’s business leaders are more confident about future prospects, and that current economic conditions have brightened a little this month.

    IFO estimates that the German economy may grow by 0.2% in the current quarter, as firms enter 2020 with “more confidence’.

    Here’s the details:

    Business climate index: UP to 96.3 in December, from 95.1
    Current conditions: UP to 98.8, from 98
    Business expectations: UP to 93.8 from 92.3

    Source the Guardian.

    So you can stop being concerned about them and concentrate on the North East. I appreciate the way you annihilated poor Mr West and his fantasies about Mr Dyson, but it isn’t very comradely after all you marched shoulder to shoulder with him to achieve Brexit. I can see why you don’t want to be associated with him anymore as a cold hard Right Wing Brexit faces you, but like Marley you forged the chains of Lexit that drags you down. Going forward I fear for you it will be

    ″‘You are fettered,’ said frankie, trembling. ‘Tell me why?’

    ‘I wear the chain I forged in life,’ replied Peter Martin. ‘I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you, for it is Lexit!‘”

  • I wanted to remain, BTW! I almost started a small business in Singapore but decided I did not want to change my Sterling at less than two to the SDollar when it had previously been three. No tax on export revenue appealed greatly to me as it is, these days, quite possible to experience exponential growth and current UK tax rates do not make it worth the rather larger risk. Dyson is taking a huge risk doing his electric car and the idea that tax rates would not be part of that is ridiculous, nor the prospect of Labour taking over ten percent of the company. Yes, they come out with all the politically correct tosh but behind that money talks. If he really wanted to be in the centre of a huge market it would be India or China not Singapore. If Boris does his tax free zones/freeports we may well see him back here (and assuming tariff free access to EU and USA).

  • Frank,
    Dyson has given up on his electric car, no risk he isn’t doing it. Neither are any other new entrants to the car market ( if you exclude Tesler and I do for a number of reasons).

  • Innocent Bystander 18th Dec '19 - 6:20pm

    @frankie
    I wouldn’t put huge store in company pronouncements. What benefit would it be to blame the UK tax system? They would only have collected lots of criticism for nothing in return. Why make enemies? Companies are in business not politics. When Ford moved their Transit plant to Turkey with an EU loan they denied the money was the motive.
    What else would they say? Anything else would only attract trouble and queer their pitch in future.
    Don’t believe company statements. They trade in business not the truth.

  • Dyson may have moved for the tax benefits but as
    https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/060716/why-singapore-considered-tax-haven.asp

    states it’s location is as important if not more so

    Singapore’s low taxes and other incentives for foreign investors qualify it as a tax haven. It levies 20% on personal incomes in the highest tax bracket, defined as incomes above about $240,000 U.S. dollars, and it does not tax capital gains.

    That kind of tax policy, and a location that makes it a gateway for companies hoping to expand into the emerging Asian economies, have made this island city-state a global hub for international investment and commerce.

  • Frank West 18th Dec ’19 – 3:25pm:
    If Boris does his tax free zones/freeports we may well see him back here (and assuming tariff free access to EU and USA).

    Dyson isn’t troubled by the EU’s 3% tariff…

    ‘James Dyson on no deal Brexit’ [September 2017]:
    https://audioboom.com/posts/6298950-james-dyson-on-no-deal-brexit

    BBC: Would it not hurt your business?

    Dyson: Not at all actually, we already pay the WTO tariff into Europe and it hasn’t hurt us at all. We’re one of the fastest growing companies in Europe.

    BBC: Does that mean for your business you would not necessarily need, or you don’t need, a transition arrangement that keeps us in the single market?

    Dyson: Not at all. I think it’s quite wrong to call it a single market. It’s a series of different markets with different languages, different marketing required and different laws, and in our case different plugs and different boxes. So we don’t view it as a single market, it’s actually a very highly complex and broken up market.
    [….]

    Business is about uncertainty. And I think uncertainty is an opportunity. And the opportunity here is that the rest of the world is growing at a far greater rate than Europe so the opportunity is to export to the rest of the world and to capitalise on that.

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