18 December 2018 – today’s press releases

Brexit is coming, the hedge fund’s growing fat, who will put a billion in Phil Hammond’s hat? If you haven’t got a billion, 3,000 troops will do, if you haven’t got 3,000 troops, then God bless you…

But at least we’re giving some opposition to this wastrel administration…

  • Lib Dem peers defeat Government to force Prevent review (this one arrived late last night)
  • Cable: Decision to ramp up no-deal is psychological warfare
  • Dropping migration target an admission Brexit won’t control immigration
  • Lib Dems: Putting troops on standby is simply scaremongering
  • Lib Dems table no confidence motion in Government

We’ve also received a press release from Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats and, whilst I wouldn’t want to commit to publishing local press releases too, this one caught my eye…

  • Lib Dems launch Friends of Bangladesh at Victory Day event in Tower Hamlets

Lib Dem peers defeat Government to force Prevent review

Liberal Democrat peers have defeated the Government for a second time on its Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill.

Amendment 32, tabled by a cross-party group of peers including Liberal Democrat Andrew Stunell, requires the Government to carry out an independent review of its Prevent strategy and publish a report within 18 months.

The Amendment was passed on Monday evening by 214 votes to 196.

Following the vote, Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson for Home Affairs Brian Paddick said:

Liberal Democrats have been calling for an independent review of Prevent for years because many in the communities most affected believe Prevent unfairly singles them out.

We have always argued that a completely independent review could reassure everyone that Prevent is effective, and properly targeted on those who could potentially be a danger to society. It is essential that everyone has confidence in Prevent and that we all work together to keep us safe.

We’re pleased Labour have now accepted our arguments and together we have voted to insist such a review takes place.

The Liberal Democrats have also secured further concessions from the Government on new powers to stop, detain and question people at ports and the border.

Originally, the Bill would have granted these powers in connection with acts that “threaten the economic well-being of the United Kingdom”, but in response to arguments made by Liberal Democrat peer Brian Paddick, Ministers tabled amendments to limit these powers to cases involving national security.

This follows a previous defeat for the Government on Amendment 15, which sets out exemptions to the new offence of “entering or remaining in a designated area”.

Cable: Decision to ramp up no-deal is psychological warfare

Responding to the Cabinet decision to increase preparations for a no-deal, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said;

The decision to ramp up the no deal pressure is psychological warfare. The Conservative Government are attempting to scare MPs, businesses and the public with the threat of a no-deal.

Theresa May is irresponsibly trying to run down the clock so that the only option is to support her discredited deal.

It is time to stop playing political games with our future and take the issues at hand seriously. The only real way out of this deadlock is to hold a People’s Vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

Dropping migration target an admission Brexit won’t control immigration

Responding to reports the Government’s migration target has been left out of draft proposals for a new immigration system, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

If the Conservatives really are dropping their manifesto commitment of a net migration target, that is good news.

It’s an admission that Brexit won’t control immigration as Mrs May promised – otherwise the target would surely be kept.

This was yet another deception of the people by the right-wing nationalist Brexiteers. The truth is that it’s the needs of our economy and the NHS that drive recruitment from overseas, not membership of the EU.

But dropping the target isn’t enough to repair our broken immigration system. The Liberal Democrats demand an end to the hostile environment and investment in an accountable Border Force to secure our borders and rebuild public confidence.

Lib Dems: Putting troops on standby is simply scaremongering

Responding to the reports that there are preparations for up to 3,500 soldiers to step in if Brexit causes disruption, Liberal Democrat Armed Forces Spokesperson Jamie Stone said:

The Tory Government wholeheartedly accept that a no-deal Brexit will create chaos and mayhem. This announcement is simply an attempt to scaremonger MPs, businesses, and the British public into supporting the Prime Minister’s deal.

The Government must stop playing games with our future and diverting public resources to solve an outcome they are able to prevent.

The Prime Minister’s deal does not have support in Parliament and this talk of no deal preparations to scare people is a tactic which has severe consequences. The only real way out of this deadlock is to hold a People’s Vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

Lib Dems table no confidence motion in Government

The Liberal Democrats, alongside the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green party, have tabled a motion of no confidence in the Conservative Government.

Commenting on this, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

The Government has challenged the Labour Party to table a real ‘no confidence’ motion. We have now done that for them.

Jeremy Corbyn need only add his name, and the debate and vote would happen before Christmas.

If he fails, it will be yet more evidence that his recalcitrance is really a rouse to avoid supporting a People’s Vote.

The British people now want the final say on Brexit – and millions of Labour supporters will be frustrated that it is Corbyn and his acolytes who are standing in the way.

Lib Dems launch Friends of Bangladesh at Victory Day event in Tower Hamlets

Liberal Democrat London Mayoral Candidate Siobhan Benita has hailed the launch of Liberal Democrat Friends of Bangladesh at an event to commemorate Bangladeshi Victory Day on Sunday 16th December in Tower Hamlets. The new organisation, launched at the event, will foster understanding and support between the Liberal Democrats and Britain’s Bangladeshi communities, many of whom live in the borough.

Guests at the event were introduced by Chair of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Bangladesh, Abdul Asad (also Vice Chair, Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats and a former councillor). As well as Siobhan Benita (Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London) they included Councillor Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrat Councillor for Shadwell) and Elaine Bagshaw (Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Poplar & Limehouse), plus Bengali academic and educationalist Dr Hasnat Hussain who gave a keynote speech reflecting on the Bangladesh British diaspora and the history of the liberation war.

Abdul Asad reminded attendees of the origins of Victory Day in the ending of the Bangladesh Liberation War and the 1971 Bangladeshi Genocide. As Tower Hamlets is home to one of the largest Bangladeshi communities in the world it was fitting that the area celebrated the birth of one of the youngest countries in the world. The loss of life of so many people created a great passion for democracy, a fundamental belief of the Liberal Democrats.

Siobhan Benita, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, said:

We remember the many people who lost their lives in this brutal conflict, and the impact this has on communities and on a nation’s identity. It is important to build policies that nurture wellbeing, so we can lead free and prosperous lives. London is the greatest city in the world, because it is so diverse.

Councillor Rabina Khan said:

It is important to remember the systematic murder and abuses by Operation Searchlight, and the liberation war each year. Bangladeshis and Pakistanis lived together in harmony and this was ripped apart by the war. Now we are looking to a brighter future. The door was opened by those who lost their lives in the war, and we must remember them. Today is a very poignant moment for us as a Bangladeshi community to remember our past but also look to a greater, prosperous future.

Elaine Bagshaw, Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Spokesperson said:

2018 has been amazing for the Liberal Democrats in Tower Hamlets, with Rabina and so many people joining to help ensure that the party truly represents the local community. I am very proud to have the opportunity to launch the Liberal Democrat Friends of Bangladesh. The Lib Dems are forward facing, we are open, we are tolerant, and we are very welcoming of diverse communities.

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One Comment

  • William Le Breton 19th Dec '18 - 11:33am

    Of course I welcome the fact that we have finally come round to the obvious course of tabling (almost) our own vote of no confidence in HMG in the terms of the Fixed Term Parliament Act – see above text from our Press Release:

    “The Liberal Democrats, alongside the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green party, have tabled a motion of no confidence in the Conservative Government.

    “Commenting on this, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

    “The Government has challenged the Labour Party to table a real ‘no confidence’ motion. We have now done that for them.

    “Jeremy Corbyn need only add his name, and the debate and vote would happen before Christmas.”

    But actually, if you read the Act, we should not have to wait for Corbyn. Using this wording means that the Commons must allocate time immediately once it has been tabled.

    We should now be campaigning for an immediate debate regardless of the attitude of the Labour Party.

    Why are we not raising a point of order NOW asking the Speaker when he is going to allocate time for the debate TODAY?

    Where is the passion?

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