20 March 2021 – the day’s press releases (part 2)

  • Government must fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Liberal Democrats review to plot paths to closer relationship with EU
  • We must get serious on Russia for the sake of our democracy

Government must fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the Party’s Spring conference.

The proposals include plans to fix the Government’s approach to self-isolation through better and more generous support; ensure Test and Trace makes better use of local government; and securing the rollout of surplus vaccines to the world’s poorest countries.

The party also called for an immediate independent public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, as promised by the Prime Minister last autumn.

Munira Wilson MP, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Health, said:

The Government failed to learn the lessons of the first wave of the virus and they did not act to stop the pain and suffering this terrible disease inflicted on the UK in the second.

There cannot be a third lockdown. That means the Government has to get serious and fix the systems we have in place already, not patch over the cracks with shortcuts and invasive so called ‘vaccine certificates’. No one should have to share their medical history to go to the supermarket or the pub.

Effective testing and tracing and proper measures at our borders combined with a supportive self-isolation system are the way to end the pandemic here in the UK.

Liberal Democrats review to plot paths to closer relationship with EU

Liberal Democrats have today voted to launch an internal review that will set out roadmaps to rejoining EU agencies such as the Customs Union and Single Market, with a view to membership of the European Union in future.

It comes in the wake of the devastating impact of Boris Johnson’s trade deal, which has left millions of British businesses and workers worse off.

The Liberal Democrats notably stood as the only major, UK-wide party who opposed the deal at every stage it was presented to Parliament. With today’s policy motion they pledged to continue to hold the Government accountable for its inadequacies.

The motion, passed at their Spring Conference this weekend, also sets out a desire for closer cooperation with the EU on areas such as climate change, health, science and security, in aid of a stronger relationship with their European neighbours.

Speaking after the motion passed, Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Layla Moran MP, said:

This Tory Government’s ‘free’ trade deal with Europe has been bad for business, bad for jobs and bad for our place on the world stage. Our country has been left poorer and all the more isolated.

I am proud that the Liberal Democrats unequivocally remain the most pro-EU party in the UK. Today we reaffirmed our commitment to reconnect politically, strategically and operationally with our biggest trading partner and closest neighbours.

We shouldn’t be burning bridges with the EU, we should be building them and forging a relationship that is in everyone’s best interests. From farmers to fishermen, from small businesses to students – we are better when we work closer together. Global problems require global solutions, not isolationism and bluff.

Now is the right time for the Liberal Democrats to properly work out the path between where we are, and the relationship we want to get to. That starts today with this review, but rest assured we won’t be waiting on its findings to call out the damage that this Government’s threadbare deal is doing every day to our country.

We must get serious on Russia for the sake of our democracy

The Liberal Democrats have passed a motion at their Spring Conference calling for immediate action to be taken on the Russia Report. This includes:

  • An investigation into Russian interference into our electoral process
  • Making protection of our democratic security a national priority with clear ministerial responsibility
  • Take big money out of politics by reforming party funding.

Following the debate, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Layla Moran MP said:

It is time for the Government to take our national security seriously and stop ducking this because it’s politically inconvenient. Our democratic defences are weak and we must listen to the urgent warning signs – their own Integrated Review should remind them of that.

Last year’s Russia Report has been swept under the carpet by the Conservatives. The security surrounding our elections should not be a party-political issue and yet Boris Johnson continues to get away with leaving our democracy vulnerable to a clear and present threat.

Liberal Democrats are calling for protection of our democratic process to become a national priority with clear ministerial responsibility. We need a real investigation into potential interference in our elections, and action to stop big money from figures close to the Kremlin influencing our politics.

Putin’s assault on democracy around the world is clear for all to see, from interference in US politics to poisoning and imprisoning the opposition leader in his own country. Britain is ‘clearly a target’ for disinformation campaigns, according to the Russia Report, and now more than ever we should be focused on safeguarding our democracy at all levels.

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One Comment

  • Helen Dudden 22nd Mar '21 - 8:21pm

    I feel after the riots in Bristol yesterday, something is very wrong. Month’s and month’s of lockdown, has caused mental health issue’s and health issue’s. I’ve just completed part of my dental surgery privately, after waiting a year. It felt quite scary and vulnerable, to have no chance of the surgery I so badly needed. My thoughts and prayers are with the many cancer patients, and also today, there was a heart specialist who warned about the severe problems being faced. Of course, there are other’s.
    I agree that the Independent Public Inquiry needs to happen now. The many who lost their lives and the suggestion that there could even be further lockdowns.
    We should have the right to know and understand where things failed, what could be done to improve in the coming month’s and in the future.

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