27 May 2020 – today’s press releases

Good evening, everyone. Please accept my apologies for the absence of this regular feature for a few days. To be honest, I’ve taken a few days off to attempt to regain my mojo and, whilst it hasn’t been wholly successful, I am at least back. Let’s pick up with today’s releases, and I’ll catch up the past five days as we go along…

  • High time for Govt to extend Brexit transition period
  • PM must instruct Home Sec to lift no recourse to public funds rule for coronavirus crisis
  • Govt strategy must also support people in isolation

High time for Govt to extend Brexit transition period

Responding to news that EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has made clear that an extension to the Brexit transition period is possible, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Even before COVID, Johnson had a tight timetable for Brexit talks. The Prime Minister’s refusal now to even consider the possibility of an extension to the Brexit transition as we face an unprecedented global health and economic crisis shows he is recklessly putting his Brexit ideology before the UK’s national interest.

It’s clear that an extension is possible and it’s high time for the Conservative Government to think again.

Boris Johnson must put the national interest first and accept the need to extend the transition period. Otherwise he threatens to pitch the country into a chaotic no deal Brexit, at a time when the economy is already in uncharted territory and millions are worried about their jobs and futures.

This is not about rehashing debates from the past. It is about accepting a new reality brought about by the global pandemic, and that Ministers must remain entirely focused on dealing with the current crisis.

PM must instruct Home Sec to lift no recourse to public funds rule for coronavirus crisis

Following the Prime Minster’s appearance at the liaison committee, where he stated he would “see what we can do to help” those with no recourse to public funds, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

It’s unbelievable that someone who’s been an MP for 12 years – and is now the Prime Minister – appeared to not have even heard of a rule that bars migrants from accessing crucial support from the government.

The ‘no recourse to public funds’ rule is particularly damaging during the coronavirus crisis, preventing many families who have lost their livelihoods overnight from accessing the Universal Credit safety net. Liberal Democrats have been urging Priti Patel to lift the rule for the duration of the crisis, so migrants – like everyone else – are given the financial support they need to stay at home.

I’m glad the Prime Minister said that people who live and work in the UK should have support. He must now instruct the Home Secretary to make that so by lifting the ‘no recourse to public funds’ rule.

Govt strategy must also support people in isolation

Responding to the Government’s test and trace system announcement, Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and Care spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

The Coronavirus crisis is leaving people rightly worried about their loved ones. Sadly, the Government has left confusion in it’s wake this week and there are plenty questions still to answer.

Central to the Government’s strategy must be a comprehensive test, trace and isolate system. Time and again, we have seen Ministers announce the next steps but never an effective plan to support people in isolation, thereby stopping the spread and saving lives.

Ministers must come forward with these clear and honest answers, in addition addressing the obvious issues with their app and why the level of testing remains so low across the UK compared to some countries.

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This entry was posted in News and Press releases.


  • suzanne fletcher 28th May '20 - 10:51am

    Very pleased that the party has picked up on the No Recourse to Public Funds issue. It is a national scandal that thousands of people cannot claim benefits, and are not entitled to housing. they cannot work – they are not allowed to. It is generally those who have claimed asylum here, have not been believed, and it is too dangerous to go back to their home country. Or in a number of cases they are not allowed to go back to their home country, for instance Zimbabwe. Or their home country will not accept them back for complex reasons.
    But they are here, and they are with us in our community, often nobody knows they are there, and exist, just, on charity handouts, and kindness and generosity of people.
    But note – they are not in this position because they have lost a job – cannot work in the first place.

  • suzanne fletcher 28th May '20 - 11:15am

    Just to add, having seen more about the Q and A with Boris that what was being raised was the situation for some with Indefinite Leave to Remain who have No Recourse to Public Funds, NRPF,and that of course is wrong.
    What I wrote refers to those who do not have leave to remain, and have no status. You can see more about a Lib Dem response to this, and what is called “hosting” here https://libdemfocus.co.uk/ld4sos/archives/1673
    there is a full explanation of the different sorts of NRPF here http://www.nrpfnetwork.org.uk/information/Pages/who-has-NRPF.aspx

  • suzanne fletcher 28th May '20 - 12:10pm

    this is an excellent letter on NRPF and provison of housing which I hope the party can support.

  • Sue Sutherland 28th May '20 - 12:47pm

    Thank you for providing this service for us Mark. It’s very useful to know what our MPs are saying and to realise they are covering a wide range of topics.

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