29 January 2019 – today’s press releases

“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”.

I’m afraid that we’re now well into the Lewis Carroll phase of Brexit, but on the plus side, my beloved Luton Town went five points clear at the top of League One…

  • Lib Dems: Safe standing an important opportunity for football fans
  • Travel insurance not guaranteed with no-deal Brexit
  • Lib Dems: Govt continue to scaremonger with redeployment of defence staff
  • Moran: Time to scrap cruel Vagrancy Act
  • Davey: Tory cuts have made it easy for ‘county lines’ drug traffickers
  • Lib Dems: The only compromise that the PM should consider is a people’s vote
  • Cable: Contradictory amendments show only way forward is a people’s vote
  • Labour MPs who sided with the Tories have become handmaids to Brexit

Lib Dems: Safe standing an important opportunity for football fans

Responding to the announcement that Wolves are to become the first Premier League club to introduce safe standing, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

The Liberal Democrats have long called for safe standing at football matches and we welcome this first step.

This is an important move in providing both safe and affordable space for fans watching the game. It is great to see clubs recognise that this is an opportunity to create a better atmosphere and cut ticket prices.

Travel insurance not guaranteed with no-deal Brexit

Five out of seven leading travel agents are unable to provide insurance cover guarantees in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a mystery shopper exercise has uncovered.

Following the Conservative Government’s own advice, the Liberal Democrats contacted seven of the UK’s largest insurers to ask whether or not they would provide cover for travel plans disrupted by a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

However, with only weeks to go until the UK could leave the European Union with a possible no-deal Brexit, only two of the seven companies could confirm insurance would be paid out as normal in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Another two insurers stated that travellers would not be covered at all while another three were simply unsure as to whether coverage would continue or not.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Just when people are booking their holidays, the Conservatives’ shambolic handling of the Brexit process could turn their trips into a nightmare.

It is a nonsense that the Tory Government appeals to people to contact their insurance companies yet they themselves have been left largely ill-informed and unable to address any uncertainties.

It is time the Prime Minister saw sense and ruled out a chaotic ‘no deal’ scenario. Better still, Liberal Democrats want to give people an opportunity to exit from Brexit with a final say on the deal and the option to remain in the EU.

Lib Dems: Govt continue to scaremonger with redeployment of defence staff

Responding to reports that up to 1,000 defence staff could be redeployed to help the UK Government cope with a no-deal Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Once again this Tory Government are scaremongering about a no-deal Brexit when the Prime Minister could easily take the option off the table.

Theresa May is attempting to run down the clock, tinker with unviable solutions to the Irish border and frighten MPs, businesses and the public into supporting her already defeated deal.

The Liberal Democrats are clear the best way out of this deadlock is by giving the people the final say, with the option to remain in the EU.

Moran: Time to scrap cruel Vagrancy Act

This evening Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran will use the Adjournment Debate to bring a Bill to parliament that would see the 1824 Vagrancy Act repealed.

The Vagrancy Act currently criminalises those that sleep or beg on the streets.

Commenting ahead of the debate, Layla Moran said:

I’m delighted that I have the opportunity to debate this Bill and bring it back to parliament today and to hopefully move a step further to eradicating this cruel practice of criminalising rough sleepers.

Moving people on, issuing fines and putting vulnerable people in prison cells should be a source of shame to our authorities and our government. It is time that this archaic act from the nineteenth century was repealed.

I want to see a society that cares for those that have fallen on hard times and treats them with compassion, not cruelty and condemnation. I hope that parliament joins me in supporting the end of this legislation.

Davey: Tory cuts have made it easy for ‘county lines’ drug traffickers

Responding to the National Crime Agency’s report on the spread of ‘county lines’ drug traffickers, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

When children as young as 12 are being exploited by drug gangs, the Conservative Government’s approach clearly needs to change. We need to stop both the supply and demand of illegal hard drugs.

Unnecessary Tory cuts to the police have made it easier for organised criminal networks to spread; cuts to the Border Force have made it easier for them to traffic illegal drugs and weapons into the UK; and cuts to youth services have made it easier for them to prey on young people.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats demand more community police officers to prevent gangs from operating, more Border Force officers to stop drugs and weapons entering the country, and more youth services to keep children out of the grip of criminal gangs.

But we must also treat the addiction that fuels demand for these drugs. Rather than simply being locked up, drug users should be diverted into evidence-based treatment programmes and given the support they need to get off drugs.

Lib Dems: The only compromise that the PM should consider is a people’s vote

Responding to the Prime Minister’s agreement to engage with Conservative backbench MPs regarding the ‘Malthouse Compromise’, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

It is beyond ludicrous that the Prime Minister is willing to consider staking the country’s future on technology that does not even exist. This is not even the most irresponsible part. The idea of entering into a transition deal when the Government cannot even agree where we will end up is nothing short of dangerous.

This so-called compromise is nothing other than kicking the can down the road in an attempt to paper over the cracks in the Conservative Party. If the Conservatives are convinced that the can of worms that the referendum opened within their party can somehow be solved by delaying decisions, they are deluded.

The only compromise that will get the UK out of this mess is to give the public a people’s vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

Cable: Contradictory amendments show only way forward is a people’s vote

Responding to both Sir Graham Brady’s and Dame Caroline Spelman’s amendments being passed this evening, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

The House of Commons has given contradictory instructions, both ruling out ‘no deal’ and setting the Government on a collision course with the EU, ramping up the chances of no deal.

Willing the ends but not the means for preventing no deal gets us nowhere.

Parliament remains effectively deadlocked. The only way forward is a people’s vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

Labour MPs who sided with the Tories have become handmaids to Brexit

Responding to 14 Labour MPs voting with the Conservative Government against Yvette Cooper’s amendment this evening, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

It is clear from votes in the House of Commons that divisions in the Labour Party are as deep as they are with the Tories.

Labour MPs who sided with the Conservatives have become handmaids to a Tory Brexit. As a result, a no-deal Brexit is a step closer. People will be worried about what the future holds.

The best way out of this mess is to go back to the people and give them a final say on Brexit. That is what the Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for with all our soul and heart.

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