30 January 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Cable: CBI warning of no-deal plans reveals no faith in PM
  • Cable tells Japanese business leaders a People’s Vote is still possible
  • Lib Dems vow to fight on for death penalty guarantee
  • Cable: Barclays decision highlights the cost of no deal Brexit

Cable: CBI warning of no-deal plans reveals no faith in PM

Responding to reports that the Head of the CBI expects UK companies to speed up plans for a no-deal Brexit in response to votes in the House of Commons last night, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

The voice of business in our country can’t be ignored. Businesses that make up the backbone of the UK economy are rightly concerned about the consequences of a chaotic no-deal Brexit, which Parliament failed to rule out this week due to divisions in Labour and the Conservatives.

Theresa May’s Brexit won’t work for businesses. The CBI know, just as Liberal Democrats do, that the Prime Minister will have a hard time getting agreement from the EU. It feels more like a last hurrah to save the Tory party than anything in the national interest.

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 unequivocally fight for.

Cable tells Japanese business leaders a People’s Vote is still possible

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable today met Japanese business leaders at Chatham House where he made clear “a People’s Vote with an option to remain is still very much a possibility.”

Following the meeting, Vince Cable said:

Japanese investment is worth billions to the UK economy. I met many of these business leaders during my time as Business Secretary. I encouraged their investment in the UK creating many jobs, particularly in the car industry.

It was always clear that they were investing in the UK because they view it as a gateway to the wider European market and the danger of Brexit is that they will no longer invest here.

I made clear that no deal is a choice by this Conservative Government. I also reassured them that a People’s Vote with an option to remain is still very much a possibility. Playing games in order to scare MPs is having a damaging effect on confidence but there is still time to stop Brexit.

Lib Dems vow to fight on for death penalty guarantee

Following the House of Commons’ vote this afternoon on the Crime Bill, the Liberal Democrats have pledged to continue to fight in the House of Lords for a guarantee that evidence provided by the UK will not result in people facing the death penalty.

At Report Stage today, Conservative MPs blocked a Liberal Democrat amendment that would have restored that guarantee and instead passed a weaker amendment requiring only that the Government must seek a death penalty assurance – not that they must receive one.

The Bill will now return to the House of Lords for “ping-pong”, where the Liberal Democrat peers will fight to restore a guarantee on the death penalty.

After the vote, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle.

That is the longstanding policy of Governments of all political parties, but it’s just words unless we’re prepared to use our influence with one of our closest allies to work towards its abolition.

The Liberal Democrats support a data-sharing agreement with the United States to allow terrorists, paedophiles and other serious criminals to be brought to justice. But any such agreement must make clear that evidence supplied by the UK will never be used to sentence anyone to death.

If Donald Trump and his Republican Senators refuse to provide that assurance, it would be them potentially allowing criminals to go free – not the UK.

Conservative Ministers should be standing up for fundamental British values, including our opposition to the death penalty, not cravenly submitting to Trump’s will.

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson for Home Affairs Brian Paddick said:

When this matter returns to the House of Lords, Liberal Democrats will ensure there is a proper death penalty assurance guarantee.

The Government’s alternative amendment to the Bill only requires the Secretary of State to seek death penalty assurances, not guarantee them.

This means people could be executed in other countries based on evidence provided by the UK. The Government’s argument, that the US might not sign a data-sharing agreement if we insist on death penalty assurances, suggests the Government is prepared to see people lose their lives in order to secure the deal.

The UK is a signatory to an international convention against the death penalty in all circumstances and yet this Government is prepared to send people to the electric chair. We should be upholding people’s human rights, particularly the right to life, not sacrificing people for the sake of an agreement with the United States, or any other country that still has the death penalty.

Cable: Barclays decision highlights the cost of no deal Brexit

Responding to news that Barclays Bank plans to move £190 billion of its business to Ireland, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

This shows the huge real life cost even the threat of no deal is wreaking on the economy. We already know many companies are losing orders and piling up stocks they don’t need.

This massive switch of Barclays resources to Ireland is yet another loss to the UK – which may never be reversed. Philip Hammond confirmed to me yesterday that The Treasury is authorising hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of spending of taxpayers’ money on purely precautionary measures which have no lasting value. We cannot criticise the banks for doing the same.

The only way to offer certainty to businesses that cannot rely on the government is to go back to the public with a People’s Vote.

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One Comment

  • The CBI has zero credibility as far as its pronouncements go. They speak for big business and their wallets. I doubt they even care for the little guy.

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