30 July 2019 – today’s press releases

Boris’ no-deal spells disaster for farmers

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s visit to Wales today, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

It would appear that Conservative aides have finally dusted off a map, given Boris Johnson the nametag for their candidate and pointed him to Brecon and Radnorshire.

This last minute quickdash visit is symbolic of just how much the Conservatives have taken local people for granted.

People deserve better than the Tories’ half baked plan to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal and thereby lumping farmers with an eye watering 40% tariff on Welsh lamb.

By voting Liberal Democrat on Thursday, people across Brecon and Radnorshire will finally get an MP who will oppose this chaos and stand up for farmers and our rural communities.

New Lord Chancellor must act now to restore Legal Aid

Responding to Robert Buckland’s swearing-in speech as the new Lord Chancellor today, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Jonathan Marks QC has challenged him to “match his warm words about Legal Aid with action”.

In his speech, the Lord Chancellor said: “I remain firmly of the belief that as far as possible the right support must be provided for those who need it, particularly where actions of the state directly affect the liberty, livelihood or welfare of the individual.”

Following the speech, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Jonathan Marks QC said:

The new Lord Chancellor must match his warm words about Legal Aid with action.

He should start be restoring Legal Aid for welfare, debt, employment, immigration, housing and family law cases.

The Government has cut the Legal Aid budget by £945 million a year, more than twice the £450 million it expected when the reforms were passed in 2012. And these cuts have hit vulnerable people the hardest.

Far too many people are unable to access legal advice or to afford a lawyer to represent them in court – even in cases that have profound effects on their lives.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. We will reverse the £500 million of extra cuts to Legal Aid, to ensure that everyone has access to the legal advice and representation they need to defend their fundamental rights.

Lib Dems: Tory cuts to schools are failing our children

Liberal Democrats have slammed the growing inequality in our schools following the release of an Education Policy Institute (EPI) report today. The report shows that it would take over 500 years to close the gap between disadvantaged secondary school pupils and their peers at its current rate.

Commenting on these alarming findings, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Inequality is growing in the UK and in no other place is this more apparent than in our schools. The Education Policy Institute released a report today showing that it would take over 500 years, at the current rate of change, to close the gap between disadvantaged secondary school pupil and their peers.

These shocking findings show us that the Conservative Government’s school spending cuts are failing our children. School budgets are not allowing our teachers the resources they need to give all children the opportunities to succeed in life.

There is no better investment in this country’s future than investment in education. That is why the Liberal Democrats would devote nearly £7 billion extra to our children’s education. We will increase school budgets and the Pupil Premium to ensure that those from disadvantaged backgrounds have the same opportunities as though from the most privileged.

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  • Peter Martin 31st Jul '19 - 6:49am

    ” .. thereby lumping farmers with an eye watering 40% tariff on Welsh lamb.”

    OK but who imposes the 40% tariff? The Liberals were a party that historically opposed high tariffs and protectionism, but here you are, as the LibDems, in the early 21st century carrying out your modern role as cheerleaders for the protectionist trade bloc known as the EU. And, of course it’s not just lamb that is subject to high tariffs on entry into the EU.

    This example illustrates quite nicely why the NI border is going to be much more of a problem for the EU and Ireland , when and if, the UK leaves, than it will be for the UK. A lorry load of lamb driven over the border suddenly won’t be Welsh lamb any longer. It will be tariff free Irish lamb!

    How is the EU going to cope with that?

  • Bless Peter, who are imposing the tariffs I do like the easy questions. The answer of cause is “It’s you mate, your imposing the tariff with your half baked vote for Brexit”.
    So to reiterate, due to you (Ok you had lots of company) vote for the pig in the poke Brexit you have effectively voted for no deal WTO rules. This brings with it 40% tariffs on lamb. So yes Liberals are in favour of free trade ( by the way while we are leaving the EU has signed trade deals with Canada and Japan, deals we are ripping up) but you my friend effectively voted for tariffs. Tis sad when reality bites but no point in blaming others for the result of your Brexit or is it Lexit? You voted for it please own it, because there will be a lot to own; stupidity comes with a high price.

  • Peter Martin 31st Jul '19 - 7:53am


    Pigs, even the ones in pokes, will be subject to similarly high tariffs. By the EU.

    Look, even you should be able to understand that the UK will be responsible for its own tariffs after Brexit. The EU will be responsible for setting its own tariffs. 40% is way too high. I’d expect something like half that on the UK side as a maximum for anything. Including the usual BS peddled about tariffs by the remain side!

    On the one hand we we’ll all starve because of affordably high food prices due to high tariffs , on the other hand farmers will go out of business because food prices will be so low that they won’t be able to make a profit. Go figure!

  • Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Jonathan Marks QC said, “The new Lord Chancellor must match his warm words about Legal Aid with action.
    He should start be restoring Legal Aid for welfare, debt, employment, immigration, housing and family law cases.”

    Has he forgotten that it was Vince Cable who, as Business Secretary in the coalition, removed many of those rights?

  • By the way Peter, your let’s become the smuggler state, that will show them truely shows the level and contortions you ( and many if your fellow Brexiteers/Lexiteers) will drop too. Nothing you won’t do to gain your precious Lexit is there. I feel you need to report immediately to Grimsby on the fastest unicorn you can find, your goal should be to sign up for a life on the ocean waves as part of Admiral wee Moggs brave buccaneer squadron; that will show the furrins as you beat their shipping up and down the channel; you never know they might even let you beat the drum, proper like Drake you could be.

  • chris moore 31st Jul '19 - 8:55am

    @Peter Martin and Frankie:

    “On the one hand we we’ll all starve because of affordably high food prices due to high tariffs , on the other hand farmers will go out of business because food prices will be so low that they won’t be able to make a profit. Go figure!”

    British hill farmers export a very high percentage of their lamb production to Europe. There are high WTO tariffs on lamb. Post-Brexit, such exports will be much less competitive. There will be a lamb glut in the UK. This will reduce producer prices (making British lamb somewhat less uncompetitive, of course). Overall, many UK lamb producers will go out of business, particularly if the UK chooses to remove import tariffs.

    I’d indeed expect the UK to eliminate most import tariffs across the board. This will reduce prices for exports from outside the EU. So this will reduce prices for some products for UK consumers. (However, the pound may weaken further, nullifying this effect.)

    The EU has negotiated free trade deals with many countries around the world. We will no longer be part of such deals. Unilaterally removing tariffs is probably the best response, but is negative for UK producers.

    A no-deal Brexit will be a serious hit for UK lamb producers.

  • Peter,
    Yes we can set our tarrifs to 0% for everyone, nip and tell your local sheep farmer that and then run, run like the wind. The EU could set tarrifs on UK lamb at 0% but they would have to do that for every country in the world, you know, then they could nip and tell their sheep farmers and run, run like the wind. Some how I can’t see them running to save your bacon, more likely to be eating popcorn watching the brave Brexiteers contort themselves into ever stranger shapes to justify the WTO Brexit.

  • Alex Macfie 31st Jul '19 - 9:40am

    expats: Have you forgotten that Lib Dems are not in coalition with the Tories anymore and have absolutely ruled that out as an option? What Lib Dems did as the junior partner in coalition does not reflect what they would do in a Lib Dem majority government.

  • Richard Underhill 31st Jul '19 - 10:21am

    A cousin of ours married an American after WW2 and lived in New York. She eats lamb, but said that many Americans simply do not know what it is. So a challenge to Boris. Equality, with a warning. This is red meat and it can be fattening. Raise USA food standards to our levels and accept imports of UK (and New Zealand) lamb in equal quantities to foods that only the USA provides. Bison perhaps? Most of it was wasted when they attempted to starve out native Americans.

  • Martin I fear you are falling into the trap of thinking facts will change Brex’s and Lexi’s ( I trap I often find myself in). I’m afraid we need reluctantly come to the conclusion they are beyond facts, facts to them are like garlic to vampires, they recoil, hiss and crunch themselves into stranger shapes. They will chant “tis the fault of the EU” ( as so ably demonstrated by Peter) when of cause it is the fault of their vote to leave, but responsiblity is beyond them. I fear the best thing to do with them is to issue them with bells and get them to “Chant Brexi and Lexi” as they wonder the disaster they voted for, thus to enable the easily lead to run away from them. They have truely voted yourselves to be the lepers of the 21st century, to be avoided by the rest of the world is their fate and alas ours.

  • Peter Martin 31st Jul '19 - 3:43pm

    @ frankie,

    You should perhaps follow the advice of other commentators on LDV and refrain from calling people “stupid” and “irrational” etc. I’m not normally one to pick up on infringements of PC, but you might also want to have a think about the use of the phrase “the lepers of the 21st century.”

    Leprosy has been a problem since at least Biblical times. It’s a human illness like any other. Sufferers from the disease shouldn’t be labelled “lepers” and shunned by society. It’s a no-no. Especially on a supposedly progressive blog.

    I was taking a look through my spam folder the other day, there were quite a lot of messages from an “investment research company” including some from a guy who was spruiking his book “How the Euro Dies”.

    I’m not sure if he’s right for the right reasons as I haven’t read it but its sounds on the face of it to be what many of us have been saying for a long time now. The EU train is very likely to crash soon. It’s a good time to get off.


  • Richard Underhill 31st Jul '19 - 3:49pm

    Boris Johnson is in Northern Ireland on 31/7/19.
    BBC tv news reports that he met the leaders of the ‘five largest parties’ but did not name them and only quoted what some of them said.
    Boris Johnson said that he would do “all he could” to get the devolved Assembly going.
    This, for Boris, is the art of the possible where two Northern Ireland Secretaries of State have failed.
    He should know that Northern Ireland history and current politics have important differences from England, Scotland or Wales.
    The ‘Boris reshuffle’ has provided another opportunity to criticise the S of S, but it is not sufficient to proclaim that he/they want to maintain the status of Northern Ireland in the UK.
    Naomi Long’s constituency is the whole of Northern Ireland.
    She previously defeated DUP leader Peter Robinson MP electorally and peacefully.
    Their response was between elections. They are unionist but are they democratic?
    They were founded by the late Ian Paisley.
    Alliance leader Naomi Long has said that Alliance are/were willing to go into coalition with the DUP subject to several conditions, despite the difficulties of negotiating.
    All the parties (and hopefully Boris) know that the DUP have been in coalition with Sinn Fein, who carefully choose issues that the DUP are unlikely to be willing to concede. When they disagreed they asked David Ford, former Alliance leader, to be a minister in the devolved government.
    It appeared that neither the DUP nor Sinn Fein could trust anyone else.

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