8 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Iran’s actions on US airbases “unacceptable”
  • Johnson’s hard negotiation deadline is unrealistic
  • Farron: Child refugees vote reveals Tory MPs’ true colours
  • Johnson’s govt must stand up to use of death penalty abroad
  • UK Govt must not abandon Iran Nuclear Treaty

Iran’s actions on US airbases “unacceptable”

Responding to Iran’s missile strikes on US airbases in Iraq, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Iran’s actions against US airbases last night were unacceptable and should be unequivocally condemned.

It is vital Boris Johnson does all he can to ensure dialogue and a de-escalation of this intensifying situation.

The Prime Minister must also take every step to protect British service personnel and civilians in the region including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

As a sign of the UK’s commitment to reducing tensions, the Prime Minister must also make it clear to President Trump that while we will of course always defend our troops and civilians, the UK will not be dragged into yet another military conflict in the Middle East.

Johnson’s hard negotiation deadline is unrealistic

Responding to comments by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that Johnson’s December 2020 is ‘very tight’ and that ‘it is basically impossible to negotiate all topics I have been mentioning’, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

It is becoming increasingly clear that the hard deadline Boris Johnson has set for negotiating the future relationship between the EU and UK is unrealistic.

Von der Leyen’s comments highlight that the Tory government must be open to extending the transition period beyond the end of this year to ensure we do not leave with a half-baked deal or crash out without any deal at all.

A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for our NHS, jobs and the environment. The government’s own reports have detailed how devastating a no-deal scenario would be. It is unacceptable that the Tories have refused to take it off the table.

Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to stop a no-deal Brexit at the end of 2020. It is essential that the transition period can be extended to prevent this devastating prospect.

Farron: Child refugees vote reveals Tory MPs’ true colours

Responding to today’s Commons vote on protecting child refugees, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said that Tory MPs had “earned the labels” of “insular and inhumane” by voting against the cross-party amendment.

Every Liberal Democrat MP voted for an opposition amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to retain a statutory duty on the Government to negotiate an agreement with the EU that protects family reunion rights for unaccompanied child refugees in Europe. However, Conservative MPs voted down the amendment by 348 votes to 252.

Responding to the vote, Tim Farron said:

Tory MPs love to talk about ‘global Britain’ and claim that Brexit is really some great internationalist project. By turning their backs on child refugees they have shown it is anything but.

These Tory MPs get irritated when they are labelled as insular and inhumane, but by blocking our amendment today they have earned those labels.

We must do all we can to protect child refugees and Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for them – including when this Bill moves to the House of Lords.

Johnson’s govt must stand up to use of death penalty abroad

Speaking after the re-imposition of death penalties for Bahraini prisoners Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

The death penalty is an abhorrent affront to fundamental human rights. The UK must oppose its use anywhere in the world.

It is vital that Boris Johnson’s government do all they can to ensure that the draconian sentences re-imposed on Ramadhan and Moosa are not upheld on appeal.

The UK is a signatory to an international convention against the death penalty and we must do all we can to secure meaningful reforms in Bahrain and other nations so that the death penalty is abolished globally.

UK Govt must not abandon Iran Nuclear Treaty

Following Donald Trump’s call on the UK to break away from the Iran nuclear deal, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

Trump’s call for the UK to break away from the Iran nuclear deal is dangerous, and Britain should reject it.

It’s time for Boris Johnson to decide where his values lie. It is essential the UK stands up for international law and human rights. He must not allow the UK to be used as the lapdog of President Trump, and should remember that the Iran nuclear deal was signed by an American President, whose strategy of diplomatic engagement worked with Iran.

Rather than rejecting the nuclear deal, Britain should be calling on Trump to get back to the table. With our European allies, we must do all we can to de-escalate this situation and return to dialogue with Iran.

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