9-10 November 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

That’s rather embarrassing, in that I managed to fall asleep mid-edit. So, time to catch up…

  • Lib Dems respond to Conservative announcement on GP appointments
  • Lib Dems: Boris Johnson should call Cobra meeting over flooding emergency
  • Labour People’s Vote promise rings hollow – Lib Dems
  • Labour People’s Vote promise rings hollow – Lib Dems
  • Lib Dems: Manifestos must receive OBR scrutiny

Lib Dems respond to Conservative announcement on GP appointments

Responding to the Conservative Party’s announcement today on GP appointments, Luciana Berger, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, said:

This latest Tory announcement isn’t offering any real solutions to the current staffing crisis in the NHS. While training up GPs is vital in the long term, we need to see immediate action to strengthen our NHS.

The threat of Brexit is already impacting the NHS. Currently 4% of our GPs have qualified in the EU. With overall GP numbers falling and the average waiting time for non-urgent appointments now over two weeks, we cannot afford to lose a single GP from the EU.

The Conservative’s Nurse Tax will discourage GPs and other health professionals trained in the EU from coming to work in the UK. The importance of international recruitment for the NHS, which is already struggling with 100,000 vacancies, cannot be overstated.

Brexit, along with the Conservatives’ damaging immigration policies, would harm the NHS. A Liberal Democrat government will stop Brexit and build a brighter future that supports our hardworking nurses and doctors.

Lib Dems: Boris Johnson should call Cobra meeting over flooding emergency

Responding to Boris Johnson’s comments that the significant flooding across the UK is not a national emergency, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Communities and Local Government and the Northern Powerhouse Tim Farron said:

For Boris Johnson to say that he does not consider this a national emergency is insulting to those in the midst of a crisis.

This shows he doesn’t care about families across the North of England and the Midlands, many of whom are in urgent need of rehousing, have lost their businesses and whose mental health is being impacted.

There is a human cost to the Prime Minister’s self-interested drive to remain on an election footing. Instead he should put the individuals affected first, call a COBRA meeting, and provide support to those that urgently need it.

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Environment, said:

My thoughts are with all of those affected by the floods and I would like to thank the emergency services for their efforts to keep people safe.

We are facing a climate emergency and severe weather episodes are likely to become more common. It is up to government to introduce policies to mitigate against flood risk and the Tories have not done enough to protect at-risk communities.

A Liberal Democrat government will establish a flood-prevention fund focused on providing support for small community and council-led schemes. We will invest to reduce upstream flooding and the knock-on effects in downstream and coastal areas, in addition to improving flood defences, and introducing high standards for flood resilience for buildings and infrastructure in flood-risk areas.

Lib Dems to waive exorbitant fees for veterans

Today the Liberal Democrats announce that the party will waive the exorbitant leave to remain application fees for members of the Armed Forces who were born outside of the UK. The fees cost a family of four almost £10k.

In recent years the fees for these applications have been increased to exorbitant levels: they now stand at £2,389 per person, despite the unit cost to the Home Office of processing an application being just £243. This means that the cost of applying for a family of four is £9,556.

These excessive fees have prevented many brave veterans from taking up their right to settle in the UK with their families. Some have been forced to leave the country they have served for and lived in for years; others have remained in the UK without immigration status, unable to work in the country they sought to defend.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Defence Secretary Jamie Stone said:

Foreign and Commonwealth citizens have a proud legacy of serving our country in the Armed Forces. These excessive fees have prevented many brave veterans and their families from living in the UK and forced many to a life of destitution.

These men and women risk their lives in the service of our country, and the fact they are treated this way by the Conservative party is yet another horrible example of the hostile environment.

A Liberal Democrat government will waive the outrageous application fees for members of the Armed Forces on discharge and their families.

Labour People’s Vote promise rings hollow – Lib Dems

Responding to Andrew Gwynne’s comments that Labour will offer a People’s Vote on a new, Labour Brexit deal, Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary said:

Labour’s promise that they will offer a People’s Vote rings hollow. For more than three years, Corbyn’s Labour Party have repeatedly failed to back a People’s Vote in the House of Commons. Their plan to renegotiate a deal is yet more evidence that they are a Brexit party.

The Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of Remain and a Liberal Democrat government will stop Brexit, revoking Article 50 on day one.

The only way to end the Brexit mess – to truly protect the freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as members of the EU – is to stop Brexit, generating a £50bn Remain Bonus for our country.

Lib Dems: Manifestos must receive OBR scrutiny

Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey has called on both the Labour and Conservative party’s to submit their election manifestos to the Office for Budget Responsibility to be independently costed following their battle to ‘splash the cash’.

This afternoon, he said:

The cash commitments that are being thrown around by the two old parties need to be subject to proper scrutiny.

These flush figures are a knee-jerk reaction fuelled by fantasy Brexit-economics, failing to acknowledge the drain on our resources that Brexit has, and will continue to be on our public services.

Manifestos need to be independently assessed and costed by the Office for Budget Responsibility, so that the public can be confident that flagship policies can be delivered.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to building a brighter future, and are more than prepared to submit our manifesto to the OBR, are Labour and the Tories?

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3 Comments

  • Peter Martin 12th Nov '19 - 1:09pm

    “Their plan to renegotiate a deal is yet more evidence that they (Labour) are a Brexit party.” ???

    The disadvantage for any party proposing to hold another referendum is that they have to find an alternative to Remain. Labour don’t want to put no-deal, TM’s deal or BJ’s deal on the paper as an alternative so it follows that they’ll have to come up with their own alternative. I think we all know roughly what it will be and it won’t be anything that the Leave side will be able to support.

    So that will be good from your POV. The net result will be to cancel Brexit and remain in the EU. So what are you worried about?

    My worry is that there will be a huge backlash against any attempt to fob off the electorate in this way.

    So what’s your alternative? ” A Liberal Democrat government will stop Brexit, revoking Article 50 on day one.”

    Except there isn’t going to be a “day one” of a LibDem govt! We all know that. You’re only route to “stopping Brexit” is via Labour’s referendum. But you’d prefer a Tory govt?

  • Nigel Jones 12th Nov '19 - 2:33pm

    What is wrong with suggesting Labour put BJ’s deal at the alternative ? It’s now the only one on the table and Juncker may well be correct in saying there is even less appetite now in the EU for negotiating yet another one. BJ’s would also be a relatively easy one to campaign for people to reject and vote remain.

  • Jayne Mansfield 13th Nov '19 - 8:47am

    @ Nigel Jones,

    Try asking a Tory minister to give an honest answer whether by accepting Boris Johnson’s deal as an option, the possibility of a no deal brexit has been avoided if electors vote for it?

    A Conservative government still risks a no deal exit from the EU next year.

    Apologies for mentioning honest and Boris Johnson in the same sentence.

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