Farron on Marr: Lib Dems will be the strong opposition that Britain so desperately needs

Tim Farron has been on the Andrew Marr Show this morning. Theresa May was on as well, although not at the same time. It was like Durham in 1992 all over again.

He set out his pitch to be the strong opposition to Theresa May’s Government:

And he explained why people should spoil May’s coronation by turning to the Liberal Democrats

He appealed to young people to vote for the Lib Dems to avoid a hard Brexit that could damage us for generations to come.

He came across very well and got in our campaign messages along the theme of the only way to avoid a hard Brexit is to vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Interestingly, he brought up his own resignation over an EU matter back in 2008 as evidence that he was up for campaigning for reform to all levels of government. We are not a party who simply accepts the way things are. If the established way isn’t working for people, we will push for change.

All in all it was a very good performance.

Rachel Johnson, who joined the Lib Dems this week, was also on, explaining why she had signed up:

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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22 Comments

  • Didn’t see the programme but I would like to know more about any of our new policies going forward.

  • BUT it cannot be denied that Labour have done well media and presentation wise, fast moving, new issues each day, they have got a message across. I am unclear what our approach is, where are our policies except over Brexit. It is also showing in the polls, Labour are generally coming up.

  • Nicholas Cunningham 30th Apr '17 - 1:16pm

    It’s so telling on the Labour Party, the official opposition, when May and the Tories can announce at the start of an election campaign that the triple lock on pensions is about to be removed. It tells me one thing, politically Labour wilderness years are to continue and but it gives a great opportunity for the Lib/Dem’s.

  • Andrew McCaig 30th Apr '17 - 3:06pm

    Could we perhaps change our campaign slogan from “no to a Hard Brexit” which means nothing, to “Yes to the Single Market” which means something clear (even if many voters confuse membership with access), and is positive? We have become far too negative in our campaign messages lately…

  • “Could we perhaps change our campaign slogan from “no to a Hard Brexit” which means nothing, to “Yes to the Single Market” which means something clear (even if many voters confuse membership with access), and is positive? “

    Agree.

  • Jayne Mansfield 30th Apr '17 - 3:33pm

    @ Andrew McCaig,
    I agree.

    My husband, a Times reading,highly intelligent fellow with numerous post grad qualifications asked me a couple of days ago.

    ‘ Do you know what this hard Brexit, soft Brexit thing is’.

    If less politically minded people like him are switching off and just concentrating on the Times crossword, or other diversions, there is a problem with the message.

  • paul barker 30th Apr '17 - 4:11pm

    Fascinating coverage of a Poll taken in Kensington on the reaction to a possible “Stop Brexit” canditate, The Poll suggests that they could get 28% & come 2nd, taking votes from all the other candidates. ( This is covered on The Political Betting website)
    It looks like this could happen across London, The Stop Brexit Alliance seem to have money & organisation. We should forestall this by rebranding all our candidates as Libdem (Stop Brexit). We should drop the Soft Brexit stuff & make it clear that a vote for us is a vote to withdraw Article 50.
    Our “Leavers didnt vote for this” argument is confusing & irrelevant, The Vote on June 8th supercedes The Vote last June.
    We still have time to harden up our “line” on Brexit, but not much time.

  • Keith Browning 30th Apr '17 - 4:30pm

    The Lib Dem campaign seems more anti-Labour and anti-SNP than anti-Tory. Fragmenting the anti-Tory vote will guarantee a Tory landslide. What is going on..??

  • Denis Loretto 30th Apr '17 - 5:08pm

    I agree that “no to hard brexit” is not the best headline. Our unique offer is to fight for a referendum on the final deal. Something like “Put the deal to the people” would be better. We should also make clear that if the deal were to be rejected in a referendum the status quo would apply i.e. we would stay in the EU.

  • Jayne Mansfield 30th Apr '17 - 5:17pm

    @ Keith Browning,
    In my humble opinion, despite all the hypocritical talk about the need for a strong opposition, this party when choosing to make the election about Jeremy Corbyn, is in fact just helping the tories with their aim of destroying the Labour party once and for all.

    The history of the Labour party and its achievements makes me sympathetic to it despite it current disarray.

  • Bill le Breton 30th Apr '17 - 5:59pm

    Paul Barker writes, “We should forestall this by rebranding all our candidates as Libdem (Stop Brexit). We should drop the Soft Brexit stuff & make it clear that a vote for us is a vote to withdraw Article 50”

    And strategically surely that is consistent with what LDs have chosen to campaign on. So why did they chose the “campaigning against a ‘hard Brexit'” line? One must assume it is because the Party’s policy is not “to withdraw Article 50”, but to campaign for a 2nd Referendum which includes a BRIN option and to campaign then for that.

    Meanwhile, although I suspected that most people had made up their minds immediately on the announcement of the election, there may just have been the start of some movement of opinion this week.

    UK Polling Report is not the only one to suggest there has been too little attention given to a possible trend developing.

    “YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 44%, LAB 31%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 6%, GRN 2%, down to a thirteen point Conservative lead compared to sixteen points in the week (and twenty-point-plus leads when the election was first called). It suggests that the mid-week YouGov/Times poll was picking up the start of a trend, rather than just a blip”

  • Interesting responses to a YouGov question just posted on Britain Elects:

    There [X] be a referendum to accept/reject the terms of Brexit:

    Should: 31%
    Should not: 49%

    Britain [X] seek to remain a member of the European Single Market:

    Should: 51%
    Should not: 26%

    That would seem to suggest remaining in the single market is more popular than calling for a second referendum.

  • Richard Underhill 30th Apr '17 - 7:35pm

    Please also note the currency movements. Obviously if the Tories get a majority in the Commons they get more time, which may affect any transitional arrangements. It is wrong, indeed absurd, for Theresa May to say, that a vote for her(!) or for her local candidate, strengthens her hand in negotiations with the EU27, who have denied that. It might strengthen her authority within her parliamentary party, so the £ sterling rises when a soft Brexit seems more likely.

  • Andrew McCaig 1st May '17 - 12:15am

    It is perfectly possible to campaign to stay in the Single Market and to offer a referendum on the terms with an option to Remain.

    What is more, staying in the Single Market may be achievable since May will come under a lot of pressure from Tory donors to accept a transitional deal that can then become permanent.. whereas unfortunately winning a FFPTP election is not going to happen even if we could win all the London seats…

    I note that Theresa May’s actions have become increasingly unconnected with her previous utterances so what she says about the Single Market has no relevance…

  • Andrew McCaig 1st May '17 - 12:18am

    Andrew T
    Yes, that poll should be enough to change the emphasis onto staying in the Single Market if our Party strategists have any sense.. I am afraid the “hard Brexit” line just is not working.
    Staying in the Single Market is a very powerful message to EU migrants and young British people as well..

  • Staying in the Single Market is a very powerful message to EU migrants and young British people as well..

    And continue to benefit from n trade deals previously negotiated and agreed to by the UK with y countries…

    Sorry not got values for x and y to hand, but given one aspect of Brexit is all about “signing our own trade deals”, we should be drawing attention to all the trade deals with are already party to and had a hand in negotiating…

  • Keith Browning 30th Apr ’17 – 4:30pm…..The Lib Dem campaign seems more anti-Labour and anti-SNP than anti-Tory. Fragmenting the anti-Tory vote will guarantee a Tory landslide. What is going on..??……………

    I’m also confused…The missing bit in the interview, where Tim said, “you will remember that I resigned from the Liberal Democrat front bench about 10 years ago because I am a bit of a Eurosceptic,”…
    And yet Corbyn has been labelled a ‘closet Brexiteer’ for only giving EU membership 7/10…

    What’s the difference?

  • Dave Orbison 1st May '17 - 11:32am

    Keith Browning/Jayne Mansfield – re anti Labour position of LibDem campaign – I wholeheartedly agree. As noted by Expats the strategy seems entirely aimed at chipping away at Labour – seemingly because Labour/Corbyn isn’t insufficiently pro EU.

    Yet today we have Tim Farron ‘talking up’ his pro Brexit feelings. This prompted me to look back at when he resigned from the front bench in 2008 and found this illuminating piece by the BBC.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7279805.stm (sorry if you need to cut/paste link). It really is worth a read.

    So then we had the LibDems abstaining on the Lisbon Treaty and Nick Clegg demanding there should be a referendum on EU membership. Supported by the Tories and opposed by Labour.

    A referendum on EU membership Nick? Well that worked out so well. So I was wondering if Tim in view of his recent Brexit confessional would give the EU say 7/10, i.e. the same score Corbyn gave the EU for which he has been unrelentingly hammered by many on LDV.

    On the same topic those who rightly, in my opinion, slated Cameron for holding a referendum that has led to this awful mess, may want to reflect on the double standards employed by the LibDems in light of their actual track record on this matter. (see BBC link). But then saying one in in public, and voting (or sitting on one’s hands) in the Commons, are often two different things as Danny Alexander reminded us every time he was on Newsnight justifying austerity and policy U-turns. That worked out well too.

  • Dave Orbison 1st May '17 - 12:07pm

    typo should read “seemingly because Labour/Corbyn isn’t sufficiently pro EU” –
    re sentiments expats beat me to it.

  • David Allen 1st May '17 - 1:03pm

    Can’t we say two slogans at once?

    Stop Hard Brexit

    Stay in the Single Market

  • David Allen 1st May '17 - 1:06pm

    PS – If we become the official Opposition, we shall fight to persuade the Tories to drop their Hard Brexit and stay in the Single Market – And we expect to win that fight, as the realities of negotiating with the EU hit home!

    If we won the election, then we would take that as the nation having decided to countermand the narrow 2016 Referendum Leave vote, and we would withdraw from Article 50 altogether.

  • David Allen 1st May '17 - 1:17pm

    PPS – We’re not breaking through into the headlne news. We shall never win if the only thing anybody reports about Tim Farron is what he thinks about gay sex.

    So we need to make waves.

    What about starting with the (startling) promise from the EU to Ireland that they would quickly accept a united Ireland into the EU, if that was decided in order to avoid a hard border?

    What about the line “Theresa May says she will find a way to avoid creating a hard border between Northern and Southern Ireland. She is bluffing. The experts all say that there is no way to avoid a hard border if the UK leaves the Single Market. Now the EU say that since a hard border would be disastrous, it could be necessary to create a united Ireland instead. That would be hugely contentious and destabilising. Theresa May’s Hard Brexit would create a real risk to the peace in Ireland.

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