Brexit Resolution: statement from Catherine Bearder MEP

Yesterday the European Parliament voted in favour of a Resolution to allow Brexit talks to progress to the next stage.

Both the Commission and Parliament have now recommended to the European Council that progress has been made in the three key areas: on citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland and the financial settlement.

This Resolution is the last piece in the puzzle to allowing the Brexit talks to progress to the next stage.

It effectively moves the UK one step further away from a disastrous “no deal” situation which would risk thousands

Posted in Europe / International and Europe Referendum | Tagged , and | 1 Comment
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Lib Dems GAIN another Council seat

Wednesday by-elections may be rare and weird but they are very welcome when they result in a Lib Dem GAIN.

Paul Follows took the Waverley, Surrey seat of Godalming Central an Ockford. We didn’t even stand a candidate there in 2015. We had a reasonable record there, pulling in 400-500 wards in previous years but this is a very good leap forward for us.

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Vince to argue for single market and customs union on visit to Ireland

Our Vince is off to Ireland tomorrow, where he’ll meet leading Irish politicians to discuss Brexit.
Vince will be discussing the implications of the end of the first phase of Brexit negotiations, set to be approved by EU leaders, which failed to find a long-term solution to the Irish border issue.

He said:

The Conservative government has so far botched Brexit, and amongst the people who stand to be most affected are those living on the island of Ireland.

Even after the ‘divorce settlement’ and the agreement to proceed with trade talks, it isstill unclear how a hard border will be averted.

Audiences in Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland are being told different things. Many of the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement have been put at risk as a result.

The unnecessary decision by the Conservatives to leave the Single Market and Customs Union was not mandated by the EU referendum. It is a miscalculation that will harm commerce between our countries.

Those economic ties are much stronger than is generally realised, given the Republic is the fifth biggest customer for UK exports and we are the second biggest market for Irish exports. 6,000 vehicles cross the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland every day.

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WATCH: Christine Jardine explain why the British people must have a final say on the Brexit deal

Earlier today, Christine Jardine told Sky News why the Liberal Democrats support the people having the final say on the Brexit deal. The things the Leave campaign dismissed as scaremongering are now happening and people need to have the chance to say if this is what they wanted:

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A rare bright spot in the Brexit nightmare

There have been precious few bright moments since the Brexit nightmare started. In fact, I can’t really remember any that didn’t involve being at an anti Brexit protest with other pro-Europeans.

I seriously didn’t expect the Government to lose tonight.  I thought that Tory rebels would express concern but ultimately line up behind Theresa May and David Davis. I felt it was more likely given that May is on the up at the moment. Maybe I was wrong, though. It’s probably easier to rebel on a good day than inflict what may be a fatal act on a government that you support.

I’d got in from work just as the vote was being called and the commentary was all about people thought to be certain Tory rebels now abstaining. My heart sank. But then when the tellers lined up, the opposition side started cheering. A tight vote had gone the right way.

The Government lost by 4 votes. 309 people backed Dominic Grieve’s amendment, 305, including Labour MPs like Kate Hoey and Frank Field, voted with the Government.

My reservation is that there is very little point in Parliament having a meaningful vote if Jeremy Corbyn simply lines up his people to support the Tories in implementing a really unpleasant and painful brexit. Labour did what it was supposed to do tonight, but every time it’s had the chance to do something it says it believes in, like back the single market,  its MPs sit on their hands.

Will they do the right thing as the issues kicked so deftly into the long grass have to be confronted and resolved? Who knows? At least they have the chance, I suppose.

And what of the Lib Dem reaction to the Government defeat? Tom Brake used some novel phrase we’ve never heard before about taking back control:

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So what’s on your Christmas reading list?

It’s that time of year when we hope that our nearest and dearest know us well enough to get us the books we want for Christmas. There is nothing nicer than spending the Christmas holidays snuggled up on the sofa with a nice pile of books that you don’t usually get the time to read.

My husband has been pointed firmly in the direction of the new Nigella book. Anything with a recipe for a chocolate and amaretto cake in it will definitely have pride of place in my Christmas reading pile. He also knows not really to bother buying me politics books because I will have bought them for myself throughout the year and failed to find time to read them.  Here are some I am looking forward to reading over the holidays:

I’m already a fair bit of the way through Hillary Rodham Clinton’s What Happened. I also have the audio book of Hillary reading. With every page there’s a huge pang of what might have been. I’ve been a huge fan of Hillary’s for half my life and I think she would have made a brilliant President. She would have done so much for young people and particularly women and girls in the most difficult places on earth to be female. Her book is candid and terrifying and it even has a chapter on love and kindness which aren’t qualities often associated with modern politics. They are always there in abundance as there are good people in all parties, but they don’t get much coverage.

Iain Dale’s Biteback Publishing is very annoyingly having a “everything at half price” sale until 31st December. Here is a selection of the Lib Dem books you might wish to buy.

 

David Laws’ second book on the Coalition, his diaries as he wrote them, is another interesting take on those years in Government. It’s not so neatly organised and very much in the moment.  He even included those entires which show him in an unexpectedly poor light. I’ve been an admirer of David’s ever since I realised that, despite being a bit too right wing for me on the economy, he was in favour of banning smacking. However, his rather bitter attacks on decent Lib Dem activists like Linda Jack are the polar opposite of endearing.  I’ll save that one for a day I’m angry anyway.

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Laura Gordon steps up her campaign for Sheffield Hallam

It’s only a few weeks since Laura Gordon was selected as Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the marginal seat of Sheffield Hallam but already she is making her mark.

In June, Nick Clegg was defeated by the controversial Jared O’Mara who has failed to do the job he was elected to do.

Laura is effectively having to behave like an MP to fill the vacuum. In a wide-rangingi interview with the Sheffield Star, she talked about what she is doing to help local people:

She is helping people with casework, ‘taking up issues’ for Hallam constituents with councillors and the Lib Dem parliamentary team. “I feel this is something we can usefully do,” Laura says.

At the moment Jared O’Mara is not holding surgeries, so somebody needs to be looking at those casework issues. “He hasn’t voted since the 18th of October, it’s on the public record. He’s the only MP elected in 2017 who hasn’t made his maiden speech yet. It kind of speaks for itself, really.

She also talked about the guy Jared beat and what a loss he is to Parliament:

A lot of people have commented on that as I’ve been going around talking to people. Lots of people have said ‘I was helped by Nick’, often with things that we might think of as quite small, like getting a road fixed and campaigning on school buses or crossings. “He was very willing to get engaged on local issues, as well as doing all this work on the national level. I’ve got big shoes to fill but I’m going to do my best to fill them.

She and her husband settled in Sheffield five years ago:

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Recent Comments

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    Gordon, The problem Jackie has is the constitutional deficit actually grows if we follow the Norway path. Imposing rules made by others with no input...
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    LJP – I was thinking only of the way the negotiations have gone so far with surrenders at each point by Davis & Co. but...
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    Merry Christmas, Tony. I'm sorry that you have lost the ability to distinguish telling it as it is from sarcasm.
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