Tag Archives: david davis

17 November 2018 – today’s press release

Davis’ self appointment ‘farcical’ – Brake

Responding to reports that David Davis has spent several days in Washington speaking to US Trade Officials about a free trade deal with the UK, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Having failed to negotiate properly with the EU, the idea that David Davis is now touting himself as Britain’s self-appointed ‘man in Washington’ is farcical. The Prime Minister must confirm he has not been acting in any official capacity or with her blessing.

David Davis and his Brexiter colleagues have got us into a huge mess, with Britain now facing a damaging and

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Cable on Davis speech: Brexit Secretary Secretary makes strong case for staying in the EU

In a speech tomorrow, Brexit Secretary David Davis will demand that the UK’s regulatory standards are accepted across the EU post-Brexit. He will ask for “mutual recognition” and “close, even-handed co-operation”.

Responding, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said:

David Davis might as well be making the case for staying in the EU. He appears to be acknowledging the great achievements of the Single Market – a British idea introduced by a British government – yet the Conservatives want to leave that and the Customs Union.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Brake: Cabinet can’t even agree amongst themselves, let alone win concessions from EU

Now that David Davis is re-opening the EU talks timetable again, Lib Dem Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake has this to say on the paucity of the Government’s performance in the EU negotiations:

David Davis promised us ‘the row of the summer’ over the Brexit timetable, only to capitulate weeks later to the EU’s preferred timetable after a disastrous general election for his party which vastly undermined their negotiating position.

To be now, a couple of months down the line, trying to reopen the issue reeks of desperation at an approaching economic storm and a cabinet who don’t have a clue.

Constant reports of cabinet spats show our government cannot even agree a position between themselves, let alone win concessions from EU negotiating teams in our country’s best interests.

Davis certainly seems to be picking fights on simplistic binary issues to hide the enormous complexity of Brexit and the disaster it is likely to bring for our businesses, our economy and, consequently, for our poorest.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 46 Comments

If you read one thing today, read this: “Britain is being led to an epic act of national self-harm” – by Will Hutton

Well done to Will Hutton, in the Observer, for marshalling the words to brilliantly sum up what I have been thinking since June 24th 2016.

I am not one of those who feel despair about our country. But I am old enough to have experienced what economic hardship and chaos feels, to an extent. This isn’t going to be pretty. Numbed by the valium of insane and misplaced national pride we are sleep-walking to the most awful economic disaster.

Here’s a sample of what Will Hutton says today:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 65 Comments

David Davis accepts that we could leave without a deal

Yesterday on Peston on Sunday David Davis claimed that in the Referendum those who supported Leave were knowingly voting to leave the single market, ie a hard Brexit. That’s not what Liberal Democrats are hearing on the doorstep.

Davis also said that we might leave the EU without any deal at all, and we had to plan for that possible outcome.

You can watch the interview here, starting 6:20 minutes in.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Parliament is going to have to do better than today

What a depressing spectacle we witnessed in the House of Commons today.

A government which had just had a kicking from the Supreme Court for trying to do something unconstitutional should have been subdued and its representatives should have had their tails between their legs. But why should it, when its main opposition party lay prostrate in front of it.

Rather than look sheepish, David Davis was smug.

It should be so different. We should be building up to a dramatic parliamentary occasion. Gavin Williamson, the Government Chief Whip, shouldn’t be able to sleep at night because he’s worried about whether votes will be won. As it is, he could spend the next couple of weeks lying on the sofa with a beer watching re-runs of The Thick of It.

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 20 Comments

Farron: PM must clear up David Davis’s single market mess

Yesterday, Brexit Secretary David Davis made his first parliamentary statement since his appointment and it didn’t reveal very much. Our EU spokesperson was not impressed:

Paul Walter found some cause for optimism but there were also some very worrying aspects.of his answers to questions from 85 backbenchers.

He stated that full access to the single market was “very improbable.”

I am saying that this Government are looking at every option, but the simple truth is that if a requirement of membership is giving up control of our borders, then I think that makes that very improbable.

Tim Farron has written to Theresa May to ask her to clarify exactly what he meant. Is the Government actually giving up on the single market before we even start? If so, that is a real disaster for the country.

Tim said:

David Davis yesterday seemed to rule out membership of the single market for access, in a statement, from the government, at the dispatch box.  I know it has been a while since he was on the front bench and he might be rusty but these things matter.

The public need to know if ideological zeal is threatening our economic security.  It is time for the Prime Minister to step in and clear up the mess.

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BBC poll suggests by 2:1 voters want PM May to prioritise single market over restricting free movement

Mark Easton presented some interesting “Brexit expectations” polling by ComRes for the BBC last night on the Ten O’clock News. Here are a couple of highlights:

Most Britons think that maintaining access to the single market should be the priority for the Government when negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (66%), while just a third say this of restricting freedom of movement (31%).

Posted in News | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Brexit minister (10th July): PM has promised to put border controls ahead of economy in negotiations

The new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, has already helpfully set out his Brexit negotiating positions in a speech to the Institute of Chartered Engineers in March (carried in full on his website). He has also more recently written a detailed article on the subject on Conservative Home.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 16 Comments

What if… David Davis had won the Tory leadership contest in 2005?

Cameron and DavisWhat-ifs are, as Peter Snow would say, just a bit of fun: a counter-factual parlour game for historians. It is impossible to know exactly how one event ricocheting off in a different direction would have altered the subsequent reality.

This one does genuinely intrigue me, though: What if David Davis had won the Tory leadership contest in 2005, rather than David Cameron? Davis did, after all, begin as favourite. His disastrous 2005 party conference – a dud photo-op and a lacklustre speech – coupled with David “let sunshine win the day” Cameron’s triumph meant his second leadership attempt sank without trace. He was trounced 68%-32% in the all-member ballot that followed.

But what if he’d won? Would David Davis have been a more effective leader of the Tories than David Cameron has turned out to be?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Lib Dem policy goes viral as ‘Reform Section 5’ campaign launched

“It might surprise you to know that under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, the police and the courts can decide if you or someone else might feel insulted” states the front page of the Reform Section 5 campaign’s website.

But this is unlikely to surprise many Lib Dems, who just a couple of months ago, at our Spring Conference in Gateshead, passed a motion (pdf) which called for the right to free speech to be protected through:

 The repeal of section 5 of the Public Order Act, which creates ‘non-intentional’ speech offences, and the removal of ‘insulting’ from Section 4A of

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The wheels are coming off the online monitoring bandwagon (UPDATED)

Item one: A letter tomorrow in The Guardian from 15 Liberal Democrat MPs setting out their opposition to illiberal monitoring plans.

Item two: More Conservative MPs joining with David Davis in speaking out against widespread online monitoring, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Item three: The Times reporting, Cameron forced to retreat on snooping powers .

Item four: a subtle, but significant, choice of words by Nick Clegg in a media interview this lunchtime presaging a major change of course from the story given to the Sunday Times at the weekend. Clegg signalled (as does The Times report) that the Queen’s Speech will not include a Bill …

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The Tories’ tax problem

Cut national insurance contributions, says Liam Fox. Cut capital gains tax, says David Davis. Give tax breaks to married couples, say Stewart Jackson and others. Back wealth taxes to cut taxes on “families and employers”, says Tim Montgomerie.

There’s no shortage of Tories suggesting taxes for George Osborne to cut when he delivers his budget. Yet it’s the junior party in the coalition which is leading the debate on tax cuts – a curious situation which no doubt shocks Tories as much as it infuriates them.

The reasons the Lib Dems are leading the way on tax cuts are straightforward. First, the …

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LibLink: Nick Clegg… AV got the Mayor elected – now he’s voting against it

Nick Clegg wrote an article for the Evening Standard yesterday aimed at London voters, who’ll only be voting in the AV referendum on May 5th as London does not have council elections* this year.

As well as outlining the reasons for voting Yes to Fairer Votes, “I believe most Londoners want a new way of electing MPs that cleans up politics, makes MPs work harder and makes every vote count,” Nick busts the myths about AV: “vote-counting machines that don’t exist and won’t be needed. Claims that the alternative vote is too complex for the British people to understand, as …

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 24 Comments

Votes for (some) prisoners to get a vote in Parliament

The BBC’s Nick Robinson reports:

David Davis and Jack Straw have got their way. The Commons will get the chance to vote – probably in the middle of February – for a motion to defy the European Court of Human Rights on prisoner voting…

The prime minister welcomes the plan for the Commons to hold a debate on whether prisoners should be given the vote as demanded by the European Court of Human Rights and believes that it “could be helpful”, I’m told. David Cameron is said to want as few prisoners as possible to be given the vote and is still

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Anti-terrorism legislation: news emerges of likely reforms

In his Hugo Young lecture last week Nick Clegg clearly signalled the imminent end to control orders. Now over the last couple of days the shape of the likely conclusions from the anti-terrorism review are starting to emerge, with the current 28-day limit on detention without charge coming back down to 14 days. A new set of tighter than usual bail conditions could then be imposed for a further 14 days.

The police’s stop and search powers are also likely to be curtailed, particularly following the news that in the last year over 100,000 stop and searches were conducted under …

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Dear David Davis…

Dear David Davis,

You have me confused.

In your speech today you warn against “the destruction of a 200-year-old constitution” and give this as a reason to oppose AV.

But aside from our voting system, there is another part of that 200 year old constitution that is also currently up for change before Parliament.

200 years ago the size of Parliamentary constituencies varied hugely. Much more than 5% or 10% and not simply on islands or in the Highlands. Massive variations were built into the system, specially to protect particular vested interests.

So if you are wanting to protect our 200 year old constitution, I …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Opinion: Reasons to be cheerful

As some of us head for the beach at the end of a very long term, it might be a good idea to see whether there is any light in the current political gloom.

I can count no less than 6 ‘reasons to be cheerful’.

First of all, last week saw the initial meetings of the new Westminster policy teams, designed to facilitate dialogue and communication between the Liberal Democrats in government, especially ministers, and interested parliamentarians, councillor representatives and the Federal Policy Committee.

The ones I attended were workmanlike – and anyway are a great deal better than anything our Coalition …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

Ah, so that’s what happened to David Davis

The 10th July is an anniversary I forgot to mark here on Lib Dem Voice. For it was two years ago, on that day, that David Davis won the Haltemprice and Howden by-election he had himself forced as a self-declared referendum on civil liberties.

At the time, I was fairly sympathetic to the impact of Mr Davis’s stance, arguing “it would be churlish to deny that a significant number of folk chose to have their say”, and that this afforded the former Tory shadow home secretary “a commanding personal mandate”.

In truth, I was over-generous to Mr Davis: Jonathan …

Posted in News | 21 Comments

Opinion: Who can trust Cameron?

In June 2006 Professor John Curtice, commenting on opinion polls and shifts in the UK political environment said: “It looks as though we may have entered a new political era”. Andrew Grice, The Independent on Sunday’s Political Editor, observed that the Independent’s ‘poll of polls’ showed “David Cameron’s rejuvenated Conservative Party a seven-point lead over Labour.”

The focus of their political analysis was the impact of a recently elected Conservative Party leader on UK party politics. Here was a leader who had set out to detoxify the Tory brand, and he and his party appeared to be making significant headway.

David Cameron had, according to Andrew Grice, called on …

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Daily View 2×2: 9 February 2010

Welcome to this morning’s Daily View.  I am sure I cannot be the only person to be cheered by waking to the news that the Conservatives believe that their no. 1 electoral weapon is George Osborne.

On this day 60 years ago, United States Senator Joe McCarthy launched his anti-communist crusade, with a speech accusing more than 200 staff in the State Department of being members of the Communist Party.  On 9thFebruary 1979, England and Birmingham City forward Trevor Francis signed for Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest for £1 million, the first UK footballer to move for a seven figure sum.

Today is also the third anniversary of the death of actor Ian Richardson CBE, best known for his portrayal of the Machiavellian Conservative politician Francis Urquhart in the wonderful House of Cards trilogy.

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Tory split on climate change

A pretty comprehensive story in today’s Independent shows how split the Tories are on Copenhagen and climate change policies. The article is refreshing in that it names names, most of whom are the usual right wing suspects. For quite some time Nigel Lawson has been touring the Country pushing his Climate Change denial message and he seems to have drawn some heavyweight Tories with him (if you can call John Redwood, Peter Lilley and Ann Widdicome heavyweight).

David Davis on the other hand in a two column article produces a much more balance view. When you have waded through all …

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Daily View 2×2: 14 June 2009

Welcome to the Sunday outing for The Voice’s Daily View series. As it’s a Sunday, today it comes with a bonus complaint and the easiest quiz question of the week.

2 Big Stories

Could Alan Johnson scrap ID cards?

Gordon Brown’s weakness means there is a set of senior Cabinet members who are now unsackable. If any of them were to take it upon themselves to indulge in a very un-Brownian desire to do something dramatic and decisive, it would be extremely hard for Gordon Brown to stop them.

Step forward then possibly, perhaps, just maybe Alan Johnson. (He is, after all, one of those who hasn’t acted dramatically or decisively to get Gordon Brown ousted.) The Sunday Times reports:

ALAN JOHNSON, the home secretary, has launched an urgent review of the £6 billion identity card (ID) scheme, paving the way for a possible U-turn on one of Labour’s flagship policies.

Johnson, who was promoted in Gordon Brown’s latest cabinet reshuffle, is understood to be “sympathetic” to critics who claim identity cards will undermine civil liberties.

The home secretary told officials that he wanted a “first principles” rethink of the plan, which was launched by Tony Blair following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and has since been championed by Brown as a way of fighting terrorism.

“Alan is more sympathetic to the civil liberties arguments than previous home secretaries,” said an insider.

The Iranian elections

Although Lebanon’s recent elections saw a decisive victory for moderates, the official results from Iran show a landslide for the hardliners. These results have been disputed, but as so often the mainstream media coverage amounts to little more than “X says the elections were rigged, Y says they weren’t”, with little evidence presented to let you make a decision about who you think is telling the truth.

Step forward the online world, where there is much detailed argument available, including this blog post which – combined with the comments posted to it – gives a good flavour of the cases for and against the election results having been rigged.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

If David Cameron believes in first past the post, he should quit his job
From Mark Reckons:

David Cameron has spent a lot of time in the last few weeks talking about how great the First Past the Post electoral system is. He will not countenance any change from this even though MPs can end up elected with often much less than 50% of the vote in their own constituency.

What I find fascinating about this is that if you follow his line of reasoning to its logical conclusion then David Cameron should not be leader of the Conservative party at all. Instead it should be David Davis … if this had been a First Past the Post election then David Davis would have been elected leader.

Twitter and politics
Euro-candidate and journalist Jonathan Fryer muses over the impact of Twitter:

Though a comparatively late convert to the practice (despite the proselytising of my friend, Stephen Fry), I’ve been finding it hugely useful in recent weeks and have noted how one can enter into dialogue with politicians of other parties as well as with journalists and bloggers of all persuasions, who are quite happy to ‘follow’ one on Twitter, but who might not wish to ask or accept to be one’s Facebook ‘friend’, in case that were seen to be some kind of endorsement.

Sunday Bonus

Don’t these US movie moguls have any respect for our heritage?

The latest Star Trek movie just isn’t right:

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 1 Comment

The LDV 2×2 Daily View (12/5/09)

Welcome to what’s intended to be a daily feature here on LDV: an early preview of the two big news stories of the day, and a click-though to two of the must-read Lib Dem blog posts just published. Each day a member of the LDV collective will take their turn to bagpipe fact into news*.

2 Big Stories

MPs’ expenses: paying bills for Tory grandees
The Telegraph has the most enjoyable schadenfreude story of the day, with the latest set of MPs’ expenses revelations this time focusing on the ‘estate-ocracy’ of Tory MPs. Particular faves include:

  • Douglas Hogg (aka 3rd Viscount
  • Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

    Has David Cameron gagged David Davis?

    I only ask because, you see, when the Freedom of Information legislation was going through Parliament, David Davis was one of the MPs who opposed the idea that a Government minister could veto the release of information:

    A cross-party alliance of senior MPs was formed yesterday to attack the Home Office for giving ministers wide-ranging powers of veto in the Freedom of Information Bill … Others who joined the call for fellow MPs to back cross-party amendments to the Bill included David Davis (C, Haltemprice and Howden) (The Independent, 31 March 2000)

    So now that Jack Straw has used the

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

    Cabinet minutes on Iraq 2: Can you guess what Dominic Grieve said next?

    So there he was, sat in the House of Commons listening to Jack Straw announce his decision to veto the Information Tribunal’s decision that the Cabinet minutes of the decision to go to war in Iraq should be released.

    Up he then got, and this is what Dominic Grieve said:

    The Secretary of State’s decision to use his powers of veto in this case classically illustrates what has been wrong with the Government’s approach to freedom of information.

    and

    The public have had their expectations about openness raised by Labour’s spin and propaganda, only to be brought down to earth.

    and

    Does

    Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment
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