Tag Archives: ed davey

19 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: We must reject violence in Northern Ireland

Responding to reports that journalist Lyra McKee has been killed during violence in Londonderry, Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

I never met Lyra McKee but by all accounts she was a young woman of great talent, courage and humanity. These are all talents that we need now more than ever so we should all mourn her passing.

My condolences go to all her family and friends who are having to come to terms with their loss today. Unlike Lyra, those who bring violence to the streets of Northern Ireland have nothing

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WATCH: Ed Davey talks about his life as a young carer and death of his parents

Yesterday Ed Davey gave a really open and moving interview to Radio 5 live about how he was a young carer to his mother for 3 years before she died when he was 15. His dad had died when he was 4. He talked about the key moment of his life, coming a few months after his Mum died, realising that he was doing things for himself and not her any more.

He said that it has affected his attitude to politics – caring for the most vulnerable is what politics should be about, he said.

He said it informed the way he thought about other people and about the health service and the importance of helping each other. Curries from the Indian family across the road gave him and his family practical help during that time. Watch here.

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18 April 2019 – the overnight press releases

Tories’ high-stakes testing culture pushing children out of school

Responding to the EPI report revealing that over 50,000 pupils who took their GCSEs in 2017 were removed from the school roll for unexplained reasons during their time at secondary school, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

This is yet more worrying evidence that the Conservatives’ high-stakes testing culture is letting down our most vulnerable children.

The desperate drive to secure a better Ofsted grade or climb up the league tables has given schools a perverse incentive to push children they regard as difficult on to other schools, alternative providers, or let

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17 April 2019 – today’s press release

Govt forced to act on requirement to disclose minor childhood offences

Responding to reports that Sajid Javid is considering changing the rules on criminal record disclosure, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

It’s odd to hear Sajid Javid now suggesting changing the rules that require people to disclose minor childhood convictions throughout their lives, given that he and other Tory Ministers recently fought against a court judgement saying exactly that all the way to the Supreme Court.

Javid’s change of heart is welcome, but he should be honest about it. This is not some great brainchild of the Home

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15 April 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

My apologies for the delay in getting these to you – a combination of jet lag caused by a five hour time difference and family stuff is complicating things…

Tories must enact wholescale reform to fix rental market

Responding to the news that landlords will lose the right to evict renters without a reason at the end of their fixed-term tenancy, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson Tim Farron said:

The housing crisis has left many renters at the mercy of their landlords in an unfair and distorted rental market. Section 21 notices have allowed landlords to turf out tenants without reason, leaving many too

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12 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: No woman should miss out on education because of period poverty

Reports in The Independent this morning that Daisy Wakefield, a student at the Univeristy of the West of England spent her entire student loan on sanitary products to distribute to poorer students, has reignited calls to end period poverty.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons last month calling on the Government to extend its policy on free sanitary products to primary schools, colleges, universities and NHS GP surgeries.

Commenting on Daisy’s campaign for the University of the West of …

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11 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Extension offers a lifeline out of Brexit chaos

Responding to the reports that the UK and the EU have agreed a “flexible extension” of Brexit until 31 October, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The British people have been given a lifeline. The Conservatives have dragged the country into chaos, but the extension agreed in the early hours of this morning offers a route out from the Brexit mess they have created.

A flexible extension until 31st October is long enough to hold a People’s Vote. The Prime Minister must now show leadership by handing the decision back to the

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Ed Davey’s speech in the Loan Charge debate: We will not stop until this is put right

Before the roof of the Commons chamber started leaking this week (something you couldn’t make up), Ed Davey managed to make his speech in the backbench business debate calling on the Government to stop pursuing people for the Loan Charge, a retrospective income tax enforcement of a  scheme that was legal at the time.

Here’s his speech in full including interventions.

I apologise to the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr Davis) for being the chair of an all-party group that has produced such a reasonable report. We did it because we wanted to be constructive and to bring this House together. I want to draw attention to two points: first, the fact that this issue has brought the House together, and I will talk a little bit about that because it is in the power of this House to stop the Executive on this matter; and secondly, the nature of the retrospection, which is the issue that has caused me, as well as my constituents with such cases, to be so passionate about this issue.

First, on cross-party unity, I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Aberdeen South (Ross Thomson), a vice-chair, who opened the debate, and the hon. Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ruth Cadbury) and all the other members of the all-party group, which represents six parties in this House. I thank all Members who spoke on Report of the Finance (No. 3) Bill, when we passed the amendment—quite unusually—because we had cross-party support from every side and political persuasion both between and within parties.

There is a reason why we got that support. It is because our constituents have come to us and we have seen the damage this is doing to their lives—real lives—but also because key principles of democracy are at stake: parliamentary sovereignty, if we can forget the Brexit debate for a minute, with respect to holding the Executive properly to account for the way they tax our constituents, and the rule of law. Those issues have brought this House together, and today we need to continue with that message and make it clear to the Minister and the Government that we are not going away until this is put right.

Stephen Lloyd

When my right hon. Friend opened, he spoke about cross-party support. As he knows, since I started early-day motion 1239, whenever it was—nine or 10 months ago—the cross-party support has been astonishing: 148 MPs from all parties, including many Conservative Members, have now supported it because they really do have concerns about the retrospectiveness and the fairness. Does my right hon. Friend agree that Parliament is really coming together and saying, “There is a real problem and a real challenge here. Treasury, please look at it”?

Ed Davey

I strongly agree with my hon. Friend and I thank him for the work he did in leading that EDM. The cross-party nature and depth of support should make the Minister think today. People have been looking at the way this House operates more closely than they usually do. They need to know that when this House comes together, the Government listen. It is our constitutional job to make the Government listen. When there is that level of support and they do not listen, that is an outrage to this House.

Jim Cunningham

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman: it is about time that the Government listened. Regardless of the issue, retrospective legislation can be a dangerous thing. In some instances it might be justifiable, but by and large and in principle, it is a very dangerous thing. The other point that has emerged from this debate is that those who encouraged people in their employment to get involved in such schemes should be the ones to pay up, not the victim. Does he not agree?

Ed Davey

I agree with the hon. Gentleman. Let me take his point on retrospection into the substance of my speech.

Everybody has paid tribute to the Minister and I join in that, but I urge him to look at the retrospection issue. The all-party group has spoken to tax professionals and has read a lot of material. There is a debate about whether aspects of this are retrospective or not, and about where the retrospection lies. One group has been hit by the loan charge where the retrospective nature has been proven beyond doubt: taxpayers who have had their tax returned to the Treasury with DOTAS added—sometimes even without DOTAS added—and who have come clean on everything they have been doing. HMRC has accepted that and has not opened an inquiry. Their cases have been closed and time has passed. Under section 9 of the Taxes Management Act 1970, we have been giving taxpayers in that situation total protection from HMRC coming back to them. That has been true for decades. Indeed, we have signed international conventions to say that that is the way individuals should be treated. Yet here we are, going back on that. To be clear to the Minister, all the tax professionals we talked to believe that for closed cases, that was a transgression. Indeed, I asked them if they could find any example on the statute book ever of a Government passing a law to override taxpayer protections and they could not.

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5 April 2019 – today’s overnight press release

Lib Dems: Govt must not shirk responsibility over loan charge

Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey has criticised the implementation of the the Loan Charge which is coming into force today. He has been the leading figure in the cross-party campaign against its introduction.

Commenting on its introduction, Ed Davey said:

My campaign to stop the abuse of power by the Treasury in how it has introduced the Loan Charge has now won huge cross-party support.

The Chancellor must listen to Parliament: by applying the Loan Charge to past tax years, the Conservative Government has broken long-standing tax principles and in so doing is

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Ed Davey leads efforts to suspend loan charge enforcement

Today in the House of Commons, Ed Davey, as one of the proposers of a motion on backbench business day, will call on the Government to suspend enforcement of the 2019 Loan Charge.

HMRC is currently pursuing people who, as  contractors years ago, took part in perfectly legal schemes whereby they took their salary as loans from a company and therefore paid a lower rate of tax.  They now face bills for arrears of tax out of the blue. In some cases, it could be hundreds of thousands of pounds. These aren’t super rich people and what they were doing was absolutely transparent and above board at the time. They are now being pursued for tax in a way that they never expected.

Closing a loophole is one thing. Making it retrospective is another.

The motion for debate today says:

That this House expresses its serious concern at the 2019 Loan Charge which applies from 5 April 2019; expresses deep concern and regret about the effect of the mental and emotional impact on people facing the Loan Charge; is further concerned about suicides of people facing the Loan Charge and the identified suicide risk, which was reported to HMRC; believes that the Loan Charge is fundamentally unfair and undermines the principle of the rule of law by overriding statutory taxpayer protections; expresses disappointment at the lack of notice served by HMRC and the delays in communication with those now facing the Loan Charge, which has further increased anxiety of individuals and families; is concerned about the nature and accuracy of the information circulated by HMRC with regard to the Loan Charge; further regrets the inadequate impact assessment originally conducted; understands that many individuals have received miscalculated settlement information; calls for an immediate suspension of the Loan Charge for a period of six months and for all related settlements to be put on hold; and further calls for an independent inquiry into the Loan Charge to be conducted by a party that is not connected with either the Government or HMRC.

Ed has been at the forefront of trying to get the Government to think again and is chair of an All Party Parliamentary Group on the issue.

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1 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Davey: Knife crime epidemic demands a properly funded public health approach

The Liberal Democrats have today warned that the knife crime epidemic won’t be resolved by “imposing legal duties without providing additional resources” and have called for the Government to properly fund a public health approach.

The call comes as the Prime Minister hosts a youth violence summit in Downing Street today.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Knife crime is an epidemic, and like any epidemic tackling it requires a public health approach.

Police, teachers, health professionals, youth workers and social services all have an important

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30-31 March 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Lib Dems: Stop and search is not the answer

Responding to the announcement that Police in England and Wales will be given greater stop and search powers to tackle rising knife crime, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Yet again, the Tories are trying to tackle knife crime on the cheap. It won’t work.

More random, suspicion-less Stop and Searches, carried out disproportionately on people from BAME communities, are not the answer. They will not only consume police time and erode trust in the police, but have little impact in actually preventing people carrying knives.

What we really need is

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Typical short sighted, illiberal rhetoric on knife crime from Tories

When I was growing up people used to refer to a “crime” known as walking down the street in London while being black. People from BAME communities were disproportionately targeted fro stop and search and the like by the Police. Their concerns were not taken seriously.

Twenty years ago the Macpherson Report into the stabbing of Stephen Lawrence found that London’s Metropolitan Police were “institutionally racist.” A BBC report for its 20th anniversary showed that some think that is still the case.

So it’s troubling, if unsurprising, that the Tory Government in power 20 years on thinks that the appropriate response to the terrifying problem of knife crime is to give the Police more stop and search powers. It’s an illiberal response which just won’t work. The evidence from Scotland suggests that treating knife crime as a public health rather than a purely judicial thing is the most effective approach.

Ed Davey said:

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19 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

‘Govt treating EU citizens appallingly’ with Settled Status call charges

Responding to reports that thousands of EU citizens are being forced to pay for calls to the Home Office’s Settlement Resolution Centre for help with their Settled Status applications, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

EU citizens in the UK are our neighbours and our colleagues, our families and our friends. But ever since the Brexit referendum, they have been treated appallingly by this Conservative Government.

Making them pay up to 40p per minute to get help navigating the complex Home Office system for applying for Settled Status is just

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9-10 March 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 2)

And, as promised…

  • Lib Dems: Labour must stop making excuses on a People’s Vote
  • PM must back independent investigation into Qatar World Cup bid
  • Home Counties knife crime rise shows crime epidemic is sweeping the UK

Lib Dems: Labour must stop making excuses on a People’s Vote

Responding to Keir Starmer’s announcement that Labour will not force a vote in favour of a People’s Vote on Tuesday, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Labour’s apparent belated support for a People’s Vote needs to be put to the test very soon. If not Tuesday, when? And their commitment must go hand in hand with a three

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7 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases (part 2)

And now, as promised, the rest of the press releases…

  • Figures highlight extremely difficult time for high streets
  • Swinson: Employers must be held to account over gender pay gap
  • Chancellor must end the freeze on benefits and tax credits
  • Davey: Strip Home Office of immigration powers

Figures highlight extremely difficult time for high streets

Responding as the BDO High Streets Tracker reveals that sales declined by 3.7%, the worst February for lifestyle in-store sales since November 2008, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Our high streets are clearly going through an extremely difficult time, thanks to a combination of long-term structural challenges and the damaging

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7 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases (part 1)

A busy day yesterday and overnight, so today’s press releases will come in two sections…

  • Home Secretary ‘open-minded’ on right to work
  • Permanent Secretary exit only ‘managed departure’ from DExEU
  • Liberal Democrats demand better for women on International Women’s Day
  • Revealed: Home Office report rubbishes Boris Johnson’s Stop and Search claim

Home Secretary ‘open-minded’ on right to work

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has secured assurances from the Home Secretary that he is ‘open-minded’ about her Bill which would loosen rules around asylum seekers’ right to work.

The Edinburgh West MP raised her campaign with Sajid Javid in a joint meeting organised by cross-party group, More …

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6 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

  • PM fails to stand up for rural communities over bank closures
  • Cable: Catastrophic no-deal would push economy into recession
  • Davey: Britain must be far more ambitious on offshore wind
  • Lib Dems: Yet another embarrassing rejection of May’s Brexit

PM fails to stand up for rural communities over bank closures

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron today used Prime Minister’s Questions to urge the Prime Minister to properly compensate communities that have been abandoned by the banks and forced to use online banking instead.

According to the consumer group Which? around 3,000 bank branches have closed over the past three years.

Meanwhile over the same time period, innocent customers have lost an extra £2billion in online and financial fraud.

Speaking during Prime Ministers Questions, Tim Farron asked:

Will she agree that the banks have taken without giving for too long?

Will she meet with me to force the banks to compensate victims of fraud, to compensate the communities they have abandoned and to prevent banks closing the last branch in town?

In response, the Prime Minister refused to help abandoned communities and victims of financial fraud, instead saying that banks are “commercial organisations and those are decisions that they take.”

Following the exchange, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

It’s absolutely staggering and hugely disappointing that the Prime Minister has decided to turn her back on communities like Grange in my constituency that have been abandoned by the banks.

People who have been victims of financial fraud and those who have been let down by the banks deserve better than the Prime Minister shrugging her shoulders.

Cable: Catastrophic no-deal would push economy into recession

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5 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

We’re running a bit late today, mainly because a number of these releases were embargoed until after midnight…

  • Tory cuts are forcing schools to beg and borrow from communities – Moran
  • Lib Dems: Tories failing to fund adult social care
  • Tory cuts driving down quality of care homes
  • Govt must act to prevent another Windrush
  • Make school uniforms gender neutral – Lib Dems
  • Davey: End ‘right to rent’ checks and Hostile Environment
  • Swinson: PM’s guarantees to protect workers’ rights not worth the paper they’re written on

Tory cuts are forcing schools to beg and borrow from communities – Moran

Responding to reports that parents are being asked …

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4 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

Tory Govt must take responsibility for knife crime epidemic

Today Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey has called on the Conservative Government to take responsibility for the knife crime epidemic and invest in more police and youth services.

Ed Davey said:

Far too many innocent young lives are being taken by the epidemic of violence that is consuming our cities. Instead of just lamenting these tragedies and talking tough, Ministers need to accept their share of responsibility for this crisis.

When children are excluded from school and see their youth centres closed, it’s hardly surprising that so many of them fall into

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1 March 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Govt reforms failing to reduce reoffending

Today the National Audit Office have released a report stating that reforms to probation services have failed to meet the Ministry of Justice’s targets to reduce reoffending.

Responding to the report, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

The rehabilitation of offenders and their re-integration into the community is central to who we are as a society and vital for cutting crime. It must be done with a sense of responsibility.

Good public services cannot be expected to be run on a shoe string. The Tory party’s obsession with saving money has actually cost millions

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28 February 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dem policy for 9pm junk food marketing watershed has public support

Responding to a survey by Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) which shows the widespread support for the Liberal Democrat policy to create a 9pm watershed for junk food marketing, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said:

With obesity as one of the leading causes of cancer, there is increasingly concern about the childhood obesity epidemic throughout the UK.

The Conservative Government have failed to take these concerns seriously. So far all we have seen from the Tories is an unambitious strategy on Childhood Obesity that will do little to

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27 February 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

I’m a day behind, so time to catch up, I think…

Brexit: Govt approach to citizens’ rights “fundamentally flawed”

Responding to Sajid Javid’s comments that the Government will support Alberto Costa’s amendment on citizens’ rights, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

After being forced into one U-turn on the £65 fee for settled status last month and another on ring-fencing citizens’ rights in case of no-deal today, the Government should finally just admit that their whole approach is fundamentally flawed.

These U-turns are welcome, but the spectacle of the Prime Minister saying one thing yesterday and the Home Secretary saying the

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26 February 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems join Amnesty International UK in fight against NI abortion laws
  • Cable: Housebuilders must not pinch their profits from the public purse
  • PM in the process of creating a double cliff-edge
  • Govt’s no deal papers shows PM driving UK to a cliff edge
  • Labour fail to oppose Govt’s controversial knife crime orders

Lib Dems join Amnesty International UK in fight against NI abortion laws

Today, Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine will join women impacted by NI abortion law along with Amnesty International UK, other MPs, and other service providers and activists to hand in a petition to …

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20 February 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Dishonest of PM to say technical education is a priority
  • Extension of no-fly zone will not prevent future drone chaos
  • Radical changes are afoot in UK politics – Cable
  • Davey: Sajid Javid has big questions to answer on Shamima Begum decision
  • Lib Dems indicate hazards for driving abroad after Brexit

Lib Dems: Dishonest of PM to say technical education is a priority

The Association of Colleges has warned that there is a “real risk to the long-term economic prosperity of the UK” if the Government’s flagship ‘T-Level’ policy is not implemented correctly.

T-Levels, which are due to be introduced in September 2020 will be equivalent …

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19 February 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Wales Woefully Unprepared for No-Deal Brexit
  • Corbyn turns his back on manufacturing sector
  • Honda decision symbolic of Brexit Britain
  • Lib Dems: Begum should face justice for her crimes in the UK

Wales Woefully Unprepared for No-Deal Brexit

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised no-deal preparations in Wales as “woeful” following a report from the Wales Audit Office, which critcised the lack of preparations made in case Britain leaves the European Union without a deal or transition period.

The Wales Audit Office report stated, ‘Wales needs to do more to prepare for possible no-deal Brexit.’ despite the Welsh Government having begun “intensifying” their no-deal preparations as far …

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11 February 2019 – today’s press releases (part 1)

A veritable floodtide of press releases today, so we’ll take them in two parts for ease of access…

  • Govt immigration white paper – an enormous red tape threat to UK businesses
  • Property guardians caught in poverty trap
  • Cable: GDP figures reveal the country is now fairly close to recession
  • PM and Corbyn plot to deliver disastrous Brexit together

Govt immigration white paper – an enormous red tape threat to UK businesses

Responding to a report by Global Future which shows the deep costs to our economy of the Government’s immigration white paper, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Conservative immigration plans represent

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7 February 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Ghost Trains Add to GWR Chaos – Welsh Lib Dems
  • Davey: Govt needs to stop hitting people with higher energy bills
  • Vince Cable announces changes to top team
  • Lib Dem International Trade spokesperson slams Liam Fox for misleading House

Ghost Trains Add to GWR Chaos – Welsh Lib Dems

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised Great Western Railway (GWR) for ‘ghost trains’ after trains after 21:00 between London Paddington and Swansea for Monday to Thursday next week (11th-14th) disappeared from the timetable.

The tickets have been removed from the timetable so passengers are unable to buy them but the trains don’t appear as cancellations on GWR’s …

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5 February 2019 – today’s press releases (part 2)

… and here are the rest!

  • A Second Chance for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon
  • Lib Dems oppose “shockingly complacent” Tory funding for police
  • Cable: PM speech proves the Govt has run out of ideas
  • Brexit Bribes Breach Bribery Act – Welsh Lib Dems

A Second Chance for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed plans from Tidal Lagoon Power to build the Swansea Tidal Lagoon without the need for funding from the UK Government.

Last year the UK Government decided not to support the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, despite the strong support the lagoon enjoyed from experts, businesses, local government, Welsh Government and politicians across …

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5 February 2019 – today’s press releases (part 1)

It’s been a busy day today, so we’ll break today’s releases up into two pieces, starting with…

  • Govt must take action on projected rise of car emissions
  • Cable: Brexit causing the economy to stagnate
  • EU citizens in Holyhead face 224 mile round trip to register for settled status
  • Davey questions Justice Minister on potential Brexit bribes

Govt must take action on projected rise of car emissions

Today a report from Friends of the Earth, and the think-tank Transport for Quality of Life highlights that a rise in emissions from the roads could have a hugely detrimental effect on climate change and public health.

Commenting former Liberal Democrat …

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