Tag Archives: eu citizens

30 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems respond to Tory announcement on free movement and schools

Responding to the Conservative Party’s claim that continued free movement would lead to 363,000 more children in state schools, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran said:

After demonising EU citizens as benefit tourists two days ago, Boris Johnson has now shamefully turned his attack on their children.

This attack is straight out of the Farage-Trump playbook. Not only is it cruel, it’s completely absurd.

The Government’s own Migration Advisory Committee has shown that there is ‘no evidence that migration has reduced school choice or the educational attainment of

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28 November 2019 – today’s press releases (part 1)

It’s been a very busy day today, so these are split into two parts…

  • Leaked documents reveal Trump trade deal threat to UK farming
  • Lib Dems: NHS staff shortages worsen under Tories
  • Lib Dems: neither the Tories or Labour have a credible plan for the economy
  • Lib Dems would halt ‘Brexodus’

Leaked documents reveal Trump trade deal threat to UK farming

Leaked documents from US-UK trade deal talks reveal the threat posed to British farmers from a trade deal with Donald Trump, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

The detailed documents reveal years of talks between UK and US trade negotiators, with American officials pushing to allow …

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Catch-up: 24 November 2019 – the day’s press releases (part 1)

Gotten myself into a bit of a backlog position, I’m afraid – the price you pay for going to St Albans, it seems…

  • Lib Dems to invest 7 billion to save our schools
  • Lib Dems: McDonnell refuses to come clean on Brexit
  • EU staff at Johnson’s local NHS trust feel “anxiety” over Brexit
  • Lib Dems: Tory manifesto is built on a lie

Lib Dems to invest 7 billion to save our schools

The Liberal Democrats have today announced an extra £7 billion over five years from the Party’s infrastructure budget for new school buildings and repairs to keep up with rising pupil numbers.

The funding will …

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Brexit Impact for UK Citizens living in the EU outside the UK

“This is the fourth of a five-part series of pieces highlighting the issues of concern to Liberal Democrat members beyond our shores. For the first in the series, click here…”

The 2016 Referendum result has plunged the lives of the 1.2 million British citizens resident outside the UK in the EU into a maelstrom of loss and uncertainty. It is important to remember that about 600 000 of them are disenfranchised by the 15-year rule for overseas voting and thus many of the individuals most heavily and directly impacted by Brexit are those with no democratic voice in the process of the removal of their EU Citizen’s Rights.

As Prime Minister Johnson continues to wield the threat of a No-Deal Brexit to extract concessions from the EU and plays fast and loose with the rights of our EU citizen friends and relatives resident in the UK, he is entirely dependent on the goodwill of the other 27 EU Member States towards our Citizens, resident within their borders. For while it is in this British Government’s power to grant rights to EU citizens resident in the UK, British citizens must rely on the generosity of the EU Member States to maintain at least some of the rights that they depend on to conduct their lives.

There are a myriad of reasons why British citizens took the opportunities afforded to them by their EU Citizens rights and moved to live in other EU countries and the scenarios in which they now find themselves are no less diverse. There are those who depend on their Freedom of Movement in order to work across multiple countries, particularly those who are involved in the service sector, who will find themselves heavily impacted by the increased barriers to trade after Brexit.  Then, there are retirees, with pensions that have already seen their value fall by about 25% due to the Pound’s downward course since 2016 and now face the loss of their S1 reciprocal healthcare provision and the removal of pension uprating in 3 years time. So, while the British Embassy Outreach events seek to assure us that nothing much will change in our daily lives, it is actually hard to gloss over the fundamental erosion of rights and opportunities that is occurring.

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4 September 2019 – today’s press releases

Time to put Liberal Democrat Voice to bed for the night, unlike our Parliamentary Party in the Lords, who are preparing for a long night of voting to stop Conservatives filibustering.

It’s been a dramatic day in Westminster, although there seem to be no shortage of those these days. But the media operations continues regardless…

  • Kicking the can down the road will not prevent Windrush-style scandal for EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: We have a duty to stand with the people of Hong Kong
  • Davey slams Spending Review as “fantasy figures”
  • Jane Dodds delivers maiden speech in Parliament
  • PM cannot be allowed to use an election to

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19 July 2019 – live from Brecon, today’s press releases…

  • Lib Dems bring forward legislation to protect EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: Govt must provide urgent clarity on teachers’ pay
  • Lib Dem legislation to protect victims of crime passes second reading
  • Davey: Govt must fund police pay rise
  • Umunna slams economically incompetent Tories
  • Swinson: This is a time for cool heads in the Gulf

Lib Dems bring forward legislation to protect EU citizens

Today, the Liberal Democrats have brought forward a bill to safeguard EU citizens’ rights.

The Bill brought forward by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates would provide a guarantee that, regardless of the outcome of Brexit, the rights of EU citizens and other EEA nationals living in …

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Boris thinks Widdecombe and Non-payment will sway EU his way….

In his BBC interview by Laura Kuensberg (interview text here), Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson said he had a far better chance of realising an agreed Brexit than May had, because the political situation both in Britain and on the Continent, in Brussels, has been fundamentally transformed since the March 2019 Brexit Deadline (and the British European elections).

Johnson says that the EU leaders are scared because the newly elected Brexit Party – and Tory MEPs – are a new, powerful Eurosceptic force, putting pressure on the European Commission and Council from within the Euro Parliament (EP). I think Johnson’s argument is that now that Ann Widdecombe sits beside known Euro-haters like Farage and Daniel Hannan, EU leaders have started quaking in their shoes and want to lose (or “liberate”) these MEPs soon by agreeing any October 31 Brexit, with or without a deal.

Johnson forgets Brussels has seen off worse anti-system politician threats, like J.-M. le Pen MEP calling Sobibor’s gas chambers a “detail in history”; and prime ministers like Berlusconi suggesting a German Socialist playing KZ Lager guard; or Orban, expelled from the biggest EP party for infringing basic EU principles. Adding Widdecombe isn’t a threat; the Christian and Social Democrats simply include “Renew Europe” Liberals (with new LibDem MEPs!) and the Greens in EP politics; Orban, Tories and Brexiters (who insist the EU is a Gulag Soviet Union) are kept shouting outside.

Johnson’s second point: he’ll use “creative ambiguity” about paying the £39 billion alimony to pressure the EU into a “May deal without nasty Backstop bits” (my paraphrase of his sketched deal). But what if Brussels uses “creative conditionality” about refurbishing the deal: “if you won’t pay the first instalment on the £39 billion, we keep the Backstop in”. And giving EU citizens (many who couldn’t vote for the EP, the hostile environment persists) legislative security as UK inhabitants was already offered by May, so won’t elicit EU leniency around any Brexit Deal.

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23 May 2019 – today’s press release

Turning EU citizens away feels like a deliberate attempt to silence voices

Responding to reports that EU citizens are being turned away from polling stations and denied a vote, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

It is an utter disgrace that so many EU citizens have been unable to vote in these historic elections.

This feels like a deliberate attempt by the Conservatives to silence the voices of our fellow Europeans.

Liberal Democrats will hold the government to account for this bureaucratic shambles and ensure that the voices of EU citizens are heard.

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2 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Today’s press releases are brought to you from Antwerp, as your columnist enjoys possibly one last trip as an EU citizen…

  • Lib Dems table composite amendments to end Brexit impasse
  • Lib Dems: We must ensure all children receive an education that meets their needs
  • Lib Dems: Gisela Stuart Not Fit for FCO Wilton Park
  • Lib Dem victory on Mental Capacity Bill
  • Callous Tories could strip people of voting rights
  • Cable: PM piles more logs on the Brexit log jam

Lib Dems table composite amendments to end Brexit impasse

Today (2nd April) the Liberal Democrats are tabling amendments, working cross-party, to break the deadlock in Parliament by ensuring any Brexit voted through Parliament goes back to the people, with a People’s Vote.

The Liberal Democrats will table composite amendments to reflect Brexit motions voted on last night and the Prime Minister’s deal.

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

It is time for MPs to come together and build a majority to end the impasse. That is why Liberal Democrats are seeking to add a People’s Vote to any Brexit motions so that the deadlock in Parliament is broken and the people can decide on the path the country takes.

Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for a People’s Vote for nearly three years, always believing that the people, not politicians, must have the final say.

Adding a People’s Vote to any of the motions voted for last night or the PM’s deal provides the quickest and safest way out of this unholy mess.

Lib Dems: We must ensure all children receive an education that meets their needs

Following the announcement of Government proposals that will see a requirement for home-educated children to be registered with their local authority, affecting almost 60,000, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Parents can decide to home school children for any number of reasons and most do a brilliant job. But undeniably, they need more support.

Yet councils cannot offer this support if they don’t know where children are. A child who has never been on the school roll may simply be unknown to the local authority.

If we want to ensure all families provide their children with an education that meets their needs, then these proposals are a welcome first step.

Lib Dems: Gisela Stuart Not Fit for FCO Wilton Park

Today Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson, has written to the Prime Minister to ask her to reconsider the suitability of Ms Stuart as Chair of Wilton Park, an Executive Agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

This comes following Vote Leave’s decision to drop their challenge against the fine of £61,000 imposed on them by the Electoral Commission for spending offences during the 2016 EU referendum.

Commenting on his decision to write to May on the matter, Mr Brake said:

Ms Stuart was the Chair of a campaign that broke the law. She cannot now continue as head of Wilton Park: a body which promotes good governance across the world on behalf of the UK.

In any other job you would not stay in post if you risked bringing the organisation into disrepute, so why is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office any different? The Prime Minister must act.

Ms Stuart’s role as Chair of Vote Leave and her refusal to apologise for the campaign’s illegal activities make her position at Wilton Park completely untenable.

Liberal Democrats demand better. I have urged the Prime Minister to review Ms Stuart’s appointment in light of the revelations about Vote Leave. British Government appointments must always be spotless. It is not clear this appointment passes that test.

Lib Dem victory on Mental Capacity Bill

Today the House of Commons is debating the Mental Capacity Bill which now includes huge concessions the Liberal Democrats secured from the Government.

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21 January 2019 – today’s press releases

Some good news today, as the Government has withdrawn the £65 charge for EU citizens to register for settled status. Admittedly though, they’re still at the mercy of a Home Office not necessarily recognised for its compassion or competence, but it is at least a start…

And with that, here are today’s press releases…

  • Home Office settled status scheme risks new Windrush scandal
  • Swinson: Govt Chief Whip must resign if he is blocking proxy voting
  • New laws only help domestic abuse victims if there’s cash to enforce them
  • Lib Dems: Will Corbyn agree with Gardiner and vote for a People’s Vote?
  • Government cave on unfair EU

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How dare we treat our friends and neighbours like this?

If you go to the shop and buy an iron, say, you expect it to work and for any manufacturer’s claims or guarantees to stand. You are entering into a contract that can’t be mucked around with. I should emphasise at this point that I would never buy an iron. The quality of my life improved immeasurably when I gave up ironing. But that’s beside the point.

You wouldn’t stand for the manufacturer contacting you a few weeks’ later telling you that you had to pay another £20 for the iron, or reducing the guarantee period.

Yet this is exactly what our government is doing to many people in this country.

Every time I see that Home Office tweet telling the 3 million EU citizens in this country that they will have to apply for settled status, I get angrier.

I am furious that my friends, my next door neighbours, the surgeons who saved my husband’s life two years ago, the nurses who looked after him and comforted him through a terrifying experience, my colleague and so many of my friends’ spouses or children are being put through this.

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Shocking refusal of citizenship to former Lib Dem mayor

Lib Dem Inga Lockington, the former mayor of Ipswich, has been refused citizenship. It is covered extensively here.

Inga came to the UK in 1979 when she married her British husband. That resonates with me as I moved to the UK twenty-four years ago when I married my British husband. Inga was given indefinite leave to remain at the time, and has been a resident ever since.

Not only has Inga lived in this country, but she has contributed greatly to community life. She has been a councillor for 19 years, and …

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May’s Brexit setup denies remaining EU states what she wants to recover for Britain: sovereignty over their nation(als)

As the Brexiteers slogan “take back control” clearly shows, the taking back of government control not only over your own territory, but also over the whole of your population, nation, (in short: “national sovereignty”)  is a central plank in the whole, over-ambitious and under-estimated, undertaking that is Brexit.

But in Theresa May’s proposed treatment of EU citizens in the UK, she in two ways denies the governments of the continental states who, very sensibly, choose to remain in the EU (and, conversely, some British citizens) what she herself wants to “take back from Brussels’ clutches”: national sovereignty.

She does that first by insisting that the fate of EU inhabitants of the UK will exclusively be decided by British courts (and authorities), and that London will (negotiating with  Brussels) co-decide the cutoff date of the 5 year term you need to get a “settled status” in the UK.

And, because she and Brussels agree that it will be a mirror image operation, the fate of UK citizens in continental EU states is thus left to their respective national courts. Well, the courts in Poland and Hungary are being transformed into the servants of regimes that have heavy prejudices against fundamental West European and British values like the Trias Politica of separate powers, liberal democratic values, western education (George Soros’s university) and women’s rights (work beside family life, abortion). The less agents, carriers of western ideals and freedoms living in Poland and Hungary, the better, is the way Orban and Kaczyński think about guarding what they call the sacred “National Identity” of their “embattled” nations. See the way they marginalized liberal opposition amongst their own citizens, and how Kaczynski’s people humiliated Tusk (and Orban the professors/students of Soros).

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Tom Brake fights for the rights of EU citizens in the UK

The 3 million EU citizens currently resident in the UK must not be bartered over in this country’s exit negotiations with the EU. They must not be treated as political pawns, or like children caught up in their parents’ divorce. So said Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake as he introduced his “EU Citizens in the UK (Right to stay) Bill to the Commons this week. The Bill has support from MPs from Labour, SDLP, SNP and Greens.

I’m glad to see Lib Dems calling the Brexit vote for what it is – a disaster. Someone needs to point out that we are on the edge of a massive precipice and the tanking of the pound is just the start. Already business is starting to feel the pinch as investors delay investing in the UK. The collapse of the travel firm Lowcostravel is just one example of jobs being lost as a result of the Brexit vote. People haven’t yet even begun to experience the effects of Brexit and when they do, they need to see who was speaking out from the start.

I’m very proud that it is our lot who are working to preserve the rights of people who are already worrying about their future. It is only fair that those who have made their lives here are allowed to stay and not have the goalposts moved. Imagine if you have moved here, fallen in love, established a social network, a family, a career, in this country. Would you like to be treated that way?

Here is Tom’s speech in full:

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