Tag Archives: orkney

Liam McArthur MSP writes…From Orkney, why I’m voting to Remain

Next week voters across United Kingdom will go to the polls to decide on our country’s future relationship with our European partners.

This decision could not be more important and I urge you to make sure your voice is heard on Thursday 23rd June.  For my part, I wanted to set out why I am passionately in favour of the UK remaining in the European Union.

As an internationalist, I see the European Union as an opportunity for us to punch way above our size on the global stage.

Through our membership of the European Union, businesses in Orkney and across the have access to freely export to the largest common market in the world, a market of some 500 million people. Indeed, in 2014 that market was worth £5.1bn for our Scottish food and drink sector alone.

In other parts of Orkney’s economy too we see the vital importance of European Union. The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy provides £20 million a year in support for Orkney’s farmers. Our renewables sector benefits from key EU funding, keeping us at the forefront of research and development. Meanwhile, over half the value of our vital tourism sector relies on tourists from the EU, travelling without visas.

To leave the European Union and walk away from the single market would be to close the door on these opportunities for Orkney.

Whilst the economic arguments are compelling, for me they do not represent the fundamental purpose and values of a union we helped build. Jo Grimond was right to describe the creation of the European Community as “the disappearance of the cloud which has lain over Europe for a thousand years – the plague of Western European wars….it is alone worth any petty tribulations that the EEC may inflict”.

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In full: David Steel’s lecture on the centenary of Jo Grimond’s birth

Liberal Democrats including Alistair Carmichael (ok, so he lives there), Willie Rennie, David Steel and Nick Clegg have headed to Orkney this weekend to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Jo Grimond, the man credited with building up the Liberal Party after is demise. David Steel gave a lecture in the Firth Church at Finnstown and Nick Clegg spoke at a dinner last night.
Steel’s lecture, outlining Grimond’s  crashes through our normal word limit, but I think it’s worth reading the whole thing to get an insight into the history of the Liberal Party and into both Grimond’s and Steel’s

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Rosie Wallace talks to Liberal Democrat Voice about her books

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael’s Twitter account is always good for a laugh. At least, I hope he was joking here…

Rosie WallaceIt was from Alistair’s Twitter that I discovered that we have an accomplished and talented author in the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Rosie Wallace has written two novels, set in the same small town, about its parliamentarians and their families. She should know …

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Opinion: A Scottish candidate’s view

Days have now passed since the last result for the Scottish Parliament was declared. At least that provided a bit of happy news; my local colleague and former Dunfermline MP Willie Rennie was elected as the last MSP from the Mid Scotland and Fife regional list. But frankly, what went on in the 18 hours prior to that was not much short of a horror show – I never thought that “Losing Deposits” would ring true again.

Normally, after a drubbing like that, attention turns to the campaign itself and where it all went wrong. This time, though, there’s no real …

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged , , , and | 23 Comments

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    Free trade is part and parcel of the post-war institutions that delivered peace and prosperity. 1947 saw the introduction of the General Agreement on Tariffs a...
  • Steve Griffiths
    Gareth, thanks for your kind remarks. I remember those great days of success in West Oxfordshire, of which you were very much a part. I had a superb team he...
  • David Watts
    There have been a lot of comments on here about planning. Green Liberal Democrat’s have established a Special Interest Group to discuss planning and sustainab...
  • Michael 1
    I suspect that all the arguments you cite against free trade were used by proponents of the corn laws. And the arguments of Richard Cobden stay as relevant toda...
  • Matt (Bristol)
    It's good to see the Conservatives pegged back, but I think it's reasonable to raise concerns about how, and the party that is being built here. (NB I've left s...