WATCH: Jo Swinson launching the manifesto

Jo Swinson launched the Lib Dem manifesto today.

Here’s her speech:

And you can read the whole manifesto here.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • It’s a really good manifesto. Lots of great ideas that we can go out and sell on the doorstep. I’m sure the usual gloom-mongers will be along shortly to pick apart the bits they don’t like, but hopefully I’ve managed to get the first comment in to say that overall this is a really good effort, and well done to the policy cttee and all those who have worked on it (most of them without pay).

  • David Becket 20th Nov '19 - 10:49pm

    I would agree, it is full of ideas we can sell

  • Gloom-monger reporting for duty sah! This is a lot better. We still crucially need to find a credible way to Stop Brexit, but this strong manifesto will help.

  • Yousuf Farah 21st Nov '19 - 2:02am

    I guarantee that Labour and Tory manifestos will be full of all the fantasy policies and money-growing-on-trees economics that they’ve been saying seen they started campaigning, by comparison to the other two this one might have a lot of credibility that might be appreciated by voters. I also think the timing of this manifesto releasing is clever because it is before the other two releasing theirs. And once that happens there will be considerable press and scrutiny for either, mostly scrutiny, (hopefully), and then people will look back on the Lib Dem manifesto and remember how well thought out and sound it was. Or look on the Lib Dems through their manifesto as a credible alternative to vote for.

  • John Marriott 21st Nov '19 - 10:26am

    I see from her most recent interviews that Jo Swinson is backtracking a little on revoking Article 50 and emphasising another referendum. That makes sense to me, given that much in the Lib Dem manifesto Is sound and could be drowned out by this more eye catching but frankly utopian stance.

    I would hate to think that espousing so enthusiastically Article 50 revocation will prove both before and particularly after the General Election, to be another ‘tuition fees’ moment, which will hinder future progress for the party.

  • Sandra Hammett 21st Nov '19 - 11:39am

    Agree with John Marriott, we should have stuck to a People’s Vote as our primary option, revocation forced our backs to the wall with nowhere to go, as well making us look as extreme as the Brexit Party.
    A People’s Vote means Leavers have a say as well. And polices tackling the causes of the desire for Brexit outlined in our manifesto would strengthen that tactic.

  • Geoffrey Dron 21st Nov '19 - 7:44pm

    Is LD policy on EU membership ‘remain’ or ‘remain and reform’?

    If the latter, what reforms are essential?

  • Now, Martin, you’ve told my friend John, a longstanding and distinguished Lib/Lib Dem undefeated over many years Councillor and Parliamentary candidate to get his thinking cap on. Now you tell a perceptive lady poster to ‘think it through’….. and that your own fact ‘is obvious’.

    Is a tad bit more modesty in order, young Sir ? Or do you have some superhuman perceptiveness of the obvious denied to us lesser mortals ?

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Nov '19 - 12:12am

    Geoffrey Dron 21st Nov ’19 – 7:44pm
    Ever closer union was the policy. Although euro-sceptics disliked the necessity of it.
    All six of the original member states had been defeated in World War Two at least once.
    Several countries which joined later have been invaded twice..

  • The manifesto is very good. The Libdem campaign should refocus on policies rather than Swinson herself, I mean, it should be less presidential. Swinson is fine, but she is no where near as charismatic and popular as Justin Trudeau 4 years ago (and at the same time she is far from an intellectual heavyweight like Cable) to run such a presidential campaign.

  • Peter Martin 22nd Nov '19 - 8:47am

    @ Martin,

    “…..a specific Brexit that commands a majority support, you would be doing better than any Brexiter”

    Is there a specific Remain option that commands majority support? We could remain as full enthusiastic members ie use the euro, be a part of Schengen etc, and embracing the concept of “ever closer union”. We’d probably get 15%, or so, general support for that. Or, we can be half hearted members as we were before, and opting out of whatever we can get away with opting out of. That would get more support. Maybe 30%?

    But neither has majority support.

  • Peter Martin 22nd Nov '19 - 9:12am

    @ Yousef,

    “I guarantee that Labour and Tory manifestos will be full of all the fantasy policies and money-growing-on-trees economics”

    And I can guarantee that the Lib Dem manifesto is full of faulty neoliberal economics.

    The problem for people who use phrases like “money-growing-on-trees ” is that they don’t actually know where money does actually come from! I sometimes think they must think its a gift from God! He’s made all that needs to be made and we shouldn’t ever, under any circumstances, create any extra!

    There’s really no need to go to the trouble of cultivating orchards. It’s all done in a computer these days! Need £400 billion to bail out the banks? No problem? Just tap a few keys and hey presto! You’ve created all you need!

  • Arnold Kiel 22nd Nov '19 - 9:40am

    I feel compelled to add to your partially successful thinking assistance:

    It seems generally accepted that another referendum must be binding, i.e. the result and the underlying legislation will be hardwired. That means both, the revocation-letter and a withdrawal agreement must have conditional parliamental approval before the vote.

    A LibDem majority Government cannot pass a WA without destroying its majority on day one on its flagship policy. Practically all LibDem MPs oppose withdrawal, so this could only be passed with the votes of the Tories, the Brexit Party, Labour Leavers, and LibDem rebels. Not even that can be assured, as, while keeping Brexit in play, it would amount to supporting a LibDem Government.

    To develop this absurd scenario further: would it not be logical for a LibDem Government with an own majority to revisit the deeply flawed existing WAs? This would require another round of negotiations with the EU. Who would do that, and how would Mr. Barnier react to this proposal to waste even more of his time? With a solid remain-majority in the Commons, refusing another extension is risk-free for the EU as Parliament would always revoke instead of crashing out.

    Revoke is not only sensible and democratic, it is the only logical position for LibDems.

  • Can anyone elaborate on the parties welfare policy on ending work capability assessments?
    All the manifesto says is “End Work Capability Assessments and replace them with a new system that is run by local authorities and based on real-world tests.”
    Labour has been pretty vague on their proposals also only to say that they will be brought in house.
    I think the parties should have been far more radical on this issue. They should have pledged to develop 1 test to cover all Disability Benefits, ESA, Personal Independence Payments and Industrial Injuries.
    many severely disabled claimants who claim 2 or more benefits are subjected to multiple testing and form filling with different review dates which causes unnecessary stress and anxiety when a system could easily be implemented to develop one test that covers all.

    Secondly in regards to NHS staffing, I would have liked to seen far bolder policies, like
    Free training and education for Paramedics, Nurses and DR’s who are then contracted to work for the NHS for say 5 or 10 years . The training remains free as long as they complete the contract otherwise fee’s are repaid on a sliding scale depending on how early they terminated their contract.
    To many medical staff are being trained at a great expense to the UK only to then leave for other countries i.e Australia where the rewards are much higher.
    We need to provide some kind of incentive to stop this and free training may well be the way to go.

  • Since 2015 the party has scaled back it’s advocacy on Civil liberties issues (It wasn’t a prioirty in Vince’s leadership and it was so low key that the FPC and Parliamentary party passed a whole ‘values’ paper without including this.)

    That has improved a little under Jo but this still seems very light in this area.

    Really worrying that there’s a much more scaled down section on online freedoms than in 2015 – most crucially this:
    “Uphold the right of individuals, businesses and public bodies to use strong encryption to protect their privacy and security online.” (wording from the 2015 manifesto in the proposed digital bill of rights) is missing from this one (and no comparable provision).

    The digital bill of rights was in the 2017 manifesto (but not with the proposed content)

    Given the very significant moves by government to tackle this that’s a big – and for me – quite significant omission.

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