Conservatives pass one of worst pieces of legislation ever witnessed. Lib Dem Press Release 12th February

Conservatives pass one of worst pieces of legislation ever witnessed

Speaking after the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill was passed in the House of Commons tonight by just 58 votes, former Liberal Democrat Care Minister Norman Lamb MP said:

Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people are at risk of unlawfully having their freedom restricted and receiving inappropriate care. That is the deeply flawed system this Bill should have fixed, but instead the Conservatives produced one of the worst pieces of legislation ever seen.

I set the Government two tests at the beginning of this process. Does the new system safeguard individuals’ human rights and does the new system result in very vulnerable people being better protected? Conservative Ministers have failed both of these tests.

It is incredibly worrying that the Conservative Government are still pursuing this change in legislation when there has been overwhelming and united opposition from parties and care organisations. People deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats will keep fighting for the rights of the most vulnerable.

Property guardians caught in poverty trap. Lib Dem Press Release 11th February

Property guardians caught in poverty trap

Responding to the investigation by the I into property guardians, Liberal Democrat peer Olly Grender said:

This undercover investigation shows how desperately bad the housing crisis has become. More and more people are living as property guardians in buildings that are dangerous and insanitary and the law fails to protect them.

Safeguards must be introduced before the Government has another tragedy on its hands such as Grenfell. This is a hidden crisis for people caught in a trap of poverty and lack of decent housing and needs urgent attention.

The fact these properties are unsafe and unhealthy to live in should result in a rapid review of the relevant laws. It is vital that the Government now re-evaluate our HMO regulations to ensure that this form of tenancy, in all but name, cannot be ignored and left out of all important legal protections.

There are responsible property guardian companies and they are working hard to provide cheap housing in empty properties. But the revelations in Colchester suggest a more exploitative approach and a growing crisis.

Cable: GDP figures reveal the country is now fairly close to recession. Lib Dem Press Release 11th February

Cable: GDP figures reveal the country is now fairly close to recession

Responding to statistics published by the Office for National Statistics which reveal GDP growth has fallen to a nine-year low, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

I am afraid the country is now fairly close to recession. These figures are in fact flattering. The reality is much worse because whatever growth there is has been caused merely by businesses accumulating stocks in fear of Brexit.

The economy is now just bumping along the bottom. These figures show how the closer we get to Brexit, the worse the impact is getting. Far from looking forward to a Brexit bonus we can expect a Brexit tax to deal with the fallout.

There is still time, however, to avoid this chaos. The economy can be given the boost it needs by giving the country the opportunity to exit from Brexit with a final say on the deal.

MORE CHAOS WITH TORY BREXIT. Lib Dem Press Releases 9/10 February

Government ferry plan hits the rocks

Responding to news that the Government has scrapped its contract with Seaborne Freight Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The Government did not need a siren’s call to get into chaos over a contract with a ferry company, all they needed was to put Chris Grayling in charge.

This Government has now had to fire their ferry company with no ferries, as we drift closer and closer to no deal.

The Conservatives have failed to plan for Brexit and are steering this country to disaster. They must take no deal off the table and then offer the country a people’s vote so we can get out of this mess once and for all.

UK citizens to be left without medical cover in event of no-deal Brexit

The Liberal Democrats have pushed the Conservative Government to admit that Ministers have not secured any bilateral health agreements with EU member states in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

In a response to a parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, Health Minister Stephen Hammond MP could not confirm any agreements have been made to ensure British citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK would have the same access to medical cover.

Mr Hammond could only confirm that the UK and Irish Governments have “firm intentions to maintain the Common Travel Area and to protect the associated reciprocal rights”.

The revelation will add further woes to UK citizens intending to travel across the EU this summer after a a Liberal Democrat mystery shopper exercise recently uncovered several leading travel agents were unable to guarantee cover in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

In a no-deal scenario, it is now disturbingly likely that UK citizens will have no medical cover in most, if not all, of the EU countries.

With many people already having booked travel to the EU for after 29th March, we need urgent clarification from the Government of what action UK travellers need to take, including whether they should be taking out expensive travel insurance.

This is particularly worrying as most of the large travel insurance firms are not able to confirm whether their insurance will be valid in the case of no-deal.

Conservative Ministers do not need to hold British travellers at ransom. They can instead take no-deal off the table and give the public the final say with a People’s Vote so that we can get out of this mess once and for all.

No specific funding for NHS in no deal scenario

The Conservative Government has refused to reveal how much funding it is allocating to keep the National Health Service running in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Although the Department of Health and Social Care has been allocated £71 million by the Treasury to prepare for Brexit, in an answer to a written PQ it said it was “unable to provide a breakdown of the amount of funding allocated to ‘no deal’ preparations specifically”.

Of the 18 Government departments questioned on their no-deal spending in written PQs tabled by Vince Cable, just one – the Department for Transport – provided a specific figure.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Matt Hancock has been boasting about being the world’s biggest buyer of fridges, yet his department doesn’t even appear to know how much it is spending on preparing for a no-deal Brexit. The Government needs to come clear with taxpayers on which particular Brexit blackholes it is pouring their money down.

Shockingly, only one department is actually aware of what it is spending to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. This suggests the government is either trying to scare the public and MPs about the dangers of a no-deal it doesn’t expect to happen, or it is totally incompetent.

Dropping migration target an admission Brexit won’t control immigration. Lib Dem Press Release 18th December

Dropping migration target an admission Brexit won’t control immigration

Responding to reports the Government’s migration target has been left out of draft proposals for a new immigration system, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

If the Conservatives really are dropping their manifesto commitment of a net migration target, that is good news.

It’s an admission that Brexit won’t control immigration as Mrs May promised – otherwise the target would surely be kept.

This was yet another deception of the people by the right-wing nationalist Brexiteers. The truth is that it’s the needs of our economy and the NHS that drive recruitment from overseas, not membership of the EU.

But dropping the target isn’t enough to repair our broken immigration system. The Liberal Democrats demand an end to the hostile environment and investment in an accountable Border Force to secure our borders and rebuild public confidence.

Cable: Decision to ramp up no-deal is psychological warfare. Lib Dem Press Release 18th December

Cable: Decision to ramp up no-deal is psychological warfare

Responding to the Cabinet decision to increase preparations for a no-deal, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said;

The decision to ramp up the no deal pressure is psychological warfare. The Conservative Government are attempting to scare MPs, businesses and the public with the threat of a no-deal.

Theresa May is irresponsibly trying to run down the clock so that the only option is to support her discredited deal.

It is time to stop playing political games with our future and take the issues at hand seriously. The only real way out of this deadlock is to hold a People’s Vote, with the option to remain in the EU.

Govt plan to trap Britain on a never-ending Brexit hamster wheel. Lib Dem Press Release 5th December

Govt plan to trap Britain on a never-ending Brexit hamster wheel

Responding to the full release of the Attorney General’s Brexit legal advice, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

“These legal papers confirm that the deal will mean years of uncertainty and never-ending negotiations, highlighting the awful mess the Conservatives Government have made out of Brexit.

“Nobody voted for Britain to be trapped in a Brexit hamster wheel, constantly haggling with close partners on trade as the country gets poorer.

“The case is becoming clearer day by day that the best way to secure our future is through a People’s Vote, with an option to remain in the EU.”

Corbyn too in pockets of the unions to back a People’s Vote. Lib Dem Press Release 5th December

Corbyn too in pockets of the unions to back a People’s Vote

Responding to reports that the Unite leader Len McCluskey warned Labour MPs not to support a People’s Vote, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Corbyn is still sitting on the fence while the rest of us dig in and try and get the UK out of this chaos.

The Labour leadership need reminding of the policy their members passed at conference – to hold a People’s Vote – but are too deep in the pockets of the union paymasters to disobey their diktat.

Cable: Bring country together with a People’s Vote. Lib Dem Press Release 4th December

Cable: Bring country together with a People’s Vote

Speaking in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement debate in the House of Commons chamber this evening, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable reiterated his party’s position to hold a People’s Vote with an option to remain in the European Union.

He said:

We shall campaign to remain in the European Union because we believe unambiguously that it is the national interest and the right thing to do.

We want to bring the country together. We don’t want to perpetuate division, but the bitter truth is we are a country divided, and it will be even more so if we leave the EU under these terms.

There are overwhelming arguments for remaining members but the fundamental point is the impact on living standards; it has been acknowledged even by the Government that we would be worse off, we can have different scenarios or assumptions but none show that we would be better off.

This issue will not die in March of next year, let us have an agreement now to have a vote on Brexit now we know what it is.