Lib Dems call for stronger relations with Europe to counter threat of Putin

Lib Dems call for stronger relations with Europe to counter threat of Putin

Parliamentary news
The Liberal Democrats have called on the UK government to urgently forge stronger diplomatic relations with our European neighbours, to help counter the threat posed by Putin’s Russia. The call comes as part of a new motion on Europe, passed by the Liberal Democrats at their Spring Conference, which sets out a plan for building trade and cooperation with our European partners. The motion sets out a comprehensive roadmap to improve the UK’s trading relationship with Europe, benefitting British families and businesses. It acknowledges that ties between the UK and Europe have been deeply damaged and will have to be built back gradually over time. The four-stage plan is as follows: Taking immediate action to improve links with our European neighbours, including building closer ties in education by reforming the…
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Article 16: Truss repeating mistakes of Frost

Article 16: Truss repeating mistakes of Frost

Parliamentary news
Responding to the readout of Liz Truss’ first call with Maros Sefcovic, which claimed that 'the UK position has not changed' and reiterated threats to trigger Article 16, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Layla Moran MP commented: “When this brief was given to the Foreign Secretary, we hoped it was time for a more diplomatic approach. Instead, it’s like Lord Frost never left. Triggering Article 16 will only lead to a ruinous trade war - harming British businesses just at the moment when they need support. “The reality is that Truss cares more about her reputation with the Tory party faithful than she does about what’s in Britain’s interest. The Conservative leadership contest psychodrama is only just beginning.”
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Frost resignation: The rats are fleeing Boris Johnson’s sinking ship

Frost resignation: The rats are fleeing Boris Johnson’s sinking ship

Parliamentary news
Responding to reports Lord Frost has resigned from the government, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran said: “This shock resignation is a sign of the chaos and confusion at the heart of this Conservative government. "The rats are fleeing Boris Johnson's sinking ship as he lurches from crisis to crisis. "Even the prime minister's once loyal supporters are now abandoning him, just as lifelong Conservative voters are switching in their droves to the Liberal Democrats. “At a time we need strong leadership to get us through the pandemic, we instead have a weak prime minister who has lost the support of his allies and the trust of the British people.”
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Article 16: Tory chaos and confusion over Christmas triggering

Article 16: Tory chaos and confusion over Christmas triggering

Parliamentary news
Responding to the International Trade Secretary's comments that the Government would "absolutely not" trigger Article 16 before the end of the year - and Downing Street's subsequent slapping down of those comments - Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: “This is yet more chaos and confusion from the Tories. Even our hard-Brexiteer Trade Secretary knows it would be madness to crash our trading relations with the EU just weeks before Christmas, and yet No 10 are refusing to rule it out. “The PM spent the morning making a chaotic speech, talking about Peppa Pig and losing the plot. Is it any wonder that ministers don’t know what their own position is? Liberal Democrats are clear – the Government must rule out triggering Article 16 so that families…
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Conservative minister refuses to rule out triggering Article 16 before Christmas

Conservative minister refuses to rule out triggering Article 16 before Christmas

Parliamentary news
A Conservative minister has failed to rule out triggering Article 16 before Christmas, risking disruption to families and businesses over the festive period. Responding to an urgent question in Parliament this morning by Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael, Conservative Paymaster General Michael Ellis failed to rule out triggering the mechanism this side of Christmas, adding that “we want a negotiated outcome but we are willing to use Article 16.” Meanwhile, Conservative MP Peter Bone suggested in the debate that the date of triggering Article 16 was irrelevant. Commenting after the debate, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Northern Ireland Alistair Carmichael MP said: “The government’s failure to rule out triggering Article 16 before Christmas risks catastrophic disruption to businesses and households. "This complacency could see families missing out on Christmas parcels and…
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Butcher visas: Groundhog day for half-baked visa schemes

Butcher visas: Groundhog day for half-baked visa schemes

Parliamentary news
Reacting to the Government giving overseas butchers a six month temporary visa, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Food and Rural Affairs Tim Farron MP said: “It is groundhog day again as Ministers scramble to rush out another half-baked and inadequate visa scheme. "If Ministers think the answer to the shortages we face is a handful of temporary visas for one sector after another, they are badly mistaken. They just can't seem to learn from their mistakes. “Businesses across the UK are suffering because of the Conservatives’ damaging new immigration rules, imposed in the midst of a pandemic. The answer must be to rewrite those rules and abolish the arbitrary distinction that rejects key workers such as care staff and HGV drivers as ‘unskilled’.”
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EU HGV driver visas: Sticking plaster solution is dismal failure

EU HGV driver visas: Sticking plaster solution is dismal failure

Parliamentary news
Responding to the news that the Government has only received 127 visa applications from EU HGV drivers, Liberal Democrat Business Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said: "The Government's sticking plaster solution to recruit drivers at the last minute has been exposed as a dismal failure. "Ministers knew that their new immigration rules were worsening the HGV driver shortage for months, yet they sat on their hands and waited until it was too late. This lack of leadership has let down all those people still struggling to fill up their tank and go about their daily lives. "The Government must urgently treat this crisis with the urgency it deserves. They need to stop branding HGV drivers and other key workers as "unskilled", and allow them to work here for a longer period…
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BP driver shortages: Tories must scrap arbitrary immigration rules

BP driver shortages: Tories must scrap arbitrary immigration rules

Parliamentary news
Reacting to the news that BP has closed some of its petrol stations due to a shortage of lorry drivers, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Business Sarah Olney MP said: “The Conservatives are asleep at the wheel as labour shortages grind people’s lives to a halt. “Allowing a fuel shortage due to a lack of drivers is unprecedented and poses a huge risk, not just for businesses but for everyone relying on a car to go to work or take their kids to school. “The Government must treat this crisis with the urgency it deserves. They need to abandon their anti-immigration ideology that brands key workers as ‘unskilled,' and scrap their arbitrary salary thresholds to get more drivers back in the UK.”
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Government must ‘not let the sun go down’ on the UK performers

Government must ‘not let the sun go down’ on the UK performers

Parliamentary news
Liberal Democrats have backed calls from Sir Elton John for the UK Government to urgently resolve the growing crisis facing the UK cultural sector. At their national Conference today, the party has unanimously backed calls for swift action to address the red tape and paperwork that is stopping UK artists, performers, and musicians from being able to tour and perform in Europe. Sir Elton has been a vocal critic of the Government’s failure to resolve this issue, which was caused following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without a full scheme in place to enable paperless travel for performers. Earlier this year, Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Paul Strasburger hosted a meeting between Sir Elton and Lord Frost, the Government’s chief Brexit negotiator and now Minister for EU Relations, to discuss…
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Government’s shambolic trade policy damages British business

Government’s shambolic trade policy damages British business

Parliamentary news
Reacting to the Government announcing a delay to import checks, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Trade Sarah Olney MP said: “The Government’s 'independent trade policy' is in shambles. Utterly unable to secure the UK’s vital imports, the only solution to the supply chain crisis they could cobble together is to kick the can down the road. “British businesses and consumers need to have the certainty that their supply chains won’t get choked off and that they’ll continue to find all the products they need in the supermarket. “The Conservative government must urgently explain how they’ll avoid damaging shortages and price rises when import checks do come into force.”
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