Plan for Business

Our country and our businesses deserve better than a choice between a hard Brexit under Johnson or the hard left under Corbyn.

Both parties would damage businesses through their plans to end free movement and deprive our fast-growing businesses of the talent they need to compete globally.

The Liberal Democrats are the natural party of business, with a clear plan to stop Brexit, save free movement and focus on addressing the real issues facing our economy.

We will build a brighter future by securing the UK’s place as a global research powerhouse, supporting our entrepreneurs, and creating good jobs in new and growing industries.

What Boris Johnson would do to Britain

There are just days to go until the UK goes to the polls in the 2019 general election. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we stop Boris Johnson in his pursuit of a hard Brexit and a far-right Conservative government.

If you weren’t already convinced, here are just a few things Johnson would do to Britain if he manages to stay in No. 10 and why we must stop him.

1. Crash us out of the EU

We know that any form of Brexit would be damaging to our country, and so does Boris Johnson. But because he only cares about himself, he’s continuing to push for a hard Brexit at any cost.

In fact, it’s been confirmed that the Conservatives would not extend the EU transition period beyond 2020, meaning that a catastrophic No Deal Brexit is still on the table and could happen in just over a year’s time.

The Liberal Democrats are clear: we want to stop Brexit, stay in the EU and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus in public services and tackling inequality.

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2. Risk a border across the Irish Sea

Despite saying that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea, Boris has (unsurprisingly) gone back on his word.

By even considering this border, he is compromising the Good Friday Agreement and risking our country’s security – all for his bad Brexit deal.

3. Increase child poverty

In a report released by the Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank, it was revealed that child poverty risks reaching a record high under Johnson’s Conservative plans – rising from 29.6% in 2017-18 to 34.4% in 2023-4. It’s a damning indictment of the Tories’ heartless welfare policy.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty by 2023-24, making it the most progressive of the three main parties.

In stark contrast to the Boris Johnson’s plans, Lib Dem policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in povery by 2023-2024.

We would scrap the cruel two-child limit, benefit cap and bedroom tax, and invest in free school meals and childcare for millions of families.

4. Damage our NHS

If Boris Johnson wins a majority, he’ll be desperate for a trade deal with Donald Trump, and Trump has repeatedly made clear in the past that everything, including the NHS, will be on the table in future negotiations.

We need to protect our NHS, and that starts with stopping Brexit and protecting free movement for the thousands of people who come to work in our services from across the EU.

But instead of battling this staffing crisis, Boris Johnson wants to make it worse. His Nurse Tax will seriously affect the NHS’s ability to recruit the nurses from the EU that we desperately need to address current shortfalls.

Liberal Democrats would stop Brexit and save free movement for the 65,000 EU citizens working in our health service.

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5. Ruin our economy with Brexit

The Conservatives’ spending plans have been blasted as not credible by the Institute for Financial Studies, and it’s clear that no party’s economic plan is even remotely plausible while it includes pursuing Brexit.

By failing to come clean with the electorate and ignoring the Brexit black hole his policies would leave in the public finances, Boris Johnson is once again misleading the country on the damage that Brexit could do.

Liberal Democrats will work to build fairer economy by stopping Brexit and providing free childcare from 9 months and giving every adult £10,000 to spend on skills & training throughout their lives.

6. Stop the UK from leading on climate action

The UK should be leading the world on tackling the climate crisis. Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged and we are responsible for that damage.

Young people have taken to the streets because they’re so worried that the Conservatives are failing to act, yet with Boris skipping the recent Channel 4 climate debate, it’s clear that he doesn’t take the topic seriously.

Only the Liberal Democrats can build a brighter future for our planet, with our bold plans to achieve net-zero by 2045, generate 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030, insulate every home, plant 60 million trees a year and more.

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7. Ignore the needs of working families

Parents struggle to find childcare to look after their kids until they get home from work, both in term-time and in the school holidays. But Boris Johnson’s childcare offer through the Conservative manifesto is an insult to these families.

Boris Johnson’s additional childcare provisions work out to just £1 a week for every primary school child in England.

Despite promising £250 million a year on expanding childcare provisions for primary school children after school and in the school holidays, this works out to just £1 a week for every primary school child in England. This is equivalent to just 16 minutes additional childcare a week.

Liberal Democrats have a plan to build a brighter future for every child. We will give parents 35 hours a week of high-quality free childcare from the day they go back to work to the day their child starts school, including the school holidays.

We will also give every child the best start in life by recruiting 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools.

But we can stop him.

Britain deserves a brighter future than the one on offer by Boris Johnson. We can take seats off the Tories up and down the country. So on 12 December, vote Liberal Democrat to stop Boris and stop Brexit.

Jo’s Message for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

As a Party we are clear: people with disabilities must have the opportunity to fully participate in every aspect of society

3rd December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A day set aside to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities.

Let us use today to increase our understanding of disabilities which can be physical, mental, sensory or cognitive.

People with disabilities play a crucial role in the development of our communities. Yet, disabled people are one of the most marginalised groups in our country. Discrimination, isolation and injustice are an everyday reality for many. This is not good enough.

We cannot sit back while our villages, towns and cities remain inaccessible

As a Party, we are clear: people with disabilities must have the opportunity to fully participate in every aspect of society. We cannot accept cuts in the support available to disabled people. We cannot sit back while our villages, towns, and cities remain inaccessible. And we cannot stand by as disability hate crimes continue to rise.

We must be relentless in our efforts to build a more inclusive country, because we are all better off when everyone can realise their full potential.

Let us build a brighter future for disabled people everywhere.

The 12 Lies Of Brexit

Welcome to the ‘Twelve Lies of Brexit’, where we will be unwrapping the biggest porkies told by senior Leave politicians.

Let’s start with the obvious:

  1. The lie on the side of a bus

    We’re unwrapping the twelve biggest lies of Brexit!

    First up, the infamous lie on the side of a bus 👇https://t.co/c60zNMDC1I🎄 pic.twitter.com/3yaazx0JTI

    — Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) December 1, 2019

Perhaps the most famous of the Brexit lies, Boris Johnson championed an outlandish, fraudulent promise on the side of his Vote Leave bus in 2016.

The claim that we send £350 million a week to the EU is just not true, let alone the idea that this imaginary money could instead be used for the NHS.

Johnson knew it was a lie, but he put it on a bus anyway. In the words of the Head of the Office of National Statistics, it was “a clear misuse of official statistics”.

Many people voted Leave in the hope that it would help the NHS.

Unfortunately, Brexit is very dangerous for the NHS. Here’s why:

We’ll stop Brexit, give the NHS £35 billion, and fix our broken mental health services. That’s the sort of Christmas present the NHS needs and deserves!

All we want for Christmas is EU.

We’ll post the next festive fib tomorrow!

World AIDS Day – 1st December

Today we stand together as a global community to mark World AIDS Day.

AIDS is a global health challenge and there are currently more than 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK.

As a nation, we have made great strides in minimising the physical, psychological and societal impact of HIV. And thanks to the hard work of researchers, our understanding of HIV has grown significantly.

However, the shame, stigma, and isolation associated with HIV and AIDS has not gone away. No one should ever feel alone because of their HIV status, yet 1 in 5 people living with HIV in the UK say they feel this way.

We must be clear; there is no shame in an HIV diagnosis. There is no shame in getting tested. And there is no reason why HIV should stop you from living a full and happy life.

This year, the government committed to ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030 yet support for people living with HIV has been eroded. Many people report feeling isolated and unable to find the help they need. And we are yet to secure universal access to HIV prevention medication such as PrEP. This not good enough.

This year’s theme, “Rock the Ribbon Together” is our collective opportunity to show our support for those living with HIV and AIDS and I’ll be wearing my ribbon with great pride.

I’d like to end by thanking the many researchers, activists, and doctors working to improve the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS. Let us all work together to end HIV transmissions for good.

Brexit Means Criminals Evade Justice

New analysis has revealed how much UK police rely on vital EU crime-fighting measures.

Yet Boris Johnson’s reckless Brexit plans threaten to cut the UK off.

Over the past five years, UK police forces and prosecutors have used the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to arrest over 6,600 criminal fugitives.

This includes:

  • 140 for murder or manslaughter
  • 136 for child sex offences
  • 152 for rape
  • 12 for terrorism

The research also shows that UK police accessed a crucial EU-wide crime database 603 million times in 2018. This database gives real-time access to records on wanted criminals, missing persons and lost or stolen items. This includes firearms and passports.

In short, if Johnson’s Brexit goes ahead:

  • Up to 6,000 criminals could evade justice
  • Our police would be locked out of EU crime database used 1.6 million times a day
  • Brexit would undermine the UK’s ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime

Brexit would be a disaster for our safety.

Thousands of dangerous criminals could escape justice. Not only that, the UK’s ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime would be seriously undermined.

The only way to ensure vital police cooperation with Europe is by stopping Brexit.

We intend to do just that. Then, we will build a brighter future and keep our communities safe.

10 lies from Boris Johnson’s LBC interview

Boris Johnson’s interview with LBC exposed yet again how Boris Johnson can’t be trusted and is simply not fit for the office of Prime Minister.

Whether it was on nurses, hospitals or Brexit, Johnson spent an hour lying through his teeth. We’ve highlighted ten of his mistruths…

1. 50,000 new nurses

Johnson continues to peddle the Tory fantasy that they will recruit 50,000 new nurses. He clearly can’t do basic maths when 19,000 of this figure is comprised by nurses who already work in the NHS.

On top of this, figures earlier this week revealed that 1,116 EU nurses have left the NHS so far this year and EU staff at Johnson’s local hospital are feeling anxiety over their future here because of Brexit.

2. 40 new hospitals

The Tories are not going to build 40 new hospitals. Johnson admitted today that re-building an old hospital will be classified as a new one. The pledge is simply false.

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3. Trade deals

Johnson claimed that there are up to a dozen trade deals ready to go after Brexit. Given the Conservatives have abjectly failed to rollover the trade deals it said it would over the past three years, he just cannot be trusted.

Liam Fox promised 40 trade deals, instead the Tories have only delivered 18.

4. Social care

Johnson claimed the £1 billion of funding the Tories have announced for social care will stop people having to sell their home to pay for care.

But this money is simply a sticking plaster for the day-to-day operation of our social care system which is at breaking point. He has no plan for a long-term solution.

5. Comments on single mothers

Johnson claimed that the quotations used of his insulting and offensive comments on single mothers were distorted, even though he has a history of misogynistic and sexist comments. He plays fast and loose with his words and it has real damaging consequences.

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6. Free press

The day after the Tories petulantly threatened to review Channel 4’s licence, Johnson claimed he wants to protect a free press. The Tories have also refused to allow a Mirror reporter onto their campaign bus.

Trying to intimidate the media like this is straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook and has no place in an open and inclusive democracy.

7. Cutting business rates

Johnson said that the Tories will cut business rates in the next Budget, but his manifesto promises a review. Which is it? Liberal Democrats have promised to scrap business rates and replace them with a commercial landowner levy.

8. Working class people

Boris Johnson said he doesn’t care that Dominic Cummings thinks the Tories have a problem with working class people. It comes after a Spectator column from Johnson surfaced in which he called working class men “drunk, criminal and feckless.”

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9. Police cuts

Johnson denied that the police cuts in London were the fault of the Conservative Government. But the Tories have drastically cut police numbers, leading the Home Office to admit that the cuts had “likely contributed” to the rise in serious violent crime.

10. Greggs

Boris Johnson previously said he was ‘made of Greggs’. But given he couldn’t name the price of a sausage roll, it would appear he’s never set a foot in one.

Voters: there is another choice. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can stop Boris, stop Brexit and build a brighter future. Join us today.

5 things the Liberal Democrats will do to build a brighter future for young people

Every child deserves the best start in life.

That’s why children’s charities have asked every party leader how their policies will help children and generations to come.

Here are five things the Liberal Democrats will do to build a brighter future for every young person:

1. Stop Brexit

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Brexit is a disaster for our young people. It limits our ambitions and our horizons.

Outside the EU, the UK can no longer take part in the Erasmus student exchange programme for schools, colleges and universities.

Brexit makes our children less safe. The European Arrest Warrant lets us track down people accused of crimes against children if they move abroad.

Brexit will make us poorer. If Boris Johnson wins this election, his ‘die in a ditch’ Brexit policy means we could crash out of the EU’s trading bloc in 2021. That would harm our economy and increase debt – meaning we have less to spend on our children and young people.

Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit so we can spend our £50 billion Remain Bonus on public services, like our schools, and tackling child poverty.

2. Free childcare

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Under the Conservatives, the gap between the performance of richer and poorer children at nursery school is widening.

They’ve turned their backs on families. Working parents can get 30 hours a week of free childcare, but only when their child turns 3 – and it doesn’t cover the school holidays. It’s been so underfunded that some providers have had to close.

Liberal Democrats will provide free, high quality childcare for every child from when their parents go back to work to the day they start school.

The Liberal Democrats’ plan includes 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, for every child from 9 months to school age.

We’ll pay childcare providers properly, so that every child has a high-quality place.

3. Reverse school cuts

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Our schools and colleges should be world-class. But instead, they’re falling behind.

Teaching assistants are being sacked. Cash-strapped councils struggle to help children with complex needs. Some schools aren’t keeping their doors open for a full five-day week.

The Conservatives are failing our children. They have cut school budgets to the bone.

By stopping Brexit, Liberal Democrats can use the Remain Bonus to reverse school cuts with an emergency cash injection.

By 2024, we’ll spend £10 billion a year more on schools, so we can employ 20,000 more teachers.

Children should come home from school happy, healthy and with all the skills they need to succeed.

4. Invest in Children’s Centres

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Local councils’ budgets have been slashed – but more children than ever need their support. Councils are spending more on helping children in crisis, so they’ve got less to spend on stopping children getting into crisis in the first place.

Children’s centres provide vital support for children and their families in the first years of life. They give advice to parents on how to manage behaviour. They give free post-natal checks for new babies. They’re a safe space for toddlers to play.

Liberal Democrats will support our most disadvantaged young children, by spending an extra £1 billion a year on children’s centres.

5. Support children in poverty

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Under the Conservatives, almost 30% of children were in poverty in 2017/18.

The Tories botched the roll out of Universal Credit and they made brutal cuts to benefits in 2015.

Liberal Democrats will support children in poverty. We’ll scrap the two-child limit and the benefits cap and let families where both parents work keep more of their money.

That’s why the independent Resolution Foundation says that our manifesto does more to help child poverty than both Boris Johnson’s Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Under the Liberal Democrats, 600,000 fewer children will be in relative poverty than under Boris Johnson.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can win seats off both the Conservatives and Labour – so we can stop Boris Johnson, stop Brexit, and build a brighter future for our children.

Want to help us?

Our Commitment to Community Policing

Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their local streets. So many communities feel exposed and vulnerable.

The Conservatives’ cuts to police numbers have contributed to a rise in violence and decimated community policing. 47% of people say they never see police foot patrols, up from 30% in 2014-15.

The Tories and Labour made big promises on police numbers, but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them. Police officers are leaving in their droves because they are not being properly rewarded for putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. We need to encourage experienced officers to stay, as well as recruiting the extra officers we need.

The other parties just don’t get it.

But we do.

We’re committing £1 billion a year to fund our police force. That’s £250 million more than Labour or the Tories…

Every year.

That’s enough for two officers in every ward, and to provide an immediate 2% pay-rise for our hard-working cops.

We’re the only party willing to put our money where our mouth is. We’ll back our bobbies with money, not just words.

We are the only party that will make our communities safer by stopping Brexit. Then, together, we will build a brighter future.

US Pushing for Chlorinated Chicken Trade

“We must stop Boris Johnson ramming through a damaging Trump trade deal.”

The US trade team is offering PR tips on how to force chlorinated chicken down our throats.

That tells you everything you need to know.

Leaked documents from the US-UK trade deal talks have revealed the truth. The US team agreed to share their “public lines” on chlorine-washed chicken.

Why? They argue it’s to “inform the media narrative.”

In reality, it’s “how to sell the lie.

These trade talks hang in the balance due to Brexit. US negotiators had ‘the most angst’ about EU limits to the use of chemicals in food production. They want a no-deal Brexit so we can break from EU regulations on food standards.

The Tories’ desperation for a trade deal with Donald Trump risks leading to lower standards for the food on our tables. A hard Brexit means fewer regulations and standards on the quality of our food.

This will not just be damaging to our health. It will be incredibly damaging to our food production industries, too.

We must stop Boris Johnson ramming through a damaging Trump trade deal. It will do great damage to both British consumers and farmers.

We will stop Boris, stop Brexit and uphold our world-leading food standards.

Our country’s health is at the heart of our vision for a brighter future.