Ashford Liberal Democrats

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Ashford Liberal Democrats

Tolerance, Patient and Green

 

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  1. Today kickstarts an important week in Parliament, with votes taking place on key amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, tabled by Liberal Democrats.

    In our fight to hold this Conservative Government to account on its Brexit agenda, we are fighting to protect EU citizens’ rights as well as those of unaccompanied child refugees.

    Last week, Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates tabled amendments that would automatically guarantee EU citizens’ rights in law.

    EU citizens are our families and friends, our colleagues and carers. That is why we are urging Boris Johnson to honour his promise and back our legislation to guarantee their rights.

    Boris Johnson previously promised to guarantee these rights, but has failed to do so. Under his policies, tens of thousands of EU citizens will be left without legal rights in less than 18 months. This puts them at risk of eviction, detention and even deportation.

    EU citizens are our families and friends, our colleagues and carers. That is why we are urging Boris Johnson to honour his promise and back our legislation to guarantee their rights.

    Tomorrow we will be voting for another amendment, which would protect the rights of unaccompanied child refugees in Europe to be reunited with their families in the UK.

    Child refugees who’ve been forced to flee their homes and separated from their families are some of the most vulnerable people in the world, and we must do all we can to protect them.

    Sadly, Conservatives voted to drop the UK’s commitment to support child refugees and their rights to family reunion in the House of Commons.

    Liberal Democrats know that we should be expanding family reunion rights, not rolling them back. That is why we are continuing to fight for these children.

  2. The Liberal Democrats have today led tributes following the death of Lord Robert Maclennan.
     
    Lord Robert Maclennan of Rogart, known as Bob Maclennan, was the last leader of the Social Democrat Party before it merged with the Liberal Party. He then became joint interim leader of the new party. 
     
    Bob Maclennan was a Member of Parliament from 1966 to 2001. Upon stepping down as MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Bob Maclennan was elevated to the House of Lords. 

  3. Do you think we care well enough for the more vulnerable in our society?

    Have we figured out how best to care for people who’ve experienced bereavement, people who get ill in old age, those with mental ill-health or adults with learning disabilities?

    My own personal experience tells me we haven’t. Whether in my own life or for many constituents in my advice surgeries over 20 years, all too often the care and support systems either don’t work well enough or aren’t even there at all.

    Liberal Democrats must make our voice heard on caring – and lead this debate.

  4. Today I've announced my team of spokespeople in the House of Commons.

    We'll speak up for the millions of people who voted for the Liberal Democrats in the general election, and the millions more who are dismayed with the actions of this Conservative government.

    The team's portfolios can be found below:

  5. Iran is governed by a brutal regime which has been openly hostile to the west.
     
    Donald Trump has yet again radically and recklessly escalated tensions in an area where peace-keeping was already on a knife edge.

  6. As my Presidency draws to an end on New Year’s Eve, I wanted to write to you with a final thank you for the extraordinary help that you have given the liberal cause over the last five years.

    To have faced three General Elections and the EU Referendum during these five years - as well as the snap European elections this year - has been unprecedented, draining for everyone who has worked in them. Our candidates and teams, party staff and the many members and supporters who have continuously found that extra bit of energy and effort kept fighting the liberal cause.

    Added to this, our local government teams, led by ALDC, have worked consistently hard in elections every year and their success has been rewarded with substantial growth in councillors and councils that we control or run jointly with others. And in Scotland our MSPs hold the SNP to account, and Kirsty Williams is a brilliant Education minister in the Welsh Assembly.

    I have been really proud to campaign with colleagues across the UK over the last five years, seeing members building the party in their areas and I want to thank you for your warm welcome over my Presidency. In 2017 alone I covered over 4,000 miles, getting to every part of the country! I have also witnessed the party develop its use of online campaigning, not least honed on the Stop Brexit campaign over the last three years.

     

  7. Ed Davey shares his New Year's resolution as we approach 2020.
  8. "Happy Christmas! I’ve got three big tasks this Christmas." - Ed Davey
  9. A happy and peaceful Chanukah to all Jewish people around the world!

     

    Chanukah is a special time of the year for so many reasons. It’s about solidarity with friends and family. It’s about overcoming adversity in impossible circumstances. Most importantly, it’s about the power of faith and how it can make wonderful things happen.

     

    It’s not an easy time for Jewish people at the moment – antisemitism is on the rise and terrible events like Pittsburgh remind us how important it is that people are allowed to practice their faith freely and openly.

     

    We will always fight for the rights of Jewish people. The right to be free. The right to be safe. The right to remain in a Europe that represents home to millions of Jewish people around the world.

     

    Times may be difficult but we will always be proud to stand side by side with Jewish people and say no to intolerance, division and hatred.

     

    As Jewish people across the world light their menorahs and chanukiahs tonight, we are reminded of the power in standing together and uniting to change the world for the better.

     

    Thank you for standing with us this Chanukah. We will safeguard our place in Europe. We will stand up to hate crime. We will fight antisemitism in every form.  And we will win.

  10. Boris' bad Brexit bill is before the House of Commons today. 

    So what are we doing to fight the damaging and dangerous effects it will have on democratic scrutiny, workers' rights, the battle against the climate crisis, and more?

    Today, we tabled an amendment to block the Withdrawal Agreement Bill because:

    • It fails to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal
    • It fails to ensure continued tariff-free access to the Customs Union and Single Market
    • It fails to guarantee the rights of UK citizens in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK
    • It fails to safeguard protections for workers' rights, children's rights, and the environment

    The Bill is now progressing to Committee Stage, where Layla Moran is tabling the following amendment to protect the Erasmus+ scheme and the opportunities it provides. 


    Implementation period negotiating objectives: Erasmus+

    (1) It shall be an objective of the Government to secure an agreement within the framework of the future relationship of the UK and the EU before the end of the implementation period that enables the UK to participate in all elements of the Erasmus+ programme on existing terms after the implementation period ends (“the Erasmus+ negotiations”).

    (2) A Minister shall lay before each House of Parliament a progress report on the Erasmus+ negotiations within six months of this Act being passed.


    The Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose Brexit every step of the way and fight to stop the avalanche of harm it looks set to unleash.

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