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  • Catherine Bearder MEP
    Article: Dec 13, 2017

    Today the European Parliament voted in favour of a Resolution to allow Brexit talks to progress to the next stage.

    Both the Commission and Parliament have now recommended to the European Council that progress has been made in the three key areas: on citizens' rights, Northern Ireland and the financial settlement.

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Dec 4, 2017
    By Ashley Cowburn Political Correspondent in The Independent

    Senior Cabinet minister's remarks follow reports pro-Leave Conservatives have issued series of red lines to PM as exit talks with EU reach critical phase.

    Jeremy Hunt has told Tory MPs that Brexit will not happen if the party does not back Theresa May, in an unprecedented warning.

    The senior Cabinet minister's remarks came in response to reports that pro-Leave Conservatives had issued a series of red lines to the Prime Minister as exit talks with the EU reach a critical phase.

  • Exit from Brexit
    Article: Nov 29, 2017

    Diane Abbott has been challenged to explain her position on Brexit after another day of confusion in the Labour camp over the party's policy on giving the people a say on the final deal.

    The Liberal Democrats put into the public domain letters Abbott wrote to constituents announcing that she supports a referendum.

    unnamed_(3).jpg
    Diane Abbott's letter stated "I will argue for the right of the electorate to vote on any deal that is finally agreed"

    But when contacted by journalists, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary then claimed that her letter had been "poorly worded". However, anti-Brexit Labour MPs congratulated Abbott on her letter attacking Brexit.

    Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake, due to table an amendment in parliament in December to give the people a vote on the final deal, said:

    "Diane Abbott's letter seemed clearly worded to me. If she wants to avoid the impression that she says one thing in Hackney and another in Westminster, she needs to explain what her position is.

    "Hackney voted 78% remain yet Jeremy Corbyn has consistently ordered his MPs through the division lobbies to support Theresa May's extreme Brexit. Diane Abbott has also voted for Brexit."



    Cable challenges Corbyn

    Earlier, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable called on Jeremy Corbyn to join him in voting for an "exit from Brexit" after the letter seemed to show a change in Labour's position.

    "It is really encouraging that such a senior member of the shadow cabinet should come out for the Liberal Democrat position of giving the public a vote on the final deal.

    "The Conservative government's handling of Brexit has been a fiasco, heading us towards an extreme Brexit that few voted for, which would take us out of the single market and customs union.

    "Until now Jeremy Corbyn's Labour has been Theresa May's most useful ally on Brexit, ordering its MPs to vote to take Britain out of Europe no matter what.

    "But in December Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer have the chance to give Labour voters an early Christmas present by voting for this Lib Dem amendment.

    "I call on them to confirm that they back the position stated in Diane Abbott's letter.

    "The Conservative government's majority is wafer thin. The DUP is opposed to a hard border in Ireland. If the progressive parties did work together to give the public a say on the final deal, we could, even at this late hour, still stop Brexit."

    Continued confusion

    Diane Abbott's changing position on Brexit has sparked considerable debate.

    She was accused of having "Brexit flu" after missing a crucial vote in parliament, with senior Labour MP Caroline Flint calling on her to resign.

    But she then recovered from her apparent migraine to vote for Article 50 along with most of the parliamentary Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn.

    Moments afterwards, however, she described Brexit as "disastrous".

  • Exit from Brexit
    Article: Nov 29, 2017
    By Tom Brake MP

    The hit to the UK economy of pulling out of the single market and customs threatens to dwarf this £45bn.

    The Brexit divorce bill will just be the down-payment on an economically disastrous extreme Brexit that would take us out of the single market and customs union.

    Around £45 billion would appear to be the price Johnson and Gove et al are willing to pay for a deluded vision of an imperial Britain post-Brexit.

    This vision already sees the UK with higher inflation and debt, falling investment and less influence in the world.

    And this acrimonious divorce settlement will merely be the down payment.

    The hit to the UK economy of pulling out of the single market and customs threatens to dwarf this £45bn, with falling tax revenues and companies leaving the UK.

    Only the Lib Dems are fighting to save Britain's free trade with its largest market and to give the people a say on the final deal.

  • UK EU flag (hero_ukeuflag)
    Article: Nov 28, 2017
    By Tom Brake MP

    After David Davis repeatedly stated there were 57 detailed impact assessments, ministers now claim these reports never even existed in this form.

    The government's refusal to publish its Brexit impact assessments is "completely untenable". Speaker John Bercow said he will respond promptly to any allegations of contempt of Parliament.

    This whole farce has descended into a scene straight out of Yes Minister.

    After David Davis repeatedly stated there were 57 detailed impact assessments, ministers now claim these reports never even existed in this form.

    Editing these reports is a breach of the agreement reached with MPs, meaning action over contempt of Parliament now looms.

    If the government really believes in its own Brexit plans, why are they so scared of publishing these reports in full?

    The public deserve to know what Brexit means for their jobs, incomes and communities. They must then be offered a vote on the deal with a chance to exit from Brexit.

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Nov 28, 2017
    By Vince Cable

    To boost growth, the OECD recommends that the UK and the EU maintain the 'closest possible economic relationship'. As the government just isn't really pushing for that, the public should be offered an exit from Brexit.

    The OECD's latest economic forecast shows the UK bucking the trend, and not in a good way.

    While the global economy is expected to gain momentum next year, growth in the UK will slow further because of Brexit-related uncertainty, which will drive investment down and businesses abroad.

    The OECD is particularly worried about the 'major financial stability risk' of high household debt, which is approaching pre-crisis levels.

    These economic forecasts are even less flattering than those published by the OBR last week, which saw the UK's future growth downgraded by tens of billions of pounds.

    These figures assume that the UK will agree to a transition period with the EU, an outcome that is looking far from certain due to the government's disastrous negotiating strategy.

    As the Bank of England points out, a no-deal Brexit would mean a severe recession and a doubling of unemployment, rather than just a slowdown in growth.

    To boost growth, the OECD recommends that the UK and the EU maintain the 'closest possible economic relationship'.

    As the government just isn't really pushing for that, the public should be offered an exit from Brexit.

  • Exit from Brexit
    Article: Nov 28, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats want people to be given the facts, so they can decide what they think of the Conservatives' Brexit deal.

    David Davis has written to the Brexit Committee admitting the impact assessments they are being provided with, won't contain anything that might be commercially sensitive.

    Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, who sits on the Brexit Committee, commented:

    "The government is still trying to pull the wool over the eyes of Parliament and the British people.

    "Ministers were ordered by MPs three weeks ago to publish these reports, but are still trying to hide the full impact of Brexit from the public.

    "There is a fine line between what is commercially sensitive and what is simply politically embarrassing for the government.

    "It should be up to MPs on the Brexit Committee, not David Davis, to make that call."

    Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

    "It is right that the government has given these Brexit studies to MPs, but I am deeply concerned by reports they may not be complete and leave out key information on the damage Brexit will do to our economy and services. Not giving the full facts could be contempt of parliament.

    "The Liberal Democrats want people to be given the facts, so they can decide what they think of the Conservatives' Brexit deal, with the public having the right to exit from Brexit if it is a bad deal. The government shouldn't be allowed to keep secret the damage their plans may do."

  • Tom Brake at pub countryside
    Article: Nov 27, 2017
    By Tom Brake MP

    The best way to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is to stay in the single market and customs union.

    Kate Hoey seems to think other people should pay for the mess she and other leading Brexiteers have caused.

    This is completely delusional. You'd expect this from UKIP but not a Labour MP.

  • Tim Farron MP visits apprentices on local housing development
    Article: Nov 27, 2017
    By Vince Cable MP

    We've had an industrial strategy already for five years. But there is a big cloud hanging over it now caused by the major uncertainties around Brexit.

    The combination of falling apprenticeship starts and restricted access to skilled labour after Brexit will cripple the Industrial Strategy.

  • Tom Brake (By Chris McAndrew - https://api20170418155059.azure-api.net/photo/bhDYT87s.jpeg?crop=CU_1:1&quality=80&download=trueGallery: https://beta.parliament.uk/media/bhDYT87s, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61321850)
    Article: Nov 26, 2017

    There are real concerns that the UK is going to struggle to strike any deals that come remotely close to the benefits we enjoy as a member of the EU.

    Speaking on the Today programme, Australian trade minister Steve Cobbio criticised the government's post-Brexit trade plans to split food import quotas between the UK and the EU.

    Listen to the report:

    Yet again the government has been warned that isolating ourselves from the EU is not the straightforward panacea dreamt of by Brextremists.

    There are real concerns that the UK is going to struggle to strike any deals that come remotely close to the benefits we enjoy as a member of the EU.

    This is another reason why the British public must have a vote on the terms of this messy divorce, including the option of an Exit from Brexit.