5 Things You Need To Know About The New Brexit Secretary

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

1. He approves of a higher pay rate for men

His statements on the gender pay gap are shocking. He stated, “men work longer hours, die earlier but retire later than women.” He expanded, saying “from the cradle to the grave, men get the raw deal”.

Raab’s comments are completely out of touch with reality, plain and simple.

2. He wants to dismantle the Human Rights Act

Dominic Raab has referred to the legislation that grants every UK citizen fundamental rights and freedoms as “rushed” and “flawed”. He attempted to dismantle human rights by introducing a British Bill of Rights which was quickly rejected.

Dominic Raab only values certain liberties and freedoms, and he misses the mark on an entire system of rights that maintains a sense of checks and balances on state abuse of power.

3. He calls feminists “obnoxious bigots”

Let us not forget Raab’s ignorant comments calling feminists the “most obnoxious bigots”.

Raab thinks it is unnecessary to close the equality gap amongst men and women. In fact, he believes if there is an equality gap, it’s men who get the short end of the stick and that we need to focus on the issue of improving men’s rights.

He thinks that if women were to be seen as equals in the workforce, many men would be turned off by a women obtaining more success than their male peers. It’s the 21st century, Dominic…

4. He blames immigrants for q housing crisis that the Tories have done little to solve

Raab falsely claimed “immigration put house prices up by something like 20% over the past 25 years”. This is not only a very limited view, but also plainly wrong as his assessment was based on an outdated model regarding the impact of immigration on house prices.

5. He wanted a second referendum in 2016 if Leave lost

In 2016, Raab tweeted his views on the European Union membership referendum and called for a second referendum “if the verdict is to stay in the EU, and it’s close” he told House magazine.

Yet after the outcome was in his favour, he considered a final say on the deal to be “a plain attempt to block Brexit by people who are out of touch with the country and refuse to accept the result […] they should not seek to obstruct it”. Clearly, Raab is not a man of integrity.

This is the man Theresa May has chosen to lead Brexit negotiations?Britain deserves better than Dominic Raab.

The people deserve the final say on the Tory Brexit deal, and the option to stay in the EU.

Mandela Day

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

It is a day when we must remember that every person has the power to change the world.

It has been 100 years since Mandela’s birth. His dedication to the service of humanity and his contribution to the struggle for democracy continue to inspire millions of people.

Global inequality remains a serious problem facing in the world and protecting human rights is an ongoing struggle of immense importance.

Liberal Democrats International Office are committed to ensuring justice and equality for people around the world.

The International Office together with the work of the Africa Liberal Network promote the engagement of women and youth in the political process as well as strengthening liberal parties.

You can also make the world a better place by spreading kindness and helping people – not just today, but every day.

There are no depths to which the Conservatives won’t stoop

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Two weeks ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. His name is Gabriel and we adore him.

My situation isn’t typical – I’m an MP. I’m not only an MP, I’m the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

And our party’s goal right now – above all else – is to stop Brexit. We want to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal, including the option to remain in the EU.

At first I was lost for words, now I am angry.

Last night there was a crucial vote. When I knew I couldn’t be there, I made sure I was ‘paired’. This happens all the time in Parliament. As I could not vote, a Conservative MP agreed not to vote as well, balancing things out.

But then, at the last minute, the Conservatives went back on their word. The MP I was ‘paired’ with turned up and voted.

At first I was lost for words, now I am angry.

It seems that there are no depths to which the Conservatives won’t stoop to deliver their destructive, divisive Brexit.

We can’t let the Conservatives decide the Brexit deal on their own. We have to give the people the final say, including the option to remain in Europe.

Please join our campaign today.

Exit from Brexit Campaign Pack

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Campaign Pack

I’m excited to announce our summer campaign pack is coming off the printer and I wanted to share this news with you now so you can begin planning how you are going to use yours.

Our efforts to stop Brexit are beginning to make waves but, as Parliament readies itself for the summer break, we must redouble our efforts on the ground and make this the biggest summer of action – but in order to do this, we need your help.

Are you up for the challenge?

Here are three ways you can help the fight against Brexit this summer:

  1. Click here for your copy of the Summer Campaign Pack or get in touch with your local party to see if they’ve ordered a hard copy of the guide. This pack enables you to plan your 8-week summer campaign with a handy guide with loads more info to get you up and running, a Connect script, leaflet templates and much more.

  2. Get knocking on doors and delivering leaflets. We need to keep growing our movement and there’s no better way to do this than by making contact with people. All the information about how you identify the right people to talk to can be found in the pack – so there’s no excuse not to get door knocking and delivering!

  3. Host an Action Day on 8th-9th September. The Summer Campaign Pack walks you step-by-step through the process of holding a successful action day. This is the weekend before Autumn Conference and we want to make as much noise as possible. What better way to give us the confidence to fight Brexit going into Conference than a massive day of action up and down the UK just days before?

Thanks again for all you’ve done so far – our Exit from Brexit team is constantly spurred on by the amazing things our members are doing.

But I need to ask you to keep going. By doing all the above, you’ll help make this the biggest summer of action ever.

Leave cheated

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Today the Electoral Commission ruled on what we all knew – Leave cheated.

Vote Leave have been fined £60,000 for incomplete and inaccurate expenses and for working jointly with pro-Brexit group BeLeave – and using this to get around their spending ceiling of £7 million.

And, lest we forget, the referendum result was just 51.9% for Leave and 48.1% for Remain.

It is now clearer than ever that we need a vote on the final deal that Theresa May brings back from Brussels.

A vote where everyone plays by the rules.

One where there is a clear deal on the table for the British public to accept or reject.

And most importantly – a vote with an option to Remain in the EU.

Dick Newby – Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords

Last night’s customs bill votes

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Brexit is the most important issue in a generation. And as Liberal Democrats we have taken on the responsibility of stopping it. We’re the only Party united in this aim.

Last night I messed up. The government squeaked home by just 3 votes in a key amendment. It should have been 1.

I was not expecting a close vote – up until 8pm, Labour were planning to abstain which would have meant the vote would be lost by hundreds. In fact several Labour MPs voted with the government – which is why they won. By the time it became apparent that the vote was going to be close – it was too late to get two of our MPs, Vince and Tim, back in time to vote.

I’m taking responsibility and redoubling my efforts to stop Brexit.

Today is a new day. We will be debating the remaining stages of the Trade Bill – and we are going to hold the government’s feet to the fire.

Thank you for you for your continued support to our campaign to Exit from Brexit.

Customs and Trade Bills Update

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

In the next few days, MPs will vote on the Customs (Taxation) and Trade Bills. These bills will be both pivotal to our future relationship with the EU and a battleground for parliamentary democracy itself.

The Chequers deal is a total fudge. The plan requires the UK to be the EU’s policeman and follow its rules on goods and state aid. Meanwhile, the services sector would be left to flounder. We have absolutely no guarantee that the EU would accept such a deal.

But take a quick look at both Bills and you’ll see no mention of the Chequers agreement. In fact, you’ll learn nothing from reading them about what the Government’s Brexit strategy actually is.

What you’ll see instead is Theresa May asking Tory MPs to give her a blank cheque. If these Bills get passed, the Conservative Government can go and make any customs regime it wants: their Chequers fudge, no deal or anything in between. It was also the Government’s intention to carry over any existing trade deals, and then change them as much as they liked and sign them into law without Parliament’s approval.

Far from taking back control, these Bills give us less democratic control over our future trade deals than over the ones we agreed as an EU member.

Parliament knows it is being bypassed and is fighting back. MPs from all parties have proposed changes to give Parliament its say over future trade deals.

Thankfully, the Government are starting to listen to the arguments we’re making. They’ve accepted one of my colleague’s, Wera Hobhouse, amendments, so that if we need to change the law when carrying over a trade deal, Parliament must approve those changes.

But it’s not enough. For instance, there’s a sneaky clause allowing Ministers to make any law they like about customs in relation to Brexit. The Government say they won’t use this power after 2022. If Brexit is really about Parliament taking back control, they should take it out of the Bill altogether.

What else can we expect? Because the Chequers fudge is so unappetising, support is building for membership of a customs union. A cross-party group of MPs want to make this a legally binding negotiating objective. It’s a necessary – but not sufficient – step to ensure frictionless trade, keeping our supermarkets fully stocked and business supply chains intact.

Meanwhile, the extreme Brexiters want to scupper the Chequers agreement. There’s even talk that they’ll join forces with us to vote down the Customs Bill today. An unholy alliance, yes, but one that demonstrates how unloved the Chequers deal is.

We also need the Government to show us the facts on how their barmy plans will harm jobs and businesses. Wera and I will demand that the Government publishes reports showing how the Chequers deal impacts the UK economy and the border with Ireland.

Finally, if the Tories don’t change course, we must prevent a race to the bottom. Wera is calling on the Conservative Government to ensure that our future trade deals promote sustainable development, defend human rights, protect our environment and uphold food safety standards.

Theresa May and the Conservatives are making such a mess of Brexit that they do not deserve to have a free hand. That’s why I’m demanding that people – not politicians – get the final say on the Brexit deal, including the option to remain in the EU.

Our message is getting through and we’re making a difference. We’ll continue to do so as the Customs and Trade Bills are debated in the House of Lords later this year. The fight for an exit from Brexit is far from over.

Sal Speaks: July 2018

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

On 23 June thousands of members and supporters of the Lib Dems joined over one hundred thousand marchers in the People’s Vote demonstration to Parliament Square. Your Federal Board curtailed our meeting at HQ to come and join you, and it was a wonderful event! Vince spoke from the platform with strength and conviction, aided with the knowledge that our party is united in wanting both a People’s Vote and an Exit from Brexit.

sal_speaks_july.jpg

This demonstration came just after the EU Withdrawal Bill was passed into law after an astonishing 15 defeats in the Lords. Thank you for all you did to help, by writing to peers to persuade them to vote against the Government. By your actions, and those defeats we made progress with the Government, perhaps not as much as we wanted, but progress. Some of the peers you wrote to have let us know they were very impressed with your campaign. Thank you.

There will be 5 more Brexit related Bills between now and Christmas. There’s also another march, on Saturday 20 October. Each march has more and more people, so do put the date in your diary, and come and join the Lib Dem contingent.

Autumn Conference is approaching fast. The Federal Conference Committee will be publishing the draft agenda and motions by the end of this month, and if you want to put in amendments, an emergency motion (which must be topical) or questions to party committees, please go to the Conference website to find out how. The deadline for these final submissions is midday Monday 4 September. Conference opens on Saturday 15 September and you can register to attend here. The new Chair of the Conference Committee, Geoff Payne, will be my main guest at the President’s Webinar for first time Conference attendees on Thursday 30 August at 7pm. If you have already registered and are a first timer, then you will get an automatic invitation to join us on the webinar. Come and ask us any question, about practical arrangements, writing speeches, how to put cards in for a debate, or how to manage your conference diary.

Also at Conference we will be debating and voting on our revised disciplinary processes. At Spring Conference you asked us to explain better in ordinary language how the system will work. At the end of this month we will be publishing a members guide to the process, the detailed complaints process, in addition to the formal motions in the agenda. We will have explanatory articles on Lib Dem Voice, and debate the proposals on Facebook so please do ask questions.

With the chaos of Theresa May’s Government, and their complete inability to negotiate their way out of a paper bag, let alone Brexit, the next few months are going to be testing and important. It is vital that we are fresh and ready for the fray in early September, so I do hope you have a relaxing and refreshing summer break. Everything is still to play for. Under Vince Cable’s leadership, the Lib Dems alone of the major political parties want an Exit from Brexit, and more and more people are joining to help make that a reality. Keep up the good fight!