No deal cannot be an option

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

On Tuesday night, thanks to Lib Dem MPs, the Government lost on a Finance Bill for the first time in 41 years. We won a vote on a cross-party amendment that demonstrates to the Government that a majority of MPs are opposed to no deal.

It goes some way to taking no deal off the table, but it’s crucial we remove it as an option full stop.

We will not stand idly by while the Conservatives destroy our economy, our NHS, our peace and security.

This Government’s defeat shows Parliament’s rejection of a no deal. Theresa May will not be allowed to intimidate MPs into backing her broken deal.

The reality of the situation hasn’t changed for her deal. She doesn’t have the votes – plain and simple.

It’s time for Theresa May to stop gambling with our future. It’s time to give the people the final say on her deal and the option to reject this mess and stay in the EU.

The Lib Dems have been fighting since the referendum to give you the final say on the deal, with an option to exit from Brexit. We’ve made amazing progress since then – but we need the Labour leadership on board. Can you help us convince the Labour shadow cabinet to join us and demand a People’s Vote?

The Government’s Dad’s Army approach to Brexit

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

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January Brexit Action Days

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Across the UK, we are asking teams to head out onto the doorsteps and campaign for a final say on the weekend of 12/13th January, just a few days before Parliament votes on Theresa May’s disastrous deal.

It is clear Brexit is a national embarrassment and the Conservatives are making an absolute mess of it.

And as much of the polling shows, more and more people agree with us – in December alone 30,000 people joined our campaign for an Exit from Brexit.

But with so few days left before the vote, we need urgently to ramp up our campaign and that’s why we need you to head out on the doorstep.

When planning your action day, don’t forget our planning pack, packed with top tips and ideas for making your next Action Day a success. You can get it right here – libdems.org.uk/brexit-campaign-pack.

The key things to work out at this stage are:

  • What you want to achieve on the day – recruitment more campaign supporters, collecting more email addresses or more Voter ID.
  • A place to meet or a venue to be based from
  • Timings – what time will you start, what times will each session of door knocking start, what time will lunch take place?
  • Who will do what – think about who will be ready to greet people, who can lead out your canvass teams and if you need someone to greet stragglers or make some cups of tea.
  • Whether you need order leaflets for the day – all are available here: www.libdems.org.uk/brexit-leaflets. Order by 1pm Monday 7 January to receive your leaflets Friday 11 January.
  • Add your event to our website https://www.libdems.org.uk/brexit-action so we can also help promote your day.

I’d also make sure there is a social element to the day too. It’s vital we make sure not only the day is fun, but that we have an opportunity to say thank you for everyone’s help. Make sure the venue and activities are accessible to everyone.

The best thing about an action day is the impact on morale on the local party – it’s great to get everyone out campaigning as a team on a shared vision – and help us secure an Exit from Brexit.

This is not who Britain is

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The past few years have seen the worst refugee crisis since the Second World war, as conflict in places like Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Eritrea have forced many thousands of refugees to flee for their lives.

Just 239 of these refugees have attempted to cross the Channel and find refuge in Britain this winter.

But rather than help these people, the Home Secretary has chosen to increase patrols and surveillance over the Channel, and question whether these people are ‘genuine’ refugees.

He has said that the Conservatives will do everything they can to make sure that those seeking asylum are not successful.

That the Home Secretary would be working to make it harder for refugees to find safety in Britain is horrifying.

That the Home Secretary would be working to make it harder for refugees to find safety in Britain is horrifying.

And yet, also not surprising.

We have seen what this xenophobic, immigrant-attacking Conservative government is capable of. All in the name of appeasing the racism of its most right-wing supporters.

This is not right. This is not who Britain is.

Britain should be on the side of welcoming refugees and helping them find a better life.

If you agree, please back our campaign now.

Three crucial months: Vince Cable’s New Year Message

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

As we enter 2019, time is ticking down on Brexit, and with it the whole future of the country.

The history books will look back on these coming three months as critical.It is almost unbelievable that Parliament is waiting a further week to return!

After two long years of negotiation, the Prime Minister has brought back a Brexit deal that satisfies no-one. Her reaction is to try to scare people with the prospect of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. In reality, that can’t happen unless she decides it should.

So the only way forward – now – for the country and the Prime Minister is for the public to have the final say, and the option to Remain.

It’s a campaign we Liberal Democrats started more than two years ago. Now millions of people have joined us in demanding a better future than Brexit Britain has to offer.

And the power of the millions who have signed petitions, lobbied their MP, or marched on Parliament – 700,000 of them just this year – is beginning to bear fruit. A People’s Vote has moved from being a possibility to being a probability.

But only if we keep the pressure up. If we succeed, 2019 will be a year remembered not because we harmed our country with Brexit, but because we – the people – stood up and stopped it.

And if we do that, our Parliament and Government can once again deal with big issues like climate change, rising crime, the social care crisis, homelessness and housing supply, all of which have been neglected because of Brexit.

Enjoy your New Year celebrations and then let’s get out there in 2019 and win the fight for a People’s Vote and a brighter future for Britain.

Ad Lib Magazine: New edition out now

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The 2018 edition of Ad Lib Magazine is out now. Read it here:

adlib_mag.jpg

Read the latest edition

Starting next year, Ad Lib will now be an online-only publication, released quarterly. We’ll also be sending some of the editions to our members who aren’t on email as well.

If you’d like anything included in future editions, please email membership@libdems.org.uk.

And of course, if you have any feedback on this issue, please just email us!

We hope you enjoy this edition!

Read the latest edition

Empty chairs at the Christmas table

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

This Christmas, I have worked with St Giles Trust to learn more about the gang culture which is fuelling knife crime and tragically costing young people their lives. St Giles works directly with those affected, providing education, mentoring and support to fill the void into which gangs otherwise slip.

In the film, I discuss the causes of knife crime with Liam, a St Giles Project Co-ordinator. And we hear the incredibly brave voice of Sophie Kafeero whose own son, Derick, was killed last year – now she is campaigning with her local MP, Ed Davey, to take knives off the street.

As we sit down to our Christmas festivities, I hope the film helps to remind us of those who have lost someone; who have an empty chair at their Christmas table. And helping charities like St Giles is one way we can make a difference.

Remembering Paddy

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Since learning of Paddy Ashdown’s death last night people have been taking to social media to share their memories of this incredible man.

We’ve collected a few of those memories of Paddy from members, supporters and the public at large here. You can also share your memories of Paddy and add your name to the book of condolence here: www.libdems.org.uk/book-of-condolence-paddy-ashdown

Our partys leader’s have paid tribute to the work Paddy did for the party.

So sad to hear of Paddy Ashdown’s death. He was liberal to his core, and a wonderful Leader, using his army leadership skills to build and grow the party. I knew him for 30 years: he was generous with his time and energy. It was a privilege to work with him.

— SalBrinton (@SalBrinton) December 22, 2018

This is a hugely sad day for the Liberal Democrats and for the very many people across political and public life who had immense affection and respect for @paddyashdown. He was famous for his politics but his talents extended well beyond that arena. RIP. https://t.co/Zq8issvSzC

— Vince Cable (@vincecable) December 22, 2018

Paddy had time for everyone, guided and nurtured the party, converted even the fiercest foe and committed his heart a soul to the success of the liberal ideal. For thirty years I followed him on a great journey. Thank you Paddy. My thoughts are with Jane and her family. pic.twitter.com/54aHJP0Nmr

— Willie Rennie (@willie_rennie) December 22, 2018

Really sad to hear that @paddyashdown⁩ had passed away. He was such a mountain of a man, always there to offer support and help where he could. He was a big inspiration to me and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. RIP Paddy. https://t.co/p2TBkPlTmS

— Jane Dodds (@DoddsJane) December 22, 2018

So very sad to learn of the passing of Paddy Ashdown. A Liberal to the core he lead with passion and energy at a critical time for the party. On a personal level he was incredibly supportive encouraging and kind. Condolences to Jane and the family.

— Kirsty Williams (@Kirsty_Williams) December 22, 2018

As have our Parliamentarians, many of whom worked with Paddy for decades.

Paddy Ashdown was a hero to me, he saved and revived the Liberal Democrats at our lowest ebb, and then led us to our best result for 70 years. As a movement, we owe him our very existence. Much love to Jane and the family. Thank you boss.

— Tim Farron (@timfarron) December 22, 2018

I am devastated to hear of the death of Paddy. One of the few originals in British politics. A unique character, a force of nature and an incredible intellect. As a candidate and MP he encouraged me to be more than I thought I could be. My thoughts with Jane and his family.

— Layla Moran (@LaylaMoran) December 22, 2018

I am heart-sad tonight. Paddy was my friend, mentor and a light in dark places. He served this country in the teeth of conflict and he served liberalism through some of its darkest days. The world will be all the dimmer without him. Love to Jane & the family #PaddyAshdownpic.twitter.com/lXOIXeYHnt

— Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP (@agcolehamilton) December 22, 2018

Thank you Paddy for being such an amazing person and for everything you did for so many people. Our thoughts are with Jane, all your family and many friends and our whole party and movement that you led so brilliantly https://t.co/PWAJdLn8WM

— Edward Davey (@EdwardJDavey) December 22, 2018

And members shared some of their favourite memories of Paddy:

I once decided it was a good idea to shout across the conference hall at Paddy in my efforts to get prominent party figures to come and see the (then) Liberal Youth stand

— Hannah Bettsworth (@H_Bettsworth) December 22, 2018

When Paddy Ashdown was promoting his book ‘A Fortunate Life’ eight or nine years ago, I turned up at Waterstones in Winchester to get my book signed by him. It was deserted, save for one very confused Paddy Ashdown. We had both got the wrong branch of Waterstones. (1/2)

— Andy Williams (@andyonpaper) December 22, 2018

Favourite Paddy Ashdown memory:

I was super-stressed days out from the 2010 General Election and during his constituency visit, not only did he take the time to check I was ok and make me laugh, he then told a 10 minute-long story to the whole room in order to ask for a biscuit.

— Kat Stark (@rantingkat) December 22, 2018

‘Another selfie, Daisy?! Really!’ @paddyashdown usually grimaced but so glad I took these. Instant classics 🤗🤗🤗 #RIPPaddyAshdown#Rippaddypic.twitter.com/1Cmw0cDa4Y

— Daisy Benson (@_DaisyBenson) December 22, 2018

One of my political heroes has lost his final battle – Paddy Ashdown who was a great leader and campaigner gave me so much support in my time with #Libdems …but it was his #1pForEducation that inspired me to vote @LibDems the first time #FarewellPaddyOurHeropic.twitter.com/2PcK4blRwp

— vikki slade #FBPE 🔶 🔶 🔶 (@vikki4mdnp) December 22, 2018

I am absolutely devastated. I’ll never forget my first big speech at Lib Dem party conference & coming off stage to have Paddy pat me on the back and tell me what a good job I did. My thoughts and prayers go to his family. https://t.co/w41iPpSpu6

— Amna Ahmad (@amnajahmad) December 22, 2018

And some of those who had worked with him over the years also shared their memories

Deeply saddened to hear that my friend Lord Paddy Ashdown has died following a short illness. He was a principled politician who stood up for the survivors of the genocide of Muslims in Europe in 1995. We mourn with his family & give thanks for all he did. https://t.co/9kohCdO7dg

— Waqar Azmi (@waqarazmi786) December 22, 2018

I am devastated at Paddy Ashdown’s passing. I worked for him in post-war Bosnia when he was the UN chief. He taught me so much then and, despite differences, helped me throughout my career inc at @PUBLIC_Team. He was so energetic, fun-loving, bold and brave. I will miss him a lot pic.twitter.com/8FZZctxVCh

— Daniel Korski (@DanielKorski) December 22, 2018

Passionate, committed, sincere. When my phone rang and I saw the name Paddy I always smiled (even when it was after midnight or before 6am!) This is very sad news. https://t.co/VBl3PUxCVY

— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) December 22, 2018

Paddy will be greatly missed by us all and also by the very many people across political and public life who had immense affection and respect for Paddy.

If you haven’t added your name to the Book of Condolence yet, please do take a few moments to do so. We’ll send your comments on to Paddy’s family. www.libdems.org.uk/book-of-condolence-paddy-ashdown

Paddy Ashdown will be hugely missed

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Earlier this evening, Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats passed away following a short illness.

Our thoughts are with Jane and Paddy’s family this evening.

This is a hugely sad day for the Liberal Democrats and for the very many people across political and public life who had immense affection and respect for Paddy.

Few people know how hard he fought to get into politics following his service in the marines and diplomatic service. He exercised every ounce of his considerable personal stamina to win the Yeovil seat.

Paddy was a personal example to me and to many other candidates.

Paddy was a personal example to me and to many other candidates. The time he made for his indefatigable campaigning involved considerable personal sacrifice, building the constituency result up from a low base to famous victory in 1983.

Once in Parliament, he made a real mark. He was always listened to, in particular, on international issues and defence.

He took up unpopular causes where he was respected for his convictions, in particular promoting the rights of the citizens of Hong Kong, and – later – military intervention in Kosovo.

As Party Leader, he took time to tour the country staying with families all around Britain, as part of his ‘Beyond Westminster’ tour, properly understanding people in the recessions of the 1990s.

He took up unpopular causes where he was respected for his convictions, in particular promoting the rights of the citizens of Hong Kong, and – later – military intervention in Kosovo.

He inspired the Liberal Democrats from a polling position he famously described as ‘represented by an asterisk’, to become a formidable campaigning force, doubling the party’s representation to 46 MPs and laying the ground for the strength which later took the party into government.

It was an immense pity that he himself didn’t see office in government.

Though the Liberal Democrats had enjoyed incredible success in 1997, in large part due to his leadership, the Labour landslide meant that New Labour did not need Liberal Democrat support. It was a mark of his strength that he nonetheless successfully pushed the Blair government towards constitutional reform.

Sent by Tony Blair as High Representative to Bosnia, he brought that country back to stability, showing the qualities he could have offered to the Cabinet here.

Paddy was aghast at the direction our country has been taking, and as ever did all he could to campaign for a change of course.

Finally, he has been a powerful voice was of real significance for the pro-European cause in recent years. He was aghast at the direction our country has been taking, and as ever did all he could to campaign for a change of course.

He will be sadly missed in all parts of politics and Parliament.

We have set up an online book of condolenceshould you wish to share a message or simply leave your name. All messages will be sent to Paddy’s family.

You can add your name and comments here:www.libdems.org.uk/book-of-condolence-paddy-ashdown

Corbyn Wants His Own Brexit

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Throughout 2018, Jeremy Corbyn has refused to fight this chaotic, disastrous Brexit.

He has pulled his punches on this Brexit mess. He has let Theresa May off the hook in key votes. He has resisted calls within his own party for a People’s Vote. His weak opposition has helped the Conservatives get this far.

The vast majority of Labour voters would prefer to stay in the EU and Labour members demanded support for a People’s Vote at their party conference. Still Jeremy has fudged his position time and again.

The country deserves real Brexit opposition.

He’s now admitted that if he won an election he would continue this chaos by going to Brussels and trying to secure his own version of Brexit.

His supporters deserve better.

Liberal Democrats are the real oppositionon Brexit. We have taken the fight to the Conservatives where Corbyn has not. We are wholly dedicated to giving the people the final say on the Brexit deal, and the option to remain.

We’re leading a cross party movement to challenge Theresa May, while Jeremy Corbyn plays at Parliamentary theatrics with his defective no-confidence vote in the PM.

The fight isn’t over – and we can’t wait for Jeremy Corbyn.

Liberal Democrats are leading the Exit from Brexit campaign. Brexit is not inevitable – it is not a done deal.

We are winning the fight for a People’s Vote with the option to stay in the EU.

If you believe in our cause join the fight against Brexit now.