5 Reasons To Vote Liberal Democrat In The Upcoming European Elections

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Five reasons to vote for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections on 23rd May.

1. To vote against Brexit

The Liberal Democrats are the only nation-wide party to have been fighting Brexit since the very beginning.

We’ve spent three years campaigning for a People’s Vote with an option to remain in the EU.

The government are scared because the tide has turned.

But you’ve still not been consulted on Brexit since the referendum. The government are scared because the tide has turned.

They know that if the referendum were held today, Britain would vote to remain.

These elections are your chance to show the government what you think of their Brexit mess, by voting for a passionately and unapologetically pro-European party.

Liberal Democrat in crowd of other members at People's Vote Rally, EU flag sticker on cheek,

2. Brilliant candidates

It’s been a competitive selection process, but we can now safely say that we have the best of the best in place. Our candidates are experienced, talented, and ready to take on these elections.

They are from all sorts of different backgrounds and walks of life. They are all dedicated campaigners.

Each and every one of them would make a brilliant addition to the European Parliament.

From the Shetland Islands to St. Ives, everyone in the UK will get the chance to vote for excellent Liberal Democrat candidates.

Each and every one of them would make a brilliant addition to the European Parliament.

44768315164_00241d2598_z.jpg

3. Show Europe some love

No country has ever voted to leave the EU before – let alone then taken part in European elections.

These elections will be symbolic, and everyone knows it. Eurosceptics will turn out like never before.

These elections will be symbolic, and everyone knows it.

So you must show up too. A vote for a Liberal Democrat is a vote for Remain. A vote for Europe.

We want to remain. We haven’t given up. We are European. Let’s prove it.

GIF of European flag with stars in a heart shape, with text 'I'm so into EU'

4. Strong representation in Europe

Catherine Bearder, Liberal Democrat MEP, has an excellent record in the European Parliament.

Working hard for a brighter future for the UK in the EU.

MEPs like Nigel Farage barely bother to turn up and represent the UK in the EU. Meanwhile Catherine is there as she should be, working hard for a brighter future for the UK in the EU.

Only by electing Liberal Democrat MEPs can we ensure our representatives are making the best of our place in Europe.

Catherine Bearder MEP addresses crows at People's Vote March using megaphone, draped in British flag, Lib Dem placards behind her

5. A manifesto fit for the future

Liberal Democrat policy is evidence-based, progressive, and forward-thinking. Our European manifesto will be no exception.

We’re ready for the future, to tackle injustice and inequality, and to fight for Britain’s place in the EU.

We launch our full manifesto in a few weeks, where we set out our vision for why Britain belongs in the EU, and what we can accomplish by working with our European neighbours, from tackling the climate emergency to fighting cyber-crime and terrorism.

You’ll be able to read the whole thing here soon.

We’re ready for the future, to tackle injustice and inequality, and to fight for Britain’s place in the EU

Celebrating Easter

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

I suspect that many people outside the church think that Christmas is the most important date in the Christian calendar. It isn’t Christmas, but Easter. While at Christmas we celebrate Jesus, the son of God coming to earth, taking on human form and living like we do. At Easter, we remember he died for us and was brought back to life.

As a Christian, I find a great deal of overlap between my faith and Liberal Democracy. In both, we are encouraged to think of others, to value everyone equally and to work for the greater good of all. Likewise, in both, people are seen as individuals. Jesus came in for a great deal of criticism during his lifetime from those who objected to the way he challenged vested interests, societal norms, privilege and injustice where ever he found them. He treated everyone as equals – women, foreigners, Roman soldiers, the disabled, divorcees, those who collaborated with the occupying forces and children, despite the mores of the age. Following his resurrection, he appeared first to women and told them to tell the men, even though the testimony of women was not considered reliable in Roman society.

As a Christian, I find a great deal of overlap between my faith and Liberal Democracy

As Christians, we’re often asked to consider “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD). Well, to be honest, as well as healing people and generally doing good, he also made a whip and whipped the money changers and traders out of the temple as they were overcharging pilgrims and using the temple to do it. Christians are not called to be wishy-washy but to speak up for the voiceless and the marginalised and to challenge wrongdoing. Indeed, for many great reformers, their Christian faith was the reason they campaigned for social reform – Wilberforce, Elizabeth Fry, Dr Barnardo, Lord Shaftsbury and Florence Nightingale to name just a few.

For me, the celebration of Easter begins on Maundy Thursday with a form of the Jewish Passover celebrations. It’s a time when we remember that the Christian faith is rooted in the Jewish religion so it’s not unusual for churches to celebrate a Passover style meal. Passover is the major festival of Judaism and celebrates the Exodus when the Jewish people left slavery in Egypt and journeyed to the Promised Land. It’s a lot of fun – we eat a Middle Eastern style meal of roast lamb, drink four glasses of red wine and tell the story of the Exodus including reciting the plagues.

For many great reformers, their Christian faith was the reason they campaigned for social reform

But we also remember that straight after this meal, Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples, arrested and crucified the next day. The Last Supper was not a sad meal, but a big celebration. But Friday is a sombre day when we remember the terrible suffering of the crucifixion.

On Saturday we think of how Jesus’s followers must have wondered why his life had ended like that. But then on Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection. The Jewish day runs from sundown to sundown so while we think Jesus came back to life early on Sunday morning, it could equally have been after sundown on Saturday night. Some churches light a bonfire on Saturday night. I really like to celebrate the resurrection at dawn on Easter Sunday morning.

It’s always cold, I’m always tired but it’s always worth getting out of bed to meet with people and read or act out the resurrection story while watching the sunrise. Followed by a very large breakfast.

However, you choose to spend Easter, all at LDCF wish you a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.

2.8 million!

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Our printers are working through the night to create mailings to 2.8 million people across the UK – telling them why they need to vote Liberal Democrat in the European elections.

We’re off to a flying start thanks to your generous donations.

THANK YOU.

gif of printer printing our Euro addressed mailings

In both the local and European elections, we have a real story to tell. Your support enables us to tell our story to millions online and offline.

Our campaigning up and down the country is delivering more Lib Dem voters in the local elections and more votes to stop Brexit.

But as the EU election has been called so suddenly, it means we don’t know if we can raise the funds to keep campaigning at this high level.

The Liberal Democrats are the ONLY pro-Remain party with the capacity to deliver a European election campaign on such short notice – here’s what the papers are saying:

“Seasoned campaigners tell me that the biggest difference [in an election] is still made by people knocking on doors and old-fashioned paper direct-mail shots. This is expensive, so if you have any money to spare, give it to the organisation or party you think will have the biggest impact. For what it’s worth, I’m particularly impressed with the Lib Dems’ digital and physical campaign preparations, but they are short of moolah.

– Timothy Garton Ash, The Guardian

Can you make sure our campaign keeps running at full speed?

A donation of £5 will help us contact 63 voters ➜

A donation of £15 will help us contact 189 voters ➜

A donation of £25 will help us contact 316 voters ➜

A donation of £50 will help us contact 632 voters ➜

A donation of £100 will help us contact 1,265 voters ➜

A donation of £250 will help us contact 3,163 voters ➜

A donation of £500 will help us contact 6,324 voters ➜

Celebrating Passover

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Whether Brexit ever happens or not, what is certain is this week we will commemorate the original Exodus some 3,332 years ago.

The evening of April 19th marks the beginning of the eight-day Jewish festival of Passover (Pesach) – a religiously significant period which commemorates the Israelite’s journey out of Egypt after years of slavery and bondage under ancient Egyptian rule. An epic journey from slavery to freedom.

Across the world, Jewish families will sit around the Seder table to share food and recount the tale of how Moses led the Jewish people to their emancipation and deliverance. In retelling the story of the Exodus, we are reminded that the forces of oppression, hate and tyranny are not insurmountable. The traditions we observe are symbolic reminders of both the hardships endured by the Israelites as well as the triumph of faith.

let us all come together to choose unity over division, understanding over intolerance and faith over fear.

Across the world, we are witnessing worrying increases in acts of terror and hate targeted at religious communities. It’s hard to believe that even in 2019 anti-Semitism is still prevalent and growing- even in the UK. However, even in the face of intensifying anti-Semitic sentiment, Jewish communities continue to persevere in challenging bigotry and prejudice. In this growing anti-Semitic climate, festivals such as Passover are timely reminders of the strength of community and power of resistance.

The UK has long been a home for people of all backgrounds, and we are a shining example that different faiths, identities and ethnicities can thrive and co-exist. The history of Jewish people in the UK goes back centuries and British Jewish communities are undoubtedly an integral part of our society. At moments like this, we ought to take the opportunity to recognise the tremendous and invaluable contributions of these communities to our great country.

Regardless of your faith or background, let us all come together to choose unity over division, understanding over intolerance and faith over fear.

To everyone celebrating we wish you peaceful Passover. Chag Pesach sameach.

Sal Speaks: April 2019

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Local election campaigns around the country are going well with just under two weeks left. Like many of you, our home has moved into our regular election machine, and our driveway is the Watford garden poster factory!

If you haven’t yet, make sure to ask your local team for a garden poster (or window poster if you cannot have a garden one) and show your friends and neighbours that the Lib Dems are winning here!

We are a key part of the new democracy for our country. We are ready for it.

These local elections are our absolute priority as a party. We believe we will win many more seats on 2 May, and take control of more councils. Most importantly we still need your help in these last few days to win them! We need help with knocking on the doors of our supporters to remind them to vote, delivering leaflets giving people vital information about what our Lib Dem team in their area are doing to get improvements in local services, and we need to tell our friends in our street about our local Lib Dems. Please help our thousands of candidates, either in your area, or if there aren’t local elections near you, go to your nearest council elections to help, you can find out where you should go to help campaign by signing up as a volunteer here or by emailing advice@aldc.org

On Tuesday I was in St Albans with Vince Cable helping Daisy Cooper and her brilliant team. We were knocking on the doors of our supporters with postal votes to see if they had voted yet and we were getting a great response to councillors, campaigners and Daisy as our PPC.

Amazing having @salbrinton and @vincecable stop by and meet our candidates. #LibDems#StAlbans#letesmovestalbansforward@libdemdaisypic.twitter.com/9l2DZHAbcw

— St Albans Lib Dems (@StAlbansLDs) April 16, 2019

For me, this year’s elections remind me of the 1993 local elections, when we made a very substantial number of gains, especially from the Tories, as their own supporters were disgusted with John Major and the Tory Government. Today’s Tory voters are just as furious with Theresa May over the Brexit negotiations, and ready to listen to us, both what we are doing locally, but also in our fight for a final say over Brexit. What is different this time is that the Labour vote is also very soft so keep up the good work!

Our preparations for the European Elections on 23rd May are now well underway, with a great list of Euro candidates ready to hit the campaign trail. Because many people are seeing the Euro elections as a proxy referendum on Brexit, these elections will feel very different from the usual ones, and we have a strong story to tell. Check out our candidate list below:

Read more

I know some members had hoped that we could team up with Change UK (The Independent Group) to form a single Remain campaign, but I am sorry to say that hasn’t been possible for three reasons.

  1. Change UK only received confirmation from the Electoral Commission that they have now been registered as a political party this week.
  2. The Electoral Commission rules for list elections say that where parties work together they must register a joint umbrella name, and that cannot be done before close of nominations (it usually takes two to three months).
  3. Finally, Change UK have made it plain in discussions with us and also publicly that they do not wish to work with us or the Greens in the elections.

This year’s elections remind me of the 1993 local elections, when we made a very substantial number of gains

Part of the problem here has been the very rapid decision by the Prime Minister to get an extension to the Withdrawal Agreement, and the fact that the Order for the Elections was only laid in Parliament last week, but the other part is that parties need to know each other and trust each other to work together and Change UK are very new to all of this.Our politics are at a crossroads, and both the Labour and Conservative parties are falling apart. We and other parties, like Change UK, are a key part of the new democracy for our country. We are ready for it.

3 steps to beating the climate crisis

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Whether it’s young people taking time off school or the Commons’ naked protestors: they are right. We face a climate crisis.

Liberal Democrats should provide the emergency plan. In 3 parts.

  • UK-wide action to green ourselves.
  • Action to decarbonise capitalism – starting with the City of London.
  • And an international green new deal – where richer countries support poorer countries.

Starting with the UK – Lib Dems have shown we can decarbonise and prosper. Thanks to achievements in Government on renewable energy and what many Lib Dem-led councils have done in their communities, the benefits of climate change action are proven.

Renewable energy erodes the power of the likes of Vladimir Putin and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

I fought huge battles in Cabinet – against the likes of George Osborne and Eric Pickles. But we won. Lib Dem Energy Ministers nearly quadrupled Britain’s renewable power – and now we’re the global leader on offshore wind.

Plus our policies led to clean power prices plummeting – so renewables are cheaper than gas and nuclear. And the economic benefits are now indisputable – look at the huge boost to Hull, with the 1,000 jobs created by Siemens’ investment in a wind turbine factory.

Yet Conservative policies have since slashed investment in Britain’s renewable energy. We must reverse this and accelerate action to reach net zero carbon as fast as possible. Green technologies are there in abundance. But it needs strong political leadership, on everything from tidal lagoons to a hydrogen economy.

For voters, our promise could be “Your Home, Your Power Station” – where we help people generate, store and even sell their own power and heat.

Great to visit @BRE_Group with @WatfordLibDems today – before knocking up postal voters!

Britain’s leading experts on sustainable building confirmed my idea of “Your Home, Your Power Station” now possible

Let’s beat #ClimateChange together pic.twitter.com/JsVBXFxI2N

— Ed Davey (@EdwardJDavey) April 12, 2019

The emergency plan’s second part – decarbonising capitalism – is a project I’ve been working on for three years. By forcing global finance to take climate risk seriously we could catalyse trillions of pounds of private capital to flow out of fossil fuels and into clean energy. This could power emergency green investment and embed climate action into global capitalism.

The policies for this are radical – but practical. We should force banks, pension funds and stock exchanges to take climate resilience tests – like the “banking stress tests”. Overnight, it would require transparency over their fossil fuel assets, let investors know the true risks and allow regulators to consider penalties. And the public should have more say where our pensions are invested – so we know how green our own savings are.

And radical is credible here. I’m engaging on this with everyone from the International Energy Agency to Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England: we’re pushing at an open door.

This could unlock hundreds of billions for the UK’s climate effort – turning every bank into a Green Investment Bank!

Lib Dems have shown we can decarbonise and prosper

Emergency plan part 3 recognises the UK can’t tackle climate change alone – and that Brexit is a disastrous idea.

For 3 years, I led Britain’s “climate diplomacy” – setting up a “Green Growth Group” of European Ministers. Thanks to that work, the EU adopted more ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gases. We took them to the United Nations and ultimately produced the critical Paris Climate Treaty.

Climate diplomacy, know-how and green trade policies can now go further, especially given recent greening in China and India, where one third of humanity live. With vast supplies of ultra-cheap sun and wind power, we should now aim for a global Non-Proliferation Treaty on Fossil Fuels. And end exploration for coal, oil and gas, for ever.

The prize if we help poorer countries isn’t just defeating the climate change that affects us all.

We can also tackle global poverty – with cheap solar to bring electricity to the world’s rural poor for the first time – and improve the world’s health by cutting air pollution.

Plus we can give peace a chance: renewable energy erodes the power of the likes of Vladimir Putin and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – weakening tyrants and eliminating the control of oil supplies as a cause of conflict.

So let’s campaign for an emergency plan for the climate crisis – and win a greener, safer and more prosperous world.

Give EU Citizens a Vote in General Elections and Referendums

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Today, 50 years on from the UK extending the franchise to 18-year olds, British politics is still blighted by democratic inequality. This is particularly stark in the case of the 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK. In just under three weeks these nationals will have a vote in local elections, but this is a right they are denied in General Elections and referendums. Fifty years on from giving more people the vote we still have a long way to go.

Liberal Democrats have campaigned for a People’s Vote for almost three years. I have been proud to lead a party that has unequivocally stated that Britain is better off in the EU. We have been clear that a vote for us is a vote to give the people a final say on the Brexit deal with the option to stay in the EU. Much to my confusion, however, we have repeatedly faced the accusation that going back to the people is in some way undemocratic. My answer to this has always been the same: how can more democracy mean less democracy? I feel the same way about extending the vote to EU citizens. A functioning democracy has no reason to fear more participation. It should embrace it.

Liberal Democrats are ready to take our unapologetically pro-remain position to the country in European elections. pic.twitter.com/OYOoUWnxwF

— Vince Cable (@vincecable) April 10, 2019

The 2016 referendum and subsequent General Election have left EU citizens living in the UK in an unforgivable state. They have been left under a cloud of uncertainty: unsure as to their future in the UK. These are people whose homes are here, they have friends and family here, they are a pivotal part of our society. Yet in these crucial votes, they were barred from participating. In votes that impacted their lives perhaps more than anyone else’s, they were denied a voice and instead had to watch as others voted to take away their basic rights. The situation is unjustifiable. At the heart of British politics lies democracy, equality and fair play. That is why I believe that whatever happens next with British politics it is time to right the wrongs of our electoral system: EU citizens must have a say.

Not only have EU citizens made their homes here but they pay Income Tax and National Insurance too. There should be no taxation without representation. A significant proportion of their wages go into keeping the country running and yet they get no say in how these taxes will be used. To think that this disenfranchisement persists for almost 4 million of our citizens is embarrassing.

As well as contributing to our public services financially, EU citizens are also crucial to their day-to-day running. EU citizens are integral to our NHS, for example. In England, 7% of doctors and 10% of nurses are EU nationals. They have saved lives and they keep our NHS going. These contributions are invaluable and there is no good reason to deny them the vote in return. It is time the Conservative Government stop digging their heels in and act to extend the franchise to reflect the reality of modern Britain.

Whatever happens next with British politics it is time to right the wrongs of our electoral system: EU citizens must have a say.

In just under three weeks, more than 8000 Councillors will be up for election across England. These Councillors will have the power to make crucial decisions on important issues including the protection of vulnerable children. In these elections, EU nationals in the UK will have a say. It is vital that they use it. Voting in these elections will help elect hard-working Councillors and send a message to those in Westminster about the direction they are taking the country in.

High EU voter turnout will also demonstrate that EU citizens are eager to take part in UK civic life: that if you give them the vote they will use it. Fifty years on from giving 18-year olds the vote it is time the Conservative Government come out of the dark ages and make some long-overdue progress. For the first time since the sixties, it is time our democracy is significantly extended. Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for the rights of EU citizens throughout the current Brexit chaos and beyond. Part of this fight will continue to be to finally give them the vote. It is long overdue, and it is the right thing to do.

Our Candidates for EU Elections

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The Liberal Democrats will fight these elections as an unapologetically pro-European Party campaigning hard for People’s Votewith an option to remain in the the EU.

We are determined to give a voice to the millions of people who demand better than Brexit Britain.

Today we’ve announced a strong, diverse mix of candidates, from those who’ve joined the Liberal Democrats recently to those with long experience of the European Parliament.

We will fight these elections on a clear message: a Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit.

Across the country, the strength of our membership of 100,000 is being deployed to prepare for both the European elections and for council elections on May 2nd.

From local communities to the EU institutions, Liberal Democrats are determined to give a voice to the millions of people who demand better than Brexit Britain.

List of Liberal Democrat candidates in England and Wales:

East Midlands (5)

Bill Newton Dunn 1

Michael Mullaney 2

Lucy Care 3

Suzanna Austin 4

Caroline Kenyon 5

East of England (7)

Barbara Gibson 1

Lucy Nethsingha 2

Fionna Tod 3

Stephen Robinson 4

Sandy Walkington 5

Marie Goldman 6

Julia Ewart 7

London (8)

Irina Von Wiese 1

Dinesh Dhamija 2

Luisa Porritt 3

Jonathan Fryer 4

Hussain Khan 5

Helen Cross 6

Graham Colley 7

Rabina Khan 8

North East (3)

Fiona Hall 1

Julie Porksen 2

Aidan King 3

North West (8)

Chris Davies 1

Jane Brophy 2

Helen Foster Grime 3

Anna Fryer 4

Sam Al-Hamdani 5

Rebecca Forrest 6

John Studholme 7

FrederickVan Mierlo 8

South East (10)

Catherine Bearder 1

Anthony Hook 2

Judith Bunting 3

Martin Tod 4

Liz Leffman 5

Chris Bowers 6

Giles Goodall 7

Ruvi Ziegler 8

Nick Perry 9

John Vincent 10

South West (5)

Caroline Voaden 1

Martin Horwood 2

Stephen Williams 3

Eleanor Rylance 4

David Chalmers 5

West Midlands (7)

Phil Bennion 1

Ade Adeyemo 2

Jeanie Falconer 3

Jenny Wilkinson 4

Jennifer Gray 5

Lee Dargue 6

Beverley Nielsen 7

Yorkshire and the Humber (6)

Shaffaq Mohammed 1

Rosina Robson 2

James Blanchard 3

Sophie Thornton 4

James Baker 5

Ruth Coleman-Taylor 6

Wales (5)

Sam Bennett 1

Donna Lalek 2

Alistair Cameron 3

Andrew Parkhurst 4

Scottish candidates coming soon.

These brutal Conservative cuts to education can’t continue.

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

I want to talk about something that we shouldn’t have to talk about in 2019.

It should be a given that our schools have the funding they need to give our children the best start in life.

But that’s not the case. The Conservatives repeatedly tell us that schools have never had more money. That they’ve never had it as good.

The real terms figures tell the real story. One in which school income is not keeping up with pupil numbers.

Our education system has been reduced to a meat processor.

In my own constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon, 89% of schools are facing a funding shortfall, the cumulative size of the shortfall since 2015/16 being almost £5 million across the constituency.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that so many stories are emerging of teachers cutting back their hours and parents being asked for donations because our schools cannot afford the very basics, like textbooks and stationery.

Children with special educational needs, a disability or a mental health condition are the first to suffer from such brutal funding cuts. My inbox and postbags have been filled by correspondence from constituents who see this every day in our schools, and in many cases are experiencing it in their own families.

This being the allocation of central government funding, surely the causes of the current crisis are really complex?

Nope. There are two main causes for the current blight on our schools.

The first is that education policy is being done at the profession, not with it. I’m very concerned that Damian Hinds, the Secretary of State for Education, has refused calls from head teachers across the country to meet with him to vocalise their concerns. Who else can give him a realistic picture of what’s happening in our schools, if not front-line staff?

We need to give teachers the freedom to do what’s best for their students. We need to make decisions WITH the profession not TO it. #NEU19pic.twitter.com/rZxVNeIfrM

— Layla Moran (@LaylaMoran) April 15, 2019

Our education system is a victim of politics, specifically the whims of the Education Secretary of the day. Rote learning historical dates? Of course! Times tables over everything else mathematical? Sure!

The dual burdens of real-terms cuts and excessive workloads are driving teachers from the profession in droves.

The second problem is that the money just isn’t there, at a time when pupil numbers are rising quickly. Whilst the Government committed to increasing the core schools budget in line with inflation until 2020, the number of secondary school pupils will rise by more than 10%. The new National Funding Formula didn’t fix this.

Neither did the extra £1.3 billion found for the core schools budget after the 2017 snap election, in which 750,000 people switched their vote due to concerns about school funding (Survation). Put simply, the money wasn’t new. Shuffling existing budgets around is no substitute for a real injection of cash when our schools are at breaking point.

The numbers speak for themselves: 91% of schools will still have less money per pupil in real terms in 2020 than they did in 2015.

I want to see real change. These damaging cuts have exposed the dark underbelly of our education system, and we can do so much better.

But we can’t completely overhaul our school system, as I want to do, working cross-party, if our schools cannot afford basic resources and enough teachers.

Yes, I want to see the replacement of Ofsted, and yes, I want to put an end to our culture of teaching to the test.

The Liberal Democrats want to reverse the schools cuts since 2015; that would mean an extra £2.2 billion to our schools – new money from the Treasury. Add to that £7 billion of capital investment to maintain our schools and increase the number of school places, plus extra funding for Education, Health and Care Plans for those children most in need, and we’re on our way.

And we need to stop teachers leaving what can still be an inspiring profession to be a part of. That means proper pay. Teachers should be paid directly from the Treasury, not from existing local budgets.

Every teacher and head teacher I meet when campaigning against these disastrous cuts tells me the same story: our education system has been reduced to a meat processor, where performance data and spreadsheet cells matter more than giving our children the best start in life. Teachers are left feeling like over-worked cogs in the machine, and our kids miss out on a truly twenty-first-century education.

So yes, I want to see the replacement of Ofsted, and yes, I want to put an end to our culture of teaching to the test.

But we cannot do that without adequate funding. It’s really that simple.

I’m going to continue to fight this and thank you for your support as we work to get our schools the money they desperately need.

What kind of world are we giving to our children?

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

When my son Gabriel was born, I didn’t imagine that he’d have quite such an active political career before his first birthday.

But now he’s experienced one anti-Trump march, two People’s Vote marches, one debate in the House of Commons chamber and one very infamous breach of the pairing arrangements in Parliament. He’s probably the most politically active baby in the country.

I can’t pretend my own political activism started as early as Gabriel’s, but as a teenager, I was inspired by Anita Roddick, the political campaigner and founder of The Body Shop. I went and signed petitions at The Body Shop against animal testing and to support fair trade. And I wasn’t a stranger to a protest march either, marching against the Iraq War and in favour of the legalisation of cannabis.

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life having to explain to children why our generation has let them down so badly.

I was inspired to act because I saw things in the world that I thought should change and I wanted to do something about them.

And if we look around the world, we can see that same spirit today. It’s there in the schoolchildren across the globe who walked out of lessons to protest about the climate crisis. Or in the survivors of school shootings who are spearheading the next wave of anti-gun activism in the US. And there is no doubt it was the driving force that led thousands of children and students who marched in favour of a People’s Vote on March 23rd.

The Britain we know and love is better than this. Britain is outward-looking, open-hearted and open-minded.

Our children deserve a better future than Brexit Britain.

Let’s stop Brexit, and build that better future together.#PeoplesVoteMarch#RevokeArticle50#PutItToThePeoplepic.twitter.com/3g9fxW8w3K

— Jo Swinson (@joswinson) March 26, 2019

Because make no mistake, Gabriel and his big brother Andrew were just two of the thousands of children out there that day. They were in buggies, and in slings, with their own placards and signs, saying loud and clear what sort of world they wanted to live in.

So the question for us is: what sort of world are we giving them?

We want our lifetime to be one where the world becomes safer, cleaner, more prosperous and more secure.

We all want to leave behind a better world for young people, whether they are our own children or grandchildren or not. We want our lifetime to be one where the world becomes safer, cleaner, more prosperous and more secure.

And it’s ultimately the answer to that question that drives my opposition to Brexit. Strip away the procedural fights, political game playing, and all the mud slung by both sides, and for me, it comes down to something very simple.

Our children deserve better than Brexit Britain.

They deserve a Britain that is open-hearted and outward-looking; not closed off and fearful of the outside. They deserve a Britain with a strong economy and well-funded public services; not one with broken communities and an NHS starved of critical funding.

They deserve a Britain that stands tall in the world; not one where we withdraw from our allies and make the world a less safe place.

Because we know that’s what Brexit is already doing to Britain, and we know it only gets worse if we carry on the path we’re on. And I don’t want to spend the rest of my life having to explain to children, my own or anyone else’s, why our generation has let them down so badly.

That’s why we need a People’s Vote, not so we can change the mistakes of the past but so that we can shape a better future. One that delivers on the promise that our children will have it better than we do, and starts to build the cleaner, greener, safer, more liberal world we all want to see.