Are you registered to vote?

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The election campaign has started in earnest, and we’re delighted about how it’s going.

Jo Swinson has introduced herself to the country as a potential Prime Minister.

We’ve released our ambitious plan to change Britain for the better, and ensure a brighter future for all.

We’ve even put Jo on the side of a bus.

jobus.jpg“Finally, a British Bus without lies on it” – @GuyVerhofstad

The election is only 4 weeks away, but there’s a very important date coming even sooner.

The deadline to register to vote is 5pm on 26th November – less than 2 weeks from now.

Register to vote now!

If you haven’t already, please register today to make sure your voice can be heard. It takes less than 5 minutes and all you need is your address and national insurance number.

tea.pngYou can do it in the time it takes to make a cuppa.

If you aren’t registered, you won’t be able to vote, and you’ll miss out on having your say in possibly the most important election that we will ever see. Yeah, that would be pretty bad.

Register to vote now!

You might also want to arrange a postal vote.

A postal vote means that even if you’re busy or something unexpected happens on polling day, you’ll still be able to have your say. It’s just a short form that you post to your local council.

imtoobusy.gif…but at least he already sent his postal vote

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is also 5pm on 26th November, and you can find out how to apply by clicking the button below.

Apply for a postal vote today!

We need to win this election to stop Brexit and ensure a brighter future for Britain.

You can help us to do just that by:

  1. Registering to vote today
  2. Applying for a postal vote
  3. Sharing this page with friends and family to encourage them to register –

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If you’ve done all that and you’re hungry for more, have a look at this post for ideas!

joehorsev2.pngIf you do all that we might just see this after the election!

Lib Dem President Sal Brinton’s Message for Trans Awareness Week

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Hate crimes against trans people have gone up by 81% in the UK.

This Transgender Awareness Week, we must reflect on how much further we must go.

The profile of trans issues is higher than it ever has been, yet we are no closer to trans people being treated as equals.

Our system is ill-equipped to meet the needs of those who are transitioning. It is a long, arduous and expensive process.

We must do more to help those who wish to transition.

But this is by no means the worst situation facing the trans community.

Horrifyingly, a recent report stated that hate crimes against trans people have gone up by 81% in the UK.

This is an appalling statistic.

Unfortunately, it is hardly anomalous. The most recent Trans Report by Stonewall makes for disturbing reading. From those trans people interviewed:

  • 41% had experienced hate crime or a similar incident
  • 25% had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives
  • And 28% of those in a relationship had faced domestic abuse from a partner.

These statistics illustrate how far the trans community is discriminated against. There is so much more that we all must do.

Yet the government continues to drag its heels on this issue.

The Liberal Democrats continue to be allies of and advocates of the trans community.

Last year’s consultation on the Gender Recognition Act descended into dangerous farce. The media circulated wildly inaccurate and misinformed newspaper articles. These fanned the flames of vitriol against the trans community – any goodwill around the consultation was all but undone.

Since then, the government has been largely silent on the issue.

In recent weeks the Prime Minister has used increasingly inflammatory rhetoric. This has doubtless made a bad situation worse.

The trans community is one of the most marginalised in our society, and most at risk. The fact that our government would stoke the fire of unrest, knowing the damage it might do to those in danger, is shameful.

But the Liberal Democrats continue to be allies of and advocates of the trans community.

We will continue to push as hard as possible for reforms to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). At conference this year, the Liberal Democrats voted to remove the Spousal Veto from the GRA. Baroness Liz Barker has since raised this as a Private Members Bill in the House of Lords.

We will continue to push for it to be swiftly passed through Parliament.

Removing the Spousal Veto is only a small part of GRA reform, but it will be the first step towards more widespread change.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to live up to the values as we set out in our Constitution:

“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full….”

Being advocates and allies of the transgender community is at the heart of that message.

The Liberal Democrats will fight to give hope to our friends in the trans community. Together, we will build a brighter, more inclusive future.

Our plan to plant 60 million trees a year

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

A Liberal Democrat government will plant 60 million trees every year, increasing UK forest cover by 1 million hectares by 2045.

The climate emergency is destroying our natural environment and threatening our children’s futures. It’s clear that the Conservative Party doesn’t take climate change seriously.

Just 13% of the UK is currently covered by woodland, far below the European Union average of 35%.

The Conservatives have woefully failed to meet their own targets for planting trees in the past year. Only 1,420 hectares of trees were planted in England in the year to March 2019, 71% short of the Conservative government’s target of 5,000 hectares for the same period.

Liberal Democrats see the climate emergency for what it is: an emergency. That’s why we’ve come up with a radical and ambitious plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, and to halve emissions by 2030 compared to today.

🌲Planting trees is one of the most viable ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere and is vital for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

🌿LibDems will plant 60 million trees every year, increasing UK forest cover by 1 million hectares by 2045https://t.co/eo9i5lzLGb

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) November 16, 2019

Our plan to tackle the climate emergency will involve the largest tree-planting programme in UK history. Planting trees is one of the most viable ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere and is vital for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Reforesting will have other benefits such as helping reverse our declining biodiversity, reducing air pollution and improving public spaces. It will also increase the use of timber products in construction, which capture carbon and reduce construction emissions.

Only the Liberal Democrats have a radical plan to make a real impact in the fight against climate change and build a brighter future for our planet.

Find out more about our plan to build a brighter future.

Stop Brexit & fight the climate crisis

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

It was a pleasure to be in Leeds today to give my keynote speech as Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor.

Things need to change. Too many people can’t live a secure, happy and fulfilling life. And too many businesses face crippling uncertainty over their future.

The economic debate in this election has been between two fantasies. Between Conservative fantasies of the days of empire or Labour fantasies of failed ’70s socialism. Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will only take our country backwards.

They’re both pursuing a Brexit that’s already costing our economy £1 billion every week. And that’s before we have even left. If we actually leave the EU, the lost growth could mean another recession. This will hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

It’s simple – no economic plan is remotely credible if it doesn’t start with stopping Brexit. In comparison, by cancelling Brexit, we can generate a £50 billion Remain Bonus. We will invest this in schools and tackling our country’s shameful levels of inequality.

But that’s not all. If we’re going to build a better future for our children, we must decarbonise capitalism. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, I’ll authorise £100 billion of spending to fight the climate crisis.

We’ll spend this smartly, too. This money includes a £10 billion Renewable Power Fund to generate an extra £100 billion of private sector investment. This will catapult Britain to the forefront of clean energy generation. It’ll make us a world leader in not just off-shore wind, but tidal power.

Not only that, we’ll invest £15 billion in greener heating. We want to end fuel poverty by 2030. We’ll invest in insulation, cutting energy usage and bills, and ensuring everyone can live in a properly heated home.

The Liberal Democrats have a real plan to stop Brexit and fight the climate crisis. Only a vote for us on the 12th December is a vote for a brighter future. And I’m excited to get to work making that happen!

The Liberal Democrats’ £100bn pledge to tackle the climate emergency

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The climate crisis is doing irreversible damage to our planet, and our country deserves a government that has a clear, ambitious plan to tackle the climate emergency. That’s the Liberal Democrats.

We previously announced our bold green plan to build a brighter future, and today we go a step further as Ed Davey unveils the Liberal Democrats’ latest economic pledge in taking urgent climate action.

A Liberal Democrat government will jump-start an economy-wide programme to tackle the climate emergency. Across a five year parliament, we will spend and invest an extra £100 billion of public finance on climate action and environmental preservation.

A Liberal Democrat government will jump-start an economy-wide programme to tackle the climate emergency.

This will include a new £10 billion Renewable Power Fund to leverage in over £100 billion of extra private climate investment.

This will fast-track deployment of clean energy, to make Britain not just the world leader in offshore wind, but also the global number one in tidal power too. There will also be a £15 billion investment to make every building in the country greener, with an emergency ten-year programme to save energy, end fuel poverty and cut heating bills.

This election debate on the economy and public spending has Brexit at its heart, and the simple fact is, no party’s economic plan is remotely credible unless it starts with stopping Brexit.

With stopping Brexit as our number one economic policy, the Liberal Democrats won’t just grow the economy faster, but we’ll generate a £50 billion Remain Bonus and invest it in public services and tackling inequality.

Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.

Our plan for equalities and human rights

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

We have always been fierce advocates for human rights. We believe in a Britain where nobody has to fear discrimination. A Liberal Democrat government will put equality at the heart of society and the workplace.

We’ve announced a huge raft of policies on rights and equalities. They are our blueprint for a government that respects the rights of the individual. This will be our foundation for a society where dignity, privacy and equality are valued.

A Liberal Democrat government will put equality at the heart of its agenda and strive towards a brighter future.

Protect Civil Liberties

We will:

  • Protect the Human Rights Act and remain in the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Halt all facial recognition data collection by law across the country.
  • Fight the Snooper’s Charter. We’ll end the bulk collection of communication data and internet records.

Demand Equality

The government should take an active part in preventing discrimination. To this end, we will:

  • Reform the Gender Recognition Act to remove the need for medical reports, scrap the fee and recognise non-binary identities
  • Protect vulnerable places of worship, schools and community centres by providing security funding
  • Scrap the Pink Tax – ending the gender price gap

Promote Diversity

Too many groups are underrepresented in working and public life. We’ll tackle unconscious and institutional bias to ensure everyone has a fair chance by:

  • Increasing statutory paternity leave from two weeks to six
  • Extend name-blind recruitment processes to the public sector and encourage their use in the private sector
  • Develop a free and easy-to-use unconscious bias toolkit. Unconscious bias training for staff will be a prerequisite for receiving public funds

A Liberal Democrat government will make Britain a champion of equality and freedom across the world.

Make public services work for everyone

Institutional bias is still rife in our public systems. Liberal Democrats will put an end to this. We will:

  • End the disproportionate use of Stop and Search
  • Tackle bullying in schools, including based on protected characteristics, by promoting pastoral leadership and high-quality sex and relationships education
  • Scrap the Tories’ suppressive voter ID plans

Promoting Human Rights and Equality Around the World

Human rights are global. A Liberal Democrat government will make Britain a champion of equalities and freedom across the world. We’re the only party with a credible plan to enhance the UK’s soft power and to use it to promote human rights and democracy around the world:

  • We’ll work to abolish the death penalty across the globe
  • We’ll invest in the BBC World Service to ensure as many people as possible can access high quality, trusted news
  • We’ll protect, defend, and promote human rights for all, including for LGBT+ individuals who are persecuted across the world – as well as those persecuted for their religion or belief.

This is just the beginning. Only a Liberal Democrat government has the plan necessary to fight back against creeping authoritarian populism.

Want to find out more? You can read our full plan here:

Find out more

The Liberal Democrats’ plan for Equalities and Human Rights

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The Liberal Democrats believe that in 21st century Britain, none of us should need to fear discrimination.

We believe that we should all have the same opportunities regardless of where we come from or our circumstances; and that our children and grandchildren can be who they want to be without any fear of persecution or intrusion.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats in this election is a vote for a government with equality for all at the heart of its agenda.

But sadly, that is not the reality of life in the UK.

Whilst both Labour and the Conservatives have failed to tackle harmful rhetoric and root out bigotry in their own parties, the Liberal Democrats have a vision for the UK where everyone’s rights and liberties are protected, and our diversity celebrated.

Today, with the help of Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, we have launched our Plan for Equalities and Human Rights which includes a number of ambitious policies, such as:

  • tackling the rise in hate crimes by making them all aggravated offences
  • providing funding for protective security measures to places of worship, schools and community centres that are vulnerable to hate crime and terror attacks
  • completing the introduction of equal marriage
  • reducing the over-representation of people from BAME backgrounds throughout the criminal justice system

The Liberal Democrats believe that we should all have the same opportunities regardless of where we come from or our circumstances.

That’s why a vote for the Liberal Democrats in this election is a vote for a government with equality for all at the heart of its agenda.

Read our full Plan for Equalities and Human Rights here.

Transgender Awareness Week

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

No one should live in fear of harassment or physical violence.

Trans Awareness Week is a time dedicated to celebrating trans and gender non-conforming people.

It is also an important opportunity. We must bring attention to the continued injustices and inequalities faced by trans people today

The week will culminate in the Trans Day of Remembrance. This is a day to honour those who have either been killed or have taken their own lives as a result of transphobia. As we pause to we remember the lives lost, we are reminded that transphobia is never funny or trivial. It can be fatal.

No one should live in fear of harassment or physical violence. However, this remains an everyday reality for many trans individuals.

This must change.

We see you, we support you and we stand with you as proud allies.

The Conservative government’s consultation on the Gender Recognition Act last year should have been a move towards greater equality.

However, it resulted in a toxic debate. The media exacerbated this through widespread misreporting and fearmongering.

It’s been appalling to see the identities and existence of trans people debated and questioned.

I can only imagine how utterly depressing it must be to see your very existence questioned and disputed online and in the media every single day.

To our friends in the trans community, we see you, we support you and we stand with you as proud allies. Thank you for your strength and resilience.

We will keep fighting until you are treated with the dignity and respect you deserve.

Jo’s speech in Battersea

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

A Liberal Democrat government will provide working parents with free, high-quality childcare from when their child is 9 months old until their first day at school.

We will fund 35 free hours a week, 48 weeks a year for every child aged two till four and children with parents who are back in work from 9 months.

And this isn’t just about making lives easier for parents.

Liberal Democrats, our politics is in a state of flux.

And this general election could lead to seismic change out of which a new and different politics can emerge.

One based on hope, not fear.

On where we work with our closest allies to save our planet for future generations.

One where we value every individual and are ambitious for what they can achieve, no matter who they are, the colour of their skin, which god they pray to or none, or who they love.

At this General Election, the choice is clear.

Vote for the party that wants to Stop Brexit.

The party that has the plan for a brighter future. Vote Liberal Democrat.

The Liberal Democrats’ plans to tackle knife crime

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The UK is in a knife crime epidemic, but successive Governments have taken the wrong approach to dealing with it.

For 25 years, Conservative and Labour Governments have been competing to seem tough on crime, without doing enough to actually prevent it.

“Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for young people by investing £500 million a year in youth services and taking a public health approach to youth violence.”

The Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious plans to tackle soaring levels of knife crime, and we will do this by investing £500 million in youth services and adopting a public health approach to youth violence.

A Liberal Democrat government would create a £500 million ring-fenced fund for Local Authorities in England to spend on youth services. This would provide young people with positive, safe and healthy opportunities to prevent them being drawn into youth violence and gang-related crime. We would also make local youth services a statutory service, protecting them from future cuts.

The Tory approach to youth violence has been conducive to a broken relationship between police & communities.

By investing £500m a year in youth services, the Lib Dems will provide young people with the support they deserve, communities will be stronger & people will feel safer. pic.twitter.com/dpf1e5HxIk

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) November 13, 2019

We would take a public health approach to tackling youth violence, modelled on the successful approach taken by Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit. This would involve identifying risk factors and treating them early on, with youth workers, police, teachers, health professionals and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling into gangs and violence.

With a Liberal Democrat government, young people will have the support and opportunities they deserve, our communities will be stronger and people will feel safer.