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Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats

  • A pen marking an X in a box.
    Article: Jan 19, 2018
    By Rhiannon Leaman

    In this year's local elections, EU Citizens can vote. For many of them, it'll be their one and only chance to make their voice heard on Brexit at the ballot box.

    And in many places, winning the EU citizen's vote could be a big boost to a Liberal Democrat campaign.

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  • Wera Hobhouse (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Jan 17, 2018
    By Wera Hobhouse in Liiberal Democrat Voice

    There are two democratic principles that, taken together, demand a referendum on the deal. The first is that a democratic decision should be enforced, and the second is that no democratic decision has an indefinite mandate.

    The first principle, taken alone, is being used by the Conservatives and Labour to oppose a referendum on the deal. This is the argument:

  • The flags of EU countries flying.
    Article: Jan 12, 2018
    By Tom Brake

    Brexit could cause the UK to lose half a million jobs and nearly £50bn in investment by 2030, a report commissioned by Sadiq Khan has found.

    The London Mayor said the government should negotiate to stay in the single market and customs union.

    It comes days after Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend a cross-party summit on keeping the UK in the single market.

    This bombshell report should make obligatory bedtime reading for Jeremy Corbyn.

    Half a million jobs could be a lost as a result of the hard Brexit that Corbyn has ordered his MPs to vote for.

    The Labour leadership must listen to the Mayor of London and back efforts to minimise the impact of Brexit by keeping Britain in the Single Market and Customs Union.

    It's also crucial that the option of an exit from Brexit is kept on the table through a vote on the deal.

    We can protect jobs and living standards against a botched Conservative Brexit, but only if Labour comes off the fence.

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Jan 10, 2018
    By Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

    This morning I attended the Single Market Summit, the start of a cross-party initiative between opposition leaders to oppose the Conservatives' hard Brexit.

    To the anger of many Labour MPs - and to my great disappointment, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend.

    What is disappointing is that the Labour leadership has declined to take part in this summit

  • Nick Clegg
    Article: Jan 7, 2018

    Nick Clegg fears the Government will give Parliament an incomplete Brexit deal to vote on. "The government's clear intention is to try and lull parliament into signing away the future before it has spelled out what that future holds," the former deputy PM told Business Insider this week.

    Nick Clegg believes the Government will sideline Parliament by putting an incomplete Brexit deal to the vote on at the end of Article 50 talks.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Jan 4, 2018
    By Vince Cable

    It's about time the government dropped its completely self-harming approach.

    It has been reported that Theresa May will be forced into dropping foreign students from official immigration figures.

    For years Theresa May has stubbornly refused to accept that international students are not immigrants, while the Home Office has wildly exaggerated the number of those who overstay.

    This absurd policy has fuelled concerns over immigration numbers and done serious damage to our universities.

    It's about time the government dropped this completely self-harming approach.

    International students generate over £25 billion for our economy and support thousands of jobs across the country.

    We should be encouraging more students to come and spend their money in the UK, instead of needlessly hampering one of Britain's most successful export industries.

  • Article: Jan 3, 2018

    Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has released his New Year message, emphasising his ambition to mobilise the strength of the party's 100,000 membership to win the arguments on the major issues facing the country.

    He highlights

    • the need to convince the government to build thousands of affordable homes so that younger generations are no longer cut off from the housing market
    • the urgency of properly funding a woefully underinvested NHS - the Liberal Democrats argue for a penny in the pound on income tax for the NHS and social care;
    • the need to win the argument for an Exit from Brexit, but democratically, through a public vote on the terms of the divorce and any EU trade deal.
  • Article: Dec 31, 2017
    By Mark Pack Author, 101 Ways To Win An Election

    In case you missed it buried in the news elsewhere, two senior posts have just been filled by the Liberal Democrats:

    • Sam Barratt, formerly the party's Head of Strategic Communications, has been promoted to Director of Communications, taking over from Phil Reilly. Milton Keynes may feature less frequently in Lib Dem speeches now.

    • Fiona Cookson has joined Vince Cable's team as Chief of Staff, taking over from Sarah Olney. She was Vince Cable's press secretary during the coalition government and more recently Director of External Affairs at the British Film Institute.

  • Article: Dec 24, 2017

    George Taylor, our candidate for the upcoming East Brighton by-election, was interviewed by Jamie Walker for Latest TV - see him explain why he is the best choice for the ward:

  • Laura, Carrie and George campaigning in Whitehawk
    Article: Dec 22, 2017

    Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce George Taylor as the LibDem candidate for the upcoming East Brighton council by-election.

    We have been calling for Cllr Lloyd Russell-Moyle to stand down from the council since his election as MP for Brighton Kemptown, and we welcome the news that he will resign before the new year.

  • Article: Dec 20, 2017

    Britain should have an EU referendum on the final deal in December in 2018. There would be a 12-week campaign starting in September to give the UK the option to accept a deal or stay in the EU.

    This would be compatible with the tight timetable of EU withdrawal, falling within the article 50 timeframe of two years, which will end in March 2019.

  • Carrie Hynds presenst housing petition to the council 2017-12-14
    Article: Dec 15, 2017
    By Carrie Hynds, PPC for Hove

    On Thursday 14th December I presented our petition "Where's the 40%? We call upon Brighton & Hove City Council to meet their own affordable housing targets and make developers provide 40% affordable homes on sites of 15+ units." to the full council meeting at Hove Town Hall.

    Thank you to the 1,095 people who signed: councillors who had been only half paying attention to the proceedings of the meeting literally sat up straight in their chairs as affordable homes came on the agenda.

    In the three minutes we were allocated for a handover speech, I said:
    "Brighton & Hove City Council has been repeatedly missing its 40% affordable homes target, which is worsening our city's housing crisis.

    We have recently seen approval of schemes on sites such as the old Sackville Hotel at 17% affordable, the old Astoria cinema at 0% affordable and 121-123 Davigdor Road at 0% affordable. The loss of these homes is not being compensated because the 40% figure is not being exceeded elsewhere. The Liberal Democrats call upon the Council to implement its own 40% target more vigorously.

    On 9th November, The Argus reported that councillors were "pleased" with the outcome of the Sackville Hotel site with 10 affordable units out of 60. This is because the developers initially applied with only 5 out of 60 affordable. But the 40% affordable figure would have been 24. Rather than look at the increase from 5 to 10, look at the decrease from 24 to 10. That is how those struggling to afford to live in our city will always see it and we need the council to be on our side.

    In the course of gathering signatures for this petition, I've spoken to people spending over half their income on rent, people living long-term in temporary emergency accommodation and people who have been shocked to see the same housing and homelessness issues here as in London. Quite simply, for every development that misses affordable housing targets, the housing crisis in our city deepens.

    The definition of "affordable" has already been squeezed to breaking point, with 80% market rate already out of reach for many of those who live and work in our city. We need elected councillors to make the most of the power they have and give clear instructions to council officers that 40% is a serious requirement.

    Developers often use viability assessments to argue they cannot provide the required number of affordable homes and still turn a profit. The Liberal Democrats call for more transparency and therefore scrutiny. If all councillors and members of the public could see these viability assessments, they could be compared with the final profit actually made on the site.

    We need councillors to be determined to stand up for 40% affordable both in council meetings and in the media. The homes delivered through New Homes for Neighbourhoods and the proposed joint venture are not enough and should not be presented as the whole solution. Above all, developers should not be praised by councillors for delivering less than 40% affordable housing.

    Transparency, scrutiny and relentless focus are all needed to truly deliver on the 40%. Several people signing this petition warned me that in delivering it today I'd be banging my head against a brick wall. My challenge to you is to prove them wrong."

    I handed over the signatures in a bright yellow folder to the Mayor, to great applause from the public gallery (with thanks to several local party members for giving up their afternoons to be there!). The Mayor thanked me and said that the petition will now go forward to the Tourism, Development & Culture Committee on 11th January 2018. (Answers on a postcard if you know why this was deemed to be the most relevant committee!)

  • Finishing off campaigning in Whitehawk, Brighton.
    Article: Dec 14, 2017

    Brighton & Hove Lib Dems are passionate about our city, and working hard with local residents to improve it. Want to let us know your views? Please fill in this short survey to let us know the issues you'd like to see your local Lib Dem working on.

  • Article: Dec 11, 2017

    Responding to the news a Brexit deal has been agreed by Theresa May and the EU in Brussels, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said:

    "This agreement is welcome as it reduces the risk of a catastrophic No Deal Brexit. It also includes a role for the EU Court of Justice for eight years, a notable concession.

    "But how long will this deal last before it is torn apart by Theresa May's own MPs? And what will happen next, seeing as the Cabinet hasn't even discussed yet what the final Brexit outcome should look like?

    "There are still two opposing views in government, those who want a close arrangement with the EU and those who want to tear apart decades of work building ties with our closest trading partner.

    "And there is still no solution over how to prevent a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The biggest obstacle to the government's Brexit plans is being kicked into the long grass.

    "The government is still a long way from a final deal, and even further from delivering on what the Brexiters promised.

    "At the end of this process it is the British people, not Tory MPs and the DUP, who should get to decide whether the deal is good enough."

  • Nick Clegg
    Article: Dec 4, 2017
    By Dorian Lynskey in The Guardian

    The former deputy PM and the Nobel prize winner discuss the EU, business and Trump

    Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel prize for economics in October, for work that has "built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making". While traditional economics assumes that people are rational actors, Thaler explores the consequences of irrationality, bias and error, and proposes ways that governments, through mechanisms as simple as changing the phrasing on a form, can encourage, or "nudge", smarter decision-making. Nudge, the 2008 bestseller he wrote with Cass Sunstein, introduced the influential concept of "choice architecture", while his 2015 book Misbehaving was a personal history of behavioural economics. As the author Michael Lewis put it, he's "the economist who realised how crazy we are".

  • Article: Dec 3, 2017

    Four council by-elections this cold week, all in southern England. They come with the neat simplicity of one defence each for Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Ukip. A neat simplicity of results too: all won by the Liberal Democrats in the party's best council by-election night for a long time.

    Westway (Tandridge) result:

    LDEM: 53.5% (+17.5)
    CON: 26.5% (-2.5)
    LAB: 13.1% (-2.8)
    UKIP: 6.9% (-12.2)

    Liberal Democrat HOLD. Congratulations to Helen Rujbally and the team for such a comfortable win in a ward where the six previous contests have three times gone Lib Dem and three times Conservative.

  • Article: Nov 30, 2017
    By Carrie Hynds, Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove

    Yesterday (Wed 29th Nov) I attended the first seminar hosted by RentSmart, which has been set up by Brighton & Hove City Council as a one-stop hub of advice and support for renters in our city.

    The keynote speech was delivered by Poppy Terry from homelessness charity Shelter. She gave a thorough and excellent presentation which gave an overview of the current housing crisis, challenges and potential solutions.

  • Article: Nov 30, 2017

    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.

  • Article: Nov 29, 2017

    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.

  • Article: Nov 27, 2017

    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.

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Nov 23, 2017
    By Vince Cable MP in Sky News

    .

    .

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Nov 22, 2017
    By Vince Cable MP in The Guardian

    Urgent cash is needed for our ailing health service and those affected by corrosive benefit cuts. We have a plan which doesn't rely on a magic money tree

    There is a risk that this week's budget will be drowned out by Brexit and ministerial mishaps. But it really matters because the economy is in a precarious position.

  • Article: Nov 21, 2017

    Today we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. LGBT+ Lib Dems condemn all violence, but particularly and especially today the violence that takes so many innocent trans people from us before their time.

    It is the 20th year of TDoR this year, and LGBT+ LDs extend our love and sorrow to all the people on this year's list, their friends, families and loved ones, and the lists for all the previous 19 years too.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Nov 18, 2017

    The Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, has set out the alternative Liberal Democrat approach to the budget and the problems with the Conservative one.

    A Liberal Democrat budget would commit to the following:

    • Increase capital spending, particularly on transport infrastructure and large-scale housebuilding. Borrowing to finance productive investment at very low-interest rates is financially responsible and good for the economy.
    • Put a penny on each pound included for income tax to raise £6bn a year for the NHS
    • Introduce a lifelong learning endowment to enable every 18 year old to fund their own training and professional development
    • Reform business tax and clampdown on tax havens; including through a public register of beneficial ownership for Overseas Territories
  • Article: Nov 16, 2017
    By Stephen Lloyd

    From the newsletter of Stephen Lloyd, Lib Dem MP for Eastbourne. Stephen writes:

    I had a meeting with the Child Poverty Action Group in Parliament to explore a recent report they've produced on the impact of recent and proposed government cuts on family incomes and poverty. I have to say that some of the figures are shockingly bad.