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Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats

    • Southport
      Article: Feb 3, 2018
      By Mark Pack Author, 101 Ways To Win An Election

      What is Lib Dem conference?

      The Liberal Democrats hold two federal (i.e. UK-wide) party conferences a year, a weekend in the spring and a week in the autumn. All party members can attend and vote Liberal Democrat conference, subject to paying the registration fee.

      The conferences are a mix of set-piece speeches, policy debates, fringe meetings, training events and more, and are organised by the Federal Conference Committee (FCC).

    • A sign pointing to passport control, with people climbing a flight of stairs in the background.
      Article: Feb 2, 2018

      Leaked government Brexit analysis reveals that the cost to the British economy of cutting migration from the EU would be significantly greater than the benefits brought by a US trade deal.

      The negative impact of a stricter immigration policy would be far bigger than the 0.2% boost to economic growth that a US trade deal is calculated to bring.

    • The union flag flying next to the EU flag.
      Article: Feb 1, 2018

      With a Prime Minister pandering to the extremists on the right of her party; delivering up the most divisive, extreme version of Brexit imaginable and Corbyn's Labour Party sitting on its hands, letting the bumbling Tories off the hook - we are needed more than ever.

      The Liberal Democrats are the only political party in the UK offering a different, brighter future when it comes to our relationship with Europe.

    • Bills
      Article: Jan 30, 2018

      A hard Brexit that would see Britain no longer trade energy in the Internal Energy Market is likely to increase British energy bills, the House of Lords' EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee is expected to say on Monday.

      Britain could also face energy supply shortages, while the lack of access to EU labour is a threat to the construction of a new generation of civil nuclear sites.

    • A screen at the stockmarket showing values rising and falling.
      Article: Jan 28, 2018
      By Vince Cable

      The government must urgently spell out its aims from the second phase of EU negotiations and on transitional arrangements, the Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee has warned.

      The committee has warned of market fragmentation and financial instability if the UK loses access to the EU through no deal, particularly damaging Britain's financial services industry.

      Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein, for example, warned this week that it is reaching a point in contingency planning where it will be too late to stop the group from leaving the UK.

      This is a serious warning from a respected committee. Philip Hammond's comments this week that the UK and EU economies will diverge only 'very modestly' shows he is desperate to reassure the City that nothing is really going to change.

      But obviously things will. Serious business people will, therefore, be assessing their options, including whether or not to relocate to other EU countries.

      The Conservatives must stop their infighting and at least draw up some kind of coherent plan on what they want from Brexit talks.

    • The union flag flying next to the EU flag.
      Article: Jan 27, 2018

      An ICM poll for The Guardian has shown that Brits favour a referendum on the terms of Brexit by a 13 point margin. Once 'don't knows' are taken out, this rises 58% in support to 42% against.

      The evidence is mounting that the British people want a vote on the terms of any deal to leave the European Union.

    • Jo Swinson speaking at Lib Dem conference.
      Article: Jan 25, 2018
      By Jo Swinson

      Today, I've written an open letter, signed by MPs from all parties, to the CEO of the Charity Commission and to the President's Club.

      The letter calls on the Charity Commission to urgently investigate the President's Club "because of the "serious and potentially criminal nature of the behaviour."

      There can be no place in 2018 for respectable fundraising events which objectify women and subject them to groping and harassment.

    • Article: Jan 24, 2018
      By Carrie Hynds, Hove PPC

      On Tuesday evening I joined several inspiring local volunteers who braved a cold, wet, dark January day to run the first monthly Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrat EU street stall.

      It was worth it because there's a very important message to communicate: we can still secure a democratic exit from Brexit. We can show Westminster we want a referendum on the facts.

    • LGBT+ Lib Dems Winter Strategy Conference 2015
      Article: Jan 23, 2018

      All members of LGBT+ Lib Dems are invited to our Winter Strategy Conference in London this Saturday.

      Our Winter Strategy Conference is one of two occasions during the year where we can get together to discuss the issues that most affect LGBT+ people, and how we campaign on these. (The other is the Summer Conference, normally held in Manchester).

      Unfortunately LD HQ is not available on the chosen date this year, so we will be meeting in the Poetry Cafe at the Poetry Society. The venue is in a basement, but does have a lift. Tea and Coffee will be provided, and there will be a break for lunch.

      If you have any suggestions of topics, issues, or campaigns you want to have included in the day's discussions please get in touch on secretary@plusld.org.uk

      After the Conference, members are cordial invited to join us at our Winter Soiree just a short stroll away in the Cellar Bar. Party member Paul Kohler has graciously offered us the use of his bar until 8pm and 20% off drinks!

      Sadly we regret that the Cellar Door, being a basement venue, has no step-free access.

    • Article: Jan 22, 2018
      By Nick Hopkinson, chair of the Liberal Democrat European Group

      What are the prospects for a referendum on the terms of any deal and an early General Election stemming from the ongoing Brexit crisis?

      Nigel Farage recently toyed with the possibility of a 'second' referendum. Whilst ostensibly suggesting it might settle the Brexit debate for a generation, his real motivation is to have a referendum before the poor withdrawal deal being negotiated becomes obvious to a substantial majority of voters, and while the two largest parties maintain their 'have your cake and eat it too' support for Brexit. Some argue, perhaps even more importantly, that a referendum allows Farage another chance to be in the national spotlight, perhaps again as UKIP leader.

    • 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."