News

Renew Europe- What’s in a name?

Renew Group Liberal Democrats

After being joined by the En Marche party, the European Parliament group ALDE, has been renamed Renew Europe. The new name shows that the Group is united with the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament. 

 

The Liberal Democrats are at the heart of the new political group working to Renew Europe, and as a group holding 108 seats we have a unique opportunity to shape Europe. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but together we are inspired to build a free and fair Europe.

 

The Renew Europe UK Group will be led by Catherine Bearder, with Luisa Porritt as Deputy Leader and Barbara Gibson as the Chief Whip.

 

We are also delighted that Martin Horwood, MEP for South West & Gibraltar, has been elected as one of the Vice Presidents, for Renew Europe. Martin says ‘I’ll do my best to help the group focus on the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, LGBT rights, defending the rule of law and confronting populist nationalism across Europe.’

Three years on – now is the time to Stop Brexit

Marking the third anniversary of the 2016 EU referendum, Brexit has made no progress. For three years we have been fighting to give the people the final say on the deal with the option to stay in the EU.

Judith Bunting, MEP for South East England, attended a number of rallies and events across the region to mark the anniversary. Speaking at Reading and Wycombe, she called on people to unite and work together to #StopBrexit:

“After three years the whole process is dying on its feet, with even Brexit supporters no longer able to point to any potential benefits. Left and right are coming onside to support a People’s Vote. We must work together to save Britain, and everyone can help”.

Judith continued, “We all know someone who voted leave. We should talk with them. Explain why we want to save the future of the UK, and bring them onside so that we can work together to stop Brexit.”

Enough is enough, Brexit must be stopped.

It’s not too late to Stop Brexit

Judith Bunting - Stop Brexit rally Brussels Pro Europa

Addressing the Pro Europa Stop Brexit rally in Brussels, Judith Bunting MEP has called on people to work together to #StopBrexit and save the future of the UK. 

How can the UK survive Brexit? ‘One of my most fundamental worries is the survival of the UK. My country, our country. I am so angry to think of how our country could be ripped apart. The Irish backstop issue is a mess. Scotland is likely to hold a second referendum and will break away from the UK.’

The real damage here is that we are seeing private interest taking down a nation. When you look at the involvement of Cambridge Analytica, and listen to the TED talk by Carole Cadwalladr, where she discusses Facebook’s role in Brexit and the threat to democracy, the threat is very real.

Judith Bunting - Stop Brexit rally Brussels Pro EuropaMy focus to stay in Europe has developed from my personal focus of environmental protection to the protection of small businesses.’ Small and medium sized businesses accounted for 99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK, and 60% of all private sector employment. 

While that figure ignores public sector employees, it does tell you that small businesses are critical to us all and they are being seriously damaged by Brexit.

If we want to #StopBrexit, we need to work together. Our power is our networks. Mainstream media are not going to help us in this. We must continue talking with family and friends who voted leave to build on the growing number of people who have already changed their minds. 

Support for a people’s vote is growing with every political event. A people’s vote, a final say is the only answer. We must work together to Stop Brexit.

Stop Brexit rally in Brussels

 

Judith Bunting MEP joins group in call for urgent intervention over electoral chaos – #deniedmyvote

Newly elected MEP, Judith Bunting, has added her name to the cross-party group of MEPS who have written to the Venice Commission, (the European Commission for Democracy through Law), asking for an urgent intervention into declining democratic standards in the UK. 

Swathes of people who live and work in the United Kingdom were denied their right to have their say in the recent European Elections, and this denial of democracy cannot go unnoticed. 

Judith Bunting MEP says: “The problems faced by EU citizens in the recent Euro Elections, along with declining democratic standards that we’ve seen recently in the UK, is concerning. I am glad to join with this cross-party group of UK MEPs to deliver this letter to asking the Venice Commission urgently to investigate.”

 

 

The five key points for inquiry are:

  • Breach of spending rules and data-protection laws during the EU referendum in June 2016.
  • Exclusion of non-UK EU citizens residing in the UK from the franchise for the EU referendum.
  • The UK government’s approach to the recent European Elections, involving delayed planning resulting in increased pressure on electoral services departments of local authorities.
  • The disenfranchisement of UK citizens resident in other EU countries whose postal votes did not arrive in time.
  • The disenfranchisement of non-UK EU citizens due to the newly introduced two-step registration process. 

The group of MEPs, is not convinced that our existing government has either the will or the capacity to address these issues. This cross party action, led by Molly Scott Cato MEP and Catherine Bearder MEP, highlights that electoral integrity must come before any party politics.

World Environment Day – Lib Dems tackle air pollution crisis

Today, Liberal Democrats in Westminster are tabling a bill to give local authorities more powers to issue fines to idling vehicles. 

The Bill will increase penalties for stationary vehicle idling offences, as well as increasing fines for those who repeatedly offend.

In 2002 councils in England were given powers to serve fixed penalty notices of £20 to drivers who refuse to turn off their engines when asked by a traffic warden.

This Conservative Government, however, has failed to take air pollution seriously. They have lost numerous court cases over their inability to tackle the toxic fumes that Britain breathes every day. Liberal Democrats demand better.

Air pollution continues to be the number one environmental cause of early death in the EU, with estimates of over 400 000 premature deaths per year. Public awareness of air pollution is high and citizens expect the authorities to act. 

The legislation tabled today by the Lib Dems Climate Change spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse MP, is a crucial step in tackling our air pollution crisis. It will allow local authorities to clamp down on idling without the need to apply to the Government first, and it will enable them to increase fines on repeat offenders.

We must do more to tackle both the climate emergency and the air pollution crisis. Tories in Westminster must stop wilfully ignoring the problem and back the Bill.

Thank You for your support.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who voted for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections 2019. You are amazing.

HUGE THANKS
Huge thanks go in particular to the campaigners across the South East of England who bundled, delivered, tweeted, facebooked and put up those fabulous stake boards and posters. With little media coverage, this is what we rely on to get our message out.

RESULTS
The Liberal Democrat vote in the South East of England more than tripled. We elected three MEPs. Please seek us out on social media. You can read about us, here:

ACROSS THE UK
In a fantastic result spread across the UK, Liberal Democrats elected 16 MEPs. Our biggest team ever. This is a clear indication that people want to STOP BREXIT.

REMAIN WON
The papers are parading a Brexit Party victory, but the total vote for all the Remain-leaning parties clearly outweighs UKIP and the Brexit Party.

  • Lib Dems, Greens, SNP, Plaid and Change UK – all backers of a second referendum polled 39.1%.
  • No-dealers, Ukip and the Brexit Party collectively achieved just 33.7%.

It’s not often that I post links to the Daily Telegraph, but it is particularly sweet to read their report on the result: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/05/27/won-uks-european-elections-leave-remain/

Here, in the South East of England, Nigel Farage’s home territory, we held the Brexit Party to four seats only – the same number of seats that UKIP won in 2014. This time, UKIP won no seats. There was no improvement in representation for Leave.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT MEPs
You can find out more about the full Liberal Democrat team across the UK, here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/meps

THIS IS NOT THE END
I will write more in the next day or so, but this is just the beginning. Our campaign to Stop Brexit goes on and will continue until we win a People’s Vote.

JOIN US
If you would like to join the team – please sign up here:
https://www.libdems.org.uk/joining-us

We’re leading the fight for an Exit from Brexit

Read the Liberal Democrat manifesto for the European elections 2019, here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

Liberal Democrats believe that Britain is better off in the EU. That’s why we’re fighting for an Exit from Brexit.

The Conservatives are making a mess of Brexit, and the Labour Leadership continues to support them.

The Liberal Democrats want to give you the final say on the Brexit deal.

You should be able to choose whether the deal is the right deal for Britain’s future. If it’s not, then you should be able to reject it and remain in the European Union.

Newbury Weekly News: Report on EU voting and background information on Lib Dem Candidate #3.

Report, above, from the Newbury Weekly News. This includes a ittle background on me and what my main aims for this election are, which will not come as a surprise.

It also includes a handy guide to the EU voting system and, rather gloriously, a profile of Elizabeth O’Keefe, Cllr for Newbury Central, who takes over the Newbury Mayorship this coming weekend.

Change UK’s lead Scottish candidate endorses Lib Dems as party of Remain

“I have decided to end my candidacy for Change UK effective immediately. I am now calling for those in favour of remaining in the European Union, including all supporters of Change UK in Scotland, to do what is best for our collective voice in Europe and to support the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the upcoming European election.”

Lead Change UK candidate for Scotland, Cllr David Macdonald, said: 

“It has been an honour to be the lead candidate for Change UK for election to the European Parliament for the Scotland electoral region. This new party is genuinely a force for good in British politics and all of their supporters, candidates and elected members have played an integral part in trying to reshape the way in which politics is done in this country for the better. For my involvement within that movement I will be forever grateful. 

“After a great deal of reflection on the political landscape we are facing in Scotland at present, I have come to the point where I have realised that I must do what is best for the future of this country before anything else. If things continue as they are,  the remain vote will split in Scotland and put at risk the representation that supporters of remaining in the European Union so collectively desire. 

“For that reason I have decided to end my candidacy for Change UK effective immediately. I am now calling for those in favour of remaining in the European Union, including all supporters of Change UK in Scotland, to do what is best for our collective voice in Europe and to support the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the upcoming European election to better ensure that they gain representation and secure a seat in these European elections.   

“Over the past three weeks I have campaigned passionately for a new type of politics. A politics that is based on mutual respect, common understanding and shared values. I believe the action that I am taking today is consistent with those ideals.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie MSP added:

“This will have been a difficult decision for David as he clearly admires those in Change UK as do I.  David has recognised the emerging political landscape and rightly felt he had to act to unite the remain vote behind the Liberal Democrats.

“I invite each and every person across Scotland who wants to stop Brexit, no matter where their political loyalties have lain before, to lend their vote to the Liberal Democrats and fight for a positive future inside the EU.

“Brexit will cause immeasurable harm to every corner of Britain. We can’t let that happen. 

“If pro-Europeans unite and back the Liberal Democrats we can end the chaos and uncertainty.

“Voters have the opportunity to put a stop to the chaos on May 23rdby voting Liberal Democrat and demanding to stop Brexit.

“I want to thank David for taking this important step.”