Newbury and West Berkshire March for Europe

This post was first published in 2017.

West Berkshire was well represented at the March for Europe in London, with members of West Berkshire Stronger Together EU (WBSTEU) and Newbury and West Berkshire Liberal Democrats on the move.

We joined with many thousands of people to march from Marble Arch, down Pall Mall to Trafalgar Square, then along Whitehall to Parliament Square. We heard rousing speeches from Tim Farron on Park Lane, before the march began. He was in front of the crowd again at Parliament Square with the Guardian reporting (at 14:10) as follows: ‘Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron cemented his growing role as the political leader of the Remain movement with a well-received address to the Unite For Europe march in Parliament Square.’

Many speeches followed, with excellentt contributions from Alistair Campbell, Peter Tatchell and David Lammy. The big finish came with Nick Clegg, who was excellent, as ever: “Sadness has given way to a perpetual sense of anger about the choices that Theresa May and her government have taken since [the EU Referendum].”

“It was a choice to pull us out of the customs union, it was a choice to embark on that demeaning bout of transatlantic obsequiousness,” Clegg explains, as he accuses the prime minister of “threatening to turn our country into a bargain basement cowboy economy”. (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2017/mar/25/brexit-protest-thousands-march-in-london-to-unite-for-europe-live?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other)

If you would like to join your local Liberal Democrats and work with us,
please sign up online and drop me a line at judith.bunting@wbld.org.uk.

Business leaders clear that Tory policy on Brexit is against wishes of majority

Lib Dem Business policies on Europe vs Tory policies

More than 50 business leaders have backed the Lib Dems as the only party which is “speaking for the majority of Britons” by campaigning to stay in the European single market, saying that the Conservatives policy on Brexit is bad for business, bad for the economy and against the wishes of the majority of Britons

Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent Drinks and board member of Britain Stronger in Europe, Dinesh Dhamija, the founder of the Ebookers travel site and the businesswoman Nicola Horlick are among the signatories, calling for Britain to stay in the European single market and customs union.

They have warned, in a letter to The Times, that Britain’s departure from the EU is being run by “hardcore Brexiteers” who have failed to recognise public support for staying in the single market or customs union.

The 53 signatories, who say they intend to vote Lib Dem, include senior players in the investment and IT sectors, two industries that could be hit by a poor Brexit deal. They represent small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) rather than FTSE 100 companies.

“The Conservatives’ failure to even mention a transitional deal threatens Britain’s status as one of the best countries in the world with which to do business,” the letter reads. “While we may not have voted Liberal Democrat in the past and we may not agree with the party on all issues, they are now the only party speaking for business and the majority of Britons on the key issue at this election.”

It comes after the Conservatives scrapped the election tradition of organising a letter signed by business leaders to demonstrate support.

Vince Cable, a Treasury spokesman for the Lib Dems, said: “The Liberal Democrats now have support from a large number of serious figures in the business community showing that we are rapidly emerging as the party of business, big and small. Theresa May’s determination to take us out of the single market would devastate our financial sector while taking us out of the customs union would cause incalculable disruption to our manufacturing sector.”

The full text of the letter is below…

LIB DEMS AND THE SINGLE MARKET

Sir, We represent a broad range of businesses across the UK collectively employing tens of thousands of people. As business leaders and owners, we believe that leaving the single market and the customs union would be destructive to the British economy and to our businesses.

At present, we have full access to a market of 500 million customers and the best and most skilled workers across the EU. If we leave the single market, thousands of businesses would lose their competitive edge.

We cannot stand by while our country’s future is hijacked by hardcore Brexiteers who do not represent the views of the majority. Polls show two thirds of voters believe staying in the single market should be the priority, and three-quarters want EU citizens working in the UK to continue to be allowed to do so.

The Conservatives’ failure to even mention a transitional deal threatens Britain’s status as one of the best countries in the world with which to do business. While we may not have voted Liberal Democrat in the past and we may not agree with the party on all issues, they are now the only party speaking for business and the majority of Britons on the key issue at this election.

The simple fact is that we can’t have both a hard Brexit and a strong economy. We choose a strong economy. That’s why we will be voting for the Liberal Democrats.

David Angell, director, Peter Bennett-Jones, PBJ Management, Roger Billins, director, RB Law Limited, Lee CameronProfessor Chris Bones, chairman, Good Growth Limited, Simon Clement-DaviesGeorge CoelhoJeremy CookSimon Curtis, senior maritime lawyer, Peter Crystal, senior lawyer, Stephen DawsonAlex DaleGuy De Selliers, vice-chairman of group board, Ageas, Dinesh Dhamija, founder, Ebookers, Jay Dias, founder and managing director, Leela Capital, Andrew Dixon, managing director, ARC InterCapital, Craig FletcherJohn Forbes, partner, John Forbes Consulting LLP, Jessica Frankopan, co-founder, Curious Group of Hotels, Kevin Gibson, founder, Hanzo Archives, Stephen Goldstein, chairman, Alexander StevensPeter Guilford, co-founder and executive chairman, G+ Europe, Tony Harris, angel investor, Paul Hennemeyer, managing director, Tom Hogg, chairman, Cheshire Datasystems Limited, Nicola Horlick, CEO, Denmark Square Limited, Leslie Hurst, Melissa Johnson, director, Cheshire Datasystems Limited, Phillip Kerle, co-founder, Tranzacta Ltd, Adam Knight, co-founder and board director, Social & Sustainable Capital, Robert Laurence, CEO, Resolution Property, Paul LucraftTilly McAuliffe, co-founder and non-executive director, Think, Carl Michel, chairman, Firedrop.ai, Turi Munthe, partner, Jo Owen OBE, Tim Parlett, co-founder, Zopa, Mark Petterson, executive director, Warwick Energy Limited, Neil Phoenix MBE, founder, FRICS, Alex Proud, CEO, The Proud Group, Professor Nathu Puri, founder, Purico Group of Companies, Richard Reed, co-founder, Innocent, Mark SainsburyRodney Schwartz, co-founder and CEO, Clearlyso, Rahul Sharma, CEO, Careline Lifestyles, Richard Steer, chairman, Gleeds, Peter Tuvey, managing director, Fleximize, Justin Urquhart-Stewart, co-founder and head of corporate development, Seven Investment Management, Madeleine Weightman, co-founder, The Work Crowd, Ben Whately, co-founder and COO, Memrise, Joseph Zammit-Lucia, CEO, Clinical Insights

Brexit – why we need a referendum on the final deal

The nature of the deal which the government secures – if they manage to secure one, at all – will have major implications for the British economy, for the Union, and for our standing in the world. It will shape our future as a nation.

Theresa May is very attached to the idea of “strong leadership in the national interest”, which is why it is all the more baffling that she has chosen to pursue the most extreme and damaging form of Brexit. And this is her choice, she alone is responsible for pursuing this course.

She could have chosen to be in the Single Market. Brexiteers like to pretend that this is not possible, but three non-EU countries have done so: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

She could have chosen to be in the Customs Union. One non-EU country, Turkey, has done so.

She could have tried to persuade the EU to reform the free movement rules to re-focus them on work, instead of giving up without a fight.

Instead, she shunned the Single Market and the Customs Union, elevating immigration and a set of arcane arguments about the role of the European Court of Justice over the needs of the economy and the needs of millions of hard pressed families.

In cash terms, by the time it’s finished in 4 years time, Brexit will have dented the public finances by £59bn.

Let’s be very clear: this has serious consequences for the NHS, social care, and schools. At a time when vital public services are desperately in need of additional funding, the Conservatives are pouring billions into the Brexit black hole.

This is why we need a referendum on the final agreement, so that the people can judge for themselves whether it is right future for the country. That referendum will offer two choices; accept the deal, or remain in the EU. Liberal Democrats will campaign for a remain vote.

By allowing the Brexit hardliners in their party to call the shots, the Conservatives have thrown away our place in Europe and inflicted a needlessly harmful cost on the country.

Don’t let them get away with it. They don’t deserve to rule our country unopposed.

*****

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Local Business – Brexit Consultation at Shaw House with Lord Newby

 

On Thursday 17th November, Lord Newby, former spokesman for Her Majesty’s Treasury in the Lords, will be in Newbury to find out how our local businessmen and women think Brexit is going to affect their trade. He will also give us an update re what’s going on behind the scenes in parliament.

This visit is part of the National Brexit Consultation being run by Liberal Democrats across Britain. I want to be sure the concerns of businesses in Newbury and West Berkshire are included in this mix.

Of course, Liberal Democrats continue to believe that Britain is better off in Europe, but our immediate priority is to make sure British business does not pay the price of a rushed withdrawal. Whichever you voted in the Referendum, you will be welcome. I am keen to make sure all views in our area are represented.

The results of the National Consultation will be drawn to the attention of Theresa May and her colleagues as part of our challenge to government, as they negotiate the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Whether you run a care home, a pub or a café, whether you are a baker, a racehorse trainer, a tech expert or a publisherI want to know what worries you about Brexit, or what pleases you. Or perhaps you are torn, with business results working against your principals – and I have met one or two people like that, where they sell goods abroad and are doing quite well out of the falling pound, even though they, personally, fervently wish the UK could stay in the EU.

Responses to the online surveys are flooding in. The balance of opinion shifts every day, but so far 65% of people who have responded say they expect Brexit to have a negative effect on their business. 35% of businesses report that the falling value of sterling will have a positive effect on their trade.

The Event takes place on Thursday 17th November, 18:30 at Shaw House, Newbury, RG14 2DR, RSVP.

Anyone wishing to reserve a seat should write to Judith Bunting at judith.bunting@wbld.org.uk or by post at NWB Liberal Democrats, Commercial House, 53B Kingsbridge Road, Newbury, RG14 6DY.

Or just turn up on the night – we are not gong to turn you away.

Judith Bunting voices Brexit fears for West Berkshire

“Many small and medium enterprises do not trade with Europe directly,
but almost all depend on supply chains that in turn depend on the EU.”

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Judith Bunting and Liberal Democrats in Newbury and West Berkshire are calling on the Conservative Government to ensure Britain has full access to the European Single Market when Brexit takes place.

At the recent Liberal Democrat party conference in Brighton, Judith Bunting, Parliamentary Candidate, said:

“The EU is the biggest single market in the world. It will be hugely damaging to our economy and to jobs in West Berkshire if large employers, such as the transport and logistics companies in Greenham and Colthrop, are cut off from the single European market.

“Our MP has now declared his intention to toe the Conservative party line, quoting that glorious, meaningless phrase, “Brexit means Brexit”. Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats believe that putting barriers between UK businesses and our greatest export market would be very damaging to the national economy.”

“The Liberal Democrats are getting more support from businesses across the UK now than ever before, because business leaders understand that we are the only party fighting to get the best deal for the British economy.”

Judith went on: “I want to encourage local businesses, large and small, to talk to me about their Brexit worries and to lobby the government directly about what their business needs from any Brexit deal.

“Many small and medium enterprises do not trade with Europe directly, but almost all depend on supply chains that in turn depend on the EU.

“There is simply no way we can tie up a free trade deal within two years. That means years of uncertainty for British companies and a profound impact on our jobs and our economy. With members of the European Movement and other Remain supporters, we need to keep up the pressure for the Tory government to do the best for Britain.”

To read the full story: http://newburyobserver.co.uk/lib-dem-voices-brexit-fears-for-west-berkshires-economy

 

 

Join us for an optimistic, tolerant Britain

 

If you would like to become part of the Liberal Democrats and fight for an open, optimistic, liberal, diverse, and tolerant Britain, please click here and join us: https://libdems.secure.force.com/LiberalDemocrats/NewMemberRegistration

The outrage around the country, since the EU referendum, has grown not just because Remain lost.

If the Brexit camp had come forward with a prompt, coherent plan, if they were discussing any well constructed timetable, the situation would be different. As it is, residual anger is fuelled by the clear lack of sense coming from Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and co since the polls closed.

Boris gave a good performance on Friday morning. I was willing to sit back and weep, but move on. Then … nothing.

So I stand with Tim Farron when he says:

“The British people deserve the chance not to be stuck with the appalling consequences of a Leave campaign that stoked that anger with the lies of Farage, Johnson and Gove.

“The Liberal Democrats will fight the next election on a clear and unequivocal promise to restore British prosperity and role in the world, with the United Kingdom in the European Union, not out. If you agree with us, join us to make this happen.”

Some weeks after the referendum, Stronger In held a demonstration in  Newbury Market Square which was very well attended. The largest I have seen in Newbury for quite a while. A great showing from the thousands of people in West Berkshire who voted to Remain in the EU. 

If you would like to become part of the Liberal Democrats and fight for an open, optimistic, liberal, diverse, and tolerant Britain, please click here and join us: https://libdems.secure.force.com/LiberalDemocrats/NewMemberRegistration

See more at:

Newbury and West Berks Lib Dems

Judith Bunting for Newbury

#Notmyvote.eu