Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

The EU Referendum Result

27th June 2016 by Phil Comments Off on The EU Referendum Result

Anyone reading this will doubtless know the result of lst week’s referendum on EU membership, which the LibDems can only regard as a terrible mistake by the British public. It appears to have been a self-destructive protest vote with huge consequences unexpected by many of the people who voted to leave.

One very small silver lining for Royston LibDems is that our North Hertfordshire District – not, we must acknowledge, always a hotbed of liberal-sympathetic political opinions – voted heavily to remain.

To add insult to injury, since the result was announced, the Conservative Party has fallen into disarray, with its Exit wing showing a complete lack of actual planning for victory and the Prime Minister who called the referendum in the first place walking away rather than cleaning up his own mess. Meanwhile, the Labour Party is falling apart even more badly, with a leader who showed scant signs of enthusiasm for the position he supposedly adopted unable to command the loyalty of his own MPs.

This leaves the LibDems as the only substantial national party not only retaining unity but firmly committed to reversing this disaster and affirming the importance of the European project. It is becoming clear that, whatever the EU’s problems and the dissatisfaction of the British people, membership is vastly better than the mess into which the country is now blundering. We are gaining members, nationally and locally, as people who can see this recognise the need to support our position.

Please, if you want to help the country return to its place in Europe, consider joining the LibDems. And if you want to help out locally in Royston, contact us.

 

EU Referendum: Royston Stronger In Meeting – 21st June

6th June 2016 by Phil Comments Off on EU Referendum: Royston Stronger In Meeting – 21st June

The Stronger In campaign will be holding a public meeting about the EU referendum on the evening of Tuesday 21 June. The meeting will take place in the Heritage Hall of Royston Town Hall, from 19:30-21:30.

Sir Oliver Heald MP is the keynote speaker, and the organisers have also invited representatives of other groups to speak from the platform, along with local business leaders.

For more details on the Stronger In campaign an the EU referendum, see http://www.strongerin.co.uk.

 

 

European Parliament Results

26th May 2014 by Phil Comments Off on European Parliament Results

Sadly, on Sunday night, the East of England lost one of its strongest advocates and keenest supporters when Andrew Duff was not re-elected as our MEP. The following is Andrew’s press statement on the subject:

This was the most polarised of the seven campaigns in which I have stood as a candidate for the European Parliament.

The financial and economic crisis has had serious social consequences, especially for the young unemployed, which took their toll on the popularity of the UK coalition government, but especially that of the junior partner, the Liberal Democrats. Campaigning on the doorsteps, fear of immigration, although inflated in exaggeration of the facts, was palpable.

The European Union is not given credit for the benefits of European integration in terms of jobs, trade and security. National political parties, in particular, have failed for too many years to understand, explain or justify the continuing need for a deeper Europe.

Nick Clegg’s tactic of challenging Nigel Farage was absolutely right. It is unfortunate that neither the Labour not Tory party joined the Lib Dem battle against UKIP’s simplistic nationalism.

While the ‘party of In’ was a good starting point for the Lib Dem campaign, I regret we were unable to develop sufficiently the idea that there is a better Europe to come, and that the status quo is not a serious option. We should have done more to expose the fact that Mr Cameron’s famous ‘renegotiation’ in advance of an In/Out referendum in 2017 is essentially spurious.

The Tories have no agreed idea on what they hope to achieve in this exercise, other than to blunt the populist appeal of UKIP – still less have they a chance of getting Britain’s EU partners to accept a package which calls into question the fundamentals of the European Union.

Over the next years, the Liberal Democrats need to develop their ideas for a reformed EU, centred on building a popular consensus behind a stronger democratic government at the European level whose main political goals will be to grow a sustainable economy which delivers the digital agenda and secures green energy.

We also need to re-connect the idea that our security as a nation rests on European solidarity.