Category: politics

Spring Conference 2017

This year’s Spring Conference is being held in the lovely City of York. Our location is the York Barbican Conference Centre for a few days this weekend. With party membership still growing after the last election we expect a bumper turn out at this year’s Spring event.

This years event will be massively influenced by the current Brexit debate in the House of Commons and Lords and the triggering of Article 50. A number of our speakers and subsequent debates will be about our future relationship with our European partners.

The Lib Dem Leader, Tim Farron, will no doubt focus much of his speech on his thoughts about how Brexit will effect our economy along with migration and social reform.

 

Attendees can enjoy new fringe activities and workshops throughout the conference. We advise getting to the venue early as it will be busy and crowd numbers will be high.

The Political Landscape in 2017

With the start of the New Year brings great uncertainty on the political landscape not only here in the UK but globally as well.

We still don’t know the full fall out of Brexit and what form it will take and the Trump Administration is yet to be inaugerated. Both of these eventualities will play out over the next few months.

Our hope is that a soft Brexit will allow a period of adaptation after we leave the EU. The uncertainty for business and research is a great concern for many as a great deal of jobs are reliant on these two giant industries. There are threats of banks and law firms moving jobs to the continent and office buildings throughout the City are filled with an air of trepidation.

Research funding is another area that has great uncertainty with both grants and jobs up in the air. A commitment to both of these areas is a must and the quicker the better.

Trade with our European partners is another big area of unknown consequences, particularly on the issues of tariffs. The value of the pound and how it relates to the Euro will have far reaching effects on British companies and their ability to trade on a level playing field with the rest of the world.

Switching to a more upbeat topic and particularly the outlook for the Party being very rosy in 2017. With our recent Richmond by-election victory by Sarah Olney and the rise of our leader Tim Farron the future looks bright for our party. We hope to secure more local council seats across this parliament and build towards the expected General Election of 2020, although the political landscape for then is very hard to predict.

At grassroots level we need to keep investing in feet on the street to get our message to the public and ride the wave of our membership rise post Brexit.

Plans For Brexit

Everyone is wondering what this new governments plans for Brexit are. In this discussion we share what we believe the best exit strategy for the UK is and how the government should implement the changes.

Teresa May, has recently stated that Article 50 will be applied in March of next year with a final exit from the EU in the Spring of 2019. This will cause quite a bit of uncertainty, particularly in the financial markets, with the Pound down to a record low this week against both the Dollar and the Euro.

The strategy for exit needs to be correct from the outset and Teresa May has highlighted one or two of her ideas including her push for unique access to the Single Market whilst maintaining our control on freedom of movement.

But we feel that they must push ahead with commitment to upskill British workers if they are going to reduce the number of migrants each year. They have to stick to their pledge of training 1,500 more doctors every year so the NHS has the numbers it needs to carry out all of the operations needed for our ever aging population.

The other pressing issue is housing. We don’t feel the government has done enough with its £5 billion pledge to build more homes on brown field sites. We feel more needs to be done but not at the expense of the environment – we would like to see what other ideas are viable?

While some of the proposals have some validity we would like more clarity on the important issues regarding employment and the NHS as these key areas have so much influence on the working members of our society.