The Problem With Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to win a majority because he simply does not care about Britain or her people enough to be truthful. About anything.

When Jo Swinson meets children and teenagers in schools, they often ask her what you need to be good at to become a politician.

And her answer is always this:

Being able to write a press release and understand legislation is important for the job. But you can learn all of that.

What matters the most – and is almost impossible to learn – is caring.

Caring about the people in your community and in your country, so that your decisions are based on what you genuinely believe to be best for them.

Boris Johnson only cares about Boris Johnson.

And he will do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to get what he wants.

This is a man who decided which side to support in the EU referendum by game-playing whether it would get him the keys to Number 10.

His life has been about becoming Prime Minister. Not out of some deep-seated desire to make people’s lives better, but out of some sense of Etonian entitlement. Because it’s what people like him get to do.

And you cannot trust a word Boris Johnson says – the man will say anything if it means getting what he wants.

Boris Johnson’s Lies

He lied to the 3 million EU citizens in the UK when he told them he would guarantee their right to stay.

He lied when he said that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea.

He lied to the Queen to unlawfully shut down our democracy.

He lied when he said over and over that we would leave the European Union by 31 October.

He lied when he said he would rather be dead in a ditch than ask for an extension to Article 50.

There may not be a ditch, but Boris Johnson has dragged the office of Prime Minister through the mud.

Johnson cannot be allowed to win a majority.

We have a different vision for our country. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that will build a fair, open society for both our generation and the next.

We are the only party that can win seats off Johnson and Farage’s hard-right cabal.

Together, we can prevent a damaging Tory majority.

Together, we can build a brighter future.

Lib Dems’ war on plastics

The Liberal Democrats will set out a raft of policies as part of a radical plan to end the UK’s reliance on plastic.

The UK produces 2.26 million tonnes of plastic packaging every year.

Less than half of this is being recycled. 

The Conservatives claimed they will cut plastic pollution. They announced a deposit return scheme in 2018, but it is currently due to be implemented by 2023

In reality, all the Tories have done is try to get headlines with piecemeal bans on straws and stirrers. 

The Liberal Democrats demand better for our environment. We need a rapid plan to eliminate plastic pollution if our seas are to recover from the damage we’ve done.

That is why the Liberal Democrats are proposing a radical plan that will end the UK’s reliance on plastic. 

We will ban all non-essential, single-use plastics within the first three years of government. 

Our other policies include:

  • Requiring all retailers to reduce the amount of plastics and non-recyclable packaging they use:
    • The average UK home produces 1.1kg of waste every day. The duty should be placed on retailers to ensure that this is reduced.
  • Implementing a deposit return scheme
    • This will aim to end the 15 million bottles that are littered, landfilled and incinerated daily in the UK.
  • Ending plastic exports abroad by 2030:
    • In 2018 the UK exported 0.6 million tonnes of plastic waste. It often ends up in landfill, defeating the purpose of exporting it abroad.

Under the Liberal Democrats, no plastic put into a bin in the UK will end up in our oceans. By declaring war on plastic, the Liberal Democrats will ensure a brighter future for our planet.

Raab admits no-deal Brexit is still on the table

When asked on the Today Programme this morning whether the government is still prepared to crash out of the EU with no deal in 2020, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “Yes, absolutely.” 

Responding, Shadow Liberal Democrat Brexit Secretary, Tom Brake said:

Dominic Raab has been forced to admit the Tories’ dirty secret: a no-deal Brexit is still on the table. 

Boris Johnson’s extreme Brexit plan would lead to us crashing out of the EU by the end of 2020, egged on by Donald Trump who wants to exploit a weakened UK.

People deserve better. It’s not too late to stop the damage to our economy, NHS and public finances from a Johnson Trump Brexit.

This election is a chance to stop Boris, stop Brexit, and build a brighter future.

Angie Curwen, Liberal Democrats Candidate for North Thanet said:

Vote Liberal Democrat, if like me, you believe a No Deal Brexit would be disastrous for Kent and for our Country.

Human Rights Act on the line in this election

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to defend the Human Rights Act, after the Conservative manifesto pledged to “update” the legislation.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Christine Jardine said:

We’ve known for years that the Conservatives want to undermine the Human Rights Act that safeguards our individual freedoms, and their manifesto confirms it.

When the Tories say they will ‘update’ the Act, there’s no doubt that they mean weaken it.
 

Liberal Democrats to waive exorbitant fees for veterans

A line of Royal Marines.

We’re waiving archaic fees that allow the Home Office to make a profit off of our veterans.

There are currently over 4,500 Commonwealth soldiers serving in the British Armed Forces. 1.7m men and women of the Commonwealth forces gave their lives for us during the two World Wars.

We owe them all a great debt – yet we are not doing nearly enough to support them.

If a foreign soldier wants to bring their family to the UK, they have to meet minimum income requirements. To bring their partner alone, a soldier must earn £18,600 – if they have three children this threshold gets as high as £27,200.

This prices out many veterans from coming to the UK.

And then there is a second cost.

The cost of applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain has increased three-fold over recent years. While the cost used to be £750, it is now £2,389. This means that a family of four would have to pay over £9,550.

This is especially outrageous as the cost per application to the Home Office is just £243. The Home Office is making a profit off the back of veterans who have risked their lives to protect us.

For many veterans, this has meant that they have had to return to their country of origin. For others, it has meant they have stayed in the UK without immigration status, unable to work and living in destitution. In either instance, these servicemen and women have not been allowed to settle in the UK.

This is an appalling way to thank veterans who have spent years serving our armed forces. Unfortunately, it is yet another example of the Tories’ spiteful hostile environment policy.

The Liberal Democrats demand better for those who have served us so bravely.

A Lib Dem government will waive veterans’ application fee for Indefinite Leave to Remain. We will support our Commonwealth and foreign veterans when others refuse.

The Lib Dems’ vision for our country is open and inclusive to all. By encouraging these brave servicemen and women to settle here, we will build a better future.

The top 5 steps in our plan for Britain’s future

Jo Swinson holding the Liberal Democrat manifesto.
Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit, and invest in our mental health services, give free childcare to working parents, put 20,000 more teachers into classrooms, and take ambitious action to tackle the climate emergency.

The Liberal Democrats have officially launched our 2019 General Election Manifesto

In it, we have outlined a clear plan to build a brighter future, where every person, every community and our planet can thrive. 

Don’t have time to read the full manifesto right now? Here, we explain our top 5 steps:

1. Stop Brexit

Liberal Democrats' Stop Brexit poster, showing police officers in hi-vis jackets.

Labour and the Conservatives can’t offer the country a brighter future because they both want Brexit.

The national humiliation of Brexit puts so much at risk; we know that it would be bad for our economy, bad for our NHS and bad for our environment.

Jo Swinson is the only candidate for Prime Minister who unequivocally believes that the UK is stronger as part of the EU.

By keeping the UK in the EU, we can get on with tackling the real issues facing our country, and we can do this by investing the £50 billion Remain Bonus in public services and tackling inequality.

2. Tackle the climate emergency

LibDems climate emergency campaign poster, showing a man fitting solar panels to a roof.

We are the first generation to know we are destroying the environment, and the last generation with a chance to do something about it before it’s too late.

Liberal Democrats offer a new plan to innovate our way out of crisis. To mobilise every community in the country, and the resources of both the public and private sector to achieve it. To turn the birthplace of the industrial revolution into the home of the new Green Revolution.

This starts by generating 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030 and insulating all low-income homes by 2025.

3. Give every child the best start in life

LibDems' campaign poster to give every child the best start in life; showing Jo Swinson, a teacher, and a pupil in school.

Our schools should be world class, helping every child make the most of the challenges ahead. But instead, they are trailing behind.

The Conservatives have cut school funding to the bone and children have paid the price, especially those with the most complex needs.

Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future for every child. By stopping Brexit, we can spend £10 billion of our Remain Bonus on reversing school cuts and hiring 20,000 more teachers – so that pupils can leave school happy, healthy and with the skills they need to succeed in life.

This is an investment in our children’s future.

4. Build a fairer economy

Liberal Democrat skills and training poster, showing British money.

In an ever changing workplace people often need to develop new skills, but the cost of courses and qualifications shuts too many people out.

Liberal Democrats will create a new era of learning throughout adult life with Skills Wallets for every individual, providing them with £10,000 to spend on education and training at various stages of their lives.

With Skills Wallets, we will empower people to develop new skills so that they can thrive in the technologies and industries that are key to the UK’s economic future and prosperity.

Another key factor in building a fairer economy is by providing free, high-quality childcare for every child aged two to four, for 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year. This offer is extended to children aged between 9 and 24 months where their parents are in work. 

This offering will finally give parents more choice about when they return to work and unlock their untapped potential for our economy.

5. Transform our mental health services

Liberal Democrats' improved mental health campaign, showing a counsellor speaking with a patient.

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. But for too many, treatment is a postcode lottery.

No one should be forced to travel unreasonable distances away from home, and that’s why Liberal Democrats will invest £11bn into mental health to provide parity of urgency with physical health.

We want to break down the barriers of stigma and shame, which leave those suffering, alienated and isolated, and we want to make the UK a world leader in keeping our nation well with our push for greater emphasis on wellbeing.

Only Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats have a plan to stop Brexit and build a brighter future for everyone.

Liberal Democrats to scrap business rates

Swinson: Liberal Democrats will scrap business rates

Speaking to the CBI today, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson announced that the Liberal Democrats would scrap business rates entirely to breathe new life into our high streets.

The Liberal Democrats would abolish business rates and replace them with a commercial landowner levy, based on the value of the land only. This would take the cost off businesses and help support our high streets.

The change would cut taxes in 92% of local authorities and help rebalance the UK economy.

The Commercial Landowner Levy would give a big boost to the manufacturing sector and make it cheaper for all businesses to invest in renewables or other new technology for their premises.

In her speech, she also set out plans to spend £130bn on infrastructure, including housebuilding, and £5bn for a new Green Investment Bank to invest in zero-carbon projects.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

“Liberal Democrats are committed to helping small businesses, who are the engine of our economy. That is why Liberal Democrats would scrap business rates and replace them with a Commercial Landowner Levy. “It will shift the burden from the tenant to the landlord, so that we can breathe new life into our high streets.”

“Frankly, we have seen enough promises of reviews of business rates from the Conservatives. It is time for clear action that will give proper help to our small businesses.”

We’ll invest £130bn in infrastructure over five years. We’ll use that to improve our railways and open up new lines. To reduce how much energy our buildings use.

“And we’ll use it to leverage private investment in renewables, to help us meet our target of generating 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030.

“And as part of our radical and credible plan to reach net-zero emissions as soon as possible, we will make the UK a global leader in green jobs and technology.

“A Liberal Democrat government will work with you to open up new opportunities for green growth and to save our planet. We will invest £5bn in zero-carbon projects through the Green Investment bank.

“We are the last generation that can stop irreversible climate change, and we are running out of time. And while there is much that government can do, I am clear that the business community is absolutely part of the solution.”

“Not least because we need to channel your ingenuity and entrepreneurialism to take on this huge challenge, and others we face.

“And my vision is for a country where business joins forces with government, public services and civil society to create the kind of society we deserve.”

Conservatives no longer the party of business

Responding to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom’s interview on the Today programme this morning, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

“Andrea Leadsom has today confirmed that the Tories are not the party of business. We have already seen how the threat of Brexit is damaging our economy, yet the Tories still have no answers to businesses’ key questions, from future immigration policy to business rates.

“A Tory Brexit, backed by Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, would create a toxic environment for businesses yet they have no credible plan to mitigate this disaster. The real victims of their complacency will be small business owners, employees, and consumers who will face years more uncertainty.

“The Liberal Democrats will boost our businesses by stopping Brexit, rebuilding our infrastructure and using the Remain bonus from the higher growth of staying in the EU to invest in a brighter future for young people and adults across the United Kingdom.”