This week, your London Lib Dem MEPs were listening to heartbreaking stories from EU citizens living in the UK and Brits living elsewhere in the EU who feel abandoned by their own government at the same time as Boris Johnson presented yet more disastrous, unworkable Tory Brexit proposals. We also heard how the rights and protections migrants and refugees currently enjoy as a result of our EU membership are under threat.
Liberal London will not stand back and watch these fundamental human rights being rolled back. We will keep fighting, every day, whether that is by lobbying influencers in Brussels or campaigning on the streets of London, to obtain an extension of the Article 50 process, in order to first of all avoid no deal and ultimately Stop Brexit altogether.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) have reported this week that a no-deal Brexit could push the UK debt to the highest levels since the 1960s.
This new analysis is a body blow to Boris Johnson’s election spending plans - as it shows the cost of Brexit is much higher than thought. Brexit would mortgage our children’s future, plunging Britain into the red and threatening years of new austerity.
There is simply no Brexit that is good for the economy. Any deal stitched together by Johnson would condemn the UK to economic slowdown. Whilst Labour’s Brexit confusion presents no hope, the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and give Britain a Remain boost.
You can read the full report here (IFS Green Budget 2019), it makes gloomy reading.
The Liberal Democrats have warned that the Government is failing to guarantee the rights of all 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK, as new official figures show that fewer than 1 million people had been given Settled Status by the end of September.
The latest EU Settlement Scheme Statistics, published today by the Home Office, show that 929,600 people had been granted Settled Status by the end of September 2019 – meaning 2.7 million EU citizens do not have Settled Status. 586,700 applicants have been given Pre-Settled Status, which only gives them Limited Leave to Remain in the UK for five years.
The Liberal Democrats also raised concerns over the number of applicants receiving neither Settled or Pre-Settled Status. Today’s figures show 335,700 people are still waiting for a decision, with 1,860,200 applications received but only 1,524,500 concluded. They also show 8,000 “other outcomes” (applications that were withdrawn, deemed invalid, or where the applicant was deemed ineligible) in the first six months of the scheme.
Following her visit to Brussels today, where she and Lib Dem Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake met with Michel Barnier, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:
“I was pleased to meet Michel Barnier today. It is his job to negotiate a deal, but I am clear that the best deal we have is as a member of the European Union, and that is what Liberal Democrats will keep fighting for.
“I made clear to him, and the other EU representatives that I have met today, that there are millions of people in the UK who value our place in Europe and want to Remain.
“I believe Boris Johnson is not serious about negotiating. He is determined to deliver a chaotic no-deal, which would be bad for our economy, our NHS and our security.
“Liberal Democrats are the strongest Remain party, and we will continue to argue for a People’s Vote so that we can remain as members of the European Union.”