The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment in the House of Commons that would prevent the Government’s Immigration Bill from progressing.
The party is opposing the Conservatives’ plans to end free movement at the end of the year, with Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine arguing that, during the coronavirus crisis, “we should be celebrating the enormous contributions that workers from all over the world make to our NHS, social care and across our society.”
The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, which would end EU free movement, will be debated in the House of Commons on Monday. The Liberal Democrat amendment would refuse to grant the Bill its Second Reading, stopping it from becoming law.
The “reasoned amendment” sets out the party’s opposition to the Bill – including its failure to fully guarantee the rights of EU citizens already living in the UK, something Boris Johnson repeatedly promised to do. It also criticises the Government for failing to set out “an immigration system to replace free movement that would allow businesses and public services to recruit the workers they need”.
Responding to the Government's admission that there will be customs checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea after the Brexit transition period ends, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs and Brexit spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:
Responding to the Speaker of the House of Commons warning he could suspend sittings if too many MPs enter the chamber, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip and MP for Orkney and Shetland Alistair Carmichael said:
Responding to Robert Jenrick's announcement at today's press conference that restrictions on estate agents have been lifted in England, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:
Latest COVID-19 updates from Bradford Council
Following securing an Urgent Question in the House of Commons today, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran has called on the Government to release the scientific advice for reopening schools without delay.
Layla Moran also called on the Secretary of State for Education to clarify "what he thinks ‘safe’ actually means?" in regard to the safety of children returning to school, as well as condemning the Government for failing to consult with teachers and unions.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to bring forward a new “Safe Trace App Law”, to ensure the Government’s coronavirus tracing app is safe and effective.
The calls comes as it is reported the NHS tracing app is set to be rolled out nationwide by end of next week, despite concerns.
The party says this new primary legislation would force the Government to justify its decision to reject plans for a decentralised app (as recommended by the Information Commissioner) and pursue a centralised app instead, despite experts warning that:
- It may not work on phones that are locked or when it’s running in the background.
- It will drain a phone’s battery, so won’t work for long.
- It will be incompatible with other countries’ apps, including Ireland’s.
- It puts people’s privacy at greater risk.
The Safe Trace App Law would provide a clear legal framework for this enormous collection, storage and use of people’s personal data, including:
- A guarantee that your data will be deleted within 21 days of being collected, on a rolling basis.
- Creating legal safeguards against discrimination so no one can be excluded from any space for not having or refusing to use the app.
- Introducing significant penalties for the misuse of personal data.
Responding to reports that Parliament will no longer remain virtual after recess at the end of May, Liberal Democrat MP Wendy Chamberlain said:
Today, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has raised concerns that the Prime Minister has misled Parliament regarding his response to his question yesterday on the changing of the Government's slogan, calling on Boris Johnson to correct the record urgently.
Yesterday, Ed Davey asked the Prime Minister to confirm "reports that neither the chief medical officer nor the chief scientific adviser signed off yesterday’s shift in the public health message from “Stay at home” to “Stay alert”?" - which the Prime Minister denied.
However, at the press conference yesterday evening both Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, refused to confirm they directly signed off the new slogan.
Following this, Ed Davey has today written a letter (below) to the Prime Minister stating that "if you have misled Parliament, inadvertently or otherwise, that this is incredibly serious" and that he must "attend the House to correct the record at your earliest convenience".
Responding to the news that the Government has extended the furlough scheme after weeks of Lib Dem campaigning, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said: