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Why I am voting Liberal Democrat on June 8

By Jonathan Price | Thursday 1 June 2017


 


As ever at Election time we ask our writers to explian how you should vote on June 8th. No writer has stepped forward to support Tim Farron's party so reader Jonathan Price again steps up to the plate for which we thank him. So we begin this series with Jonathan's view on why you should vote Lib Dem.

For LibDems there is only one issue in this election, Brexit.  It’s not that other issues like the NHS, social care or defence are not important, it’s just that they pale into insignificance compared to the impact of Brexit. Brexit messes up almost everything. 

Tom Winnifrith calls those of us, like me, who refuse to accept the Referendum result, Remoaners, but we resist not because we are sore at the result - elections are like football matches, you win some, you lose some, and life goes on - but because we see Brexit causing immense damage to our economy everywhere we turn.  I could give you a list of problem areas as long as David Davis’s famous 100 pages, but I know Tom wouldn’t allow me, so I will mention just two, drawn more or less at random. The first is open skies.
 
Open Skies

Low cost, no frills flying was invented in the USA (or maybe in the UK if you count Freddie Laker) but the art was perfected in Europe by Ryanair, which despite being Irish, is in fact based in the UK. Ryanair’s rise to the no.1 slot was made possible by the EU’s work over 25 years to create a single aviation market in Europe, which allows Ryanair and its competitors to fly wherever they like. When we leave the EU, we leave the single aviation market and those hard won rights disappear for UK based airlines. The Brexitwits will no doubt point out that the Prime Minister has said she will incorporate all EU law into domestic law in the Great Repeal Bill, but this will not help, as membership of the single aviation market involves accepting the jurisdiction of the ECJ. The Swiss have swallowed this, but it seems to be a deal killer for the Brexitwits, so no cheap flights to Spain for them!
 
Trade Agreements and Other Treaties

On the 31st March, the FT published a list of 759 treaties that it says will have to be re-negotiated by the UK when we leave the EU. Even if Dr Liam Fox were the world’s best treaty negotiator, backed up by the world’s most experienced team of treaty negotiating civil servants, neither of which is true, he would struggle to replace even half of these in ten years, let alone two.
 
The worst part of the situation is that the government appears to have no clue how to deal with all these difficult issues and, in many cases, doesn’t even seem to understand what the issues are, as though a refusal to recognise them will somehow make them go away. When Tory politicians are pressed on matters such as free trade, all they say is, “It’s in no one’s interest for there to be tariffs on car parts (or whatever the subject is).” That would be a fair point of view if the Germans and the French were saying the same thing, but they aren’t. You never see those words used by anyone other than an English Tory.
 
So my suggestion to all Brexitwits is this, next time you get divorced, try saying to the ex wife, “It’s in no one’s interest, dear, for us to fight over the car/kids/house/pension” and see how far that gets you.
 
Successful Brexit is an oxymoron and however big the Tory majority is won’t change that. The only way to get that message across is to vote Liberal Democrat.




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