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Welcome to the website of Skipton & Ripon Liberal Democrats

Vince Cable

  • Article: Dec 14, 2018

    Brexit is a national embarrassment

    Brexit is a national embarrassment. The events of the last few weeks have proven that the government is in absolute chaos.

    The Prime Minister pulled her Brexit vote; but if that wasn't bad enough her MPs' leadership challenge also spoke volumes: Conservative MPs can change their minds, but the British people cannot!

  • Article: Dec 14, 2018

    Earlier this year, we enjoyed our best council election results in 15 years. We snatched control of councils like South Cambridgeshire, Kingston-upon-Thames and Richmond upon Thames from the Conservatives. And in cities like Hull, Sunderland and Liverpool, we gained ground against complacent Labour councils who've taken their residents for granted.

    Next year over 9,000 council seats and the control of councils around the country will be in the balance. It's a huge chance to build on our successes and make more headlines for the Liberal Democrats.

  • Article: Dec 14, 2018

    1. Thersa May rules out revoking Article 50

    The ECJ rules that No Brexit is an option but Theresa May blindly ploughs ahead with her broken deal. We were given the option to get out of this mess and Theresa May turned it down.

    Only by having a People's Vote will Theresa May listen and cancel Brexit before it's too late.

  • Event: Jan 15, 2019 7:30 PM

    First in a regular series of meetings: The history of Liberalism

  • Article: Dec 13, 2018

    After years of putting pressure on the Government, on Tuesday they agreed major concessions on the Tenant Fees Bill.

    We campaigned to:

    • significantly limit the fees that could be charged to a tenant by their landlord or lettings agent,
    • require a greater amount of transparency when deciding not to refund a holding deposit, and
    • limit the maximum security deposit a landlord can require to five weeks rent.
  • Article: Dec 12, 2018

    Yesterday I introduced a bill in Parliament to legalise cannabis for recreational and medicine use.

    The evidence is clear - prohibition isn't working.

    The war on drugs has been a catastrophic failure, leaving young people vulnerable to dangerous strains of cannabis sold by dealers who have absolutely no interest in their welfare.

  • A dramatic and sometimes hilarious exploration of the disaster that is Brexit
    Event: Dec 17, 2018 7:30 PM
    The Frazer Theatre, High Street, Knaresborough, HG5 0EQ

    A dramatic and sometimes hilarious exploration of the disaster that is Brexit

  • Article: Dec 10, 2018

    The Government is in absolute chaos. We are closer than ever to securing a People's Vote on Brexit, thanks to your hard work and support.

    Today Theresa May was forced into an embarrassing delay of her Brexit vote. She knew she was going lose by a huge margin. She is running scared.

    It's a huge moment, and it has been driven by Liberal Democrats.

  • Article: Dec 10, 2018
    By Vince Cable

    On 10th December 1948, history was made. The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    In the shadow of the Second World War, the nations of the world came together to declare that everyone - no matter who they are and where they live - has the same fundamental rights.

    With one voice, we pledged to "strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance."

  • Page: Dec 9, 2018
    By Professor Simon Wren-Lewis
    Winner of the New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy 2016

    MPs need to get real about Brexit


    If, as is widely expected, MPs reject the deal that Theresa May has done with the EU, they will have put this country in a very dangerous position. I say this not to encourage acceptance of the deal, but to emphasise that this negative act needs to be accompanied by a collective positive one. If it isn't then we either leave without any deal (an outcome that only the ill informed, the mad and the Brexiter wish for) or MPs will just end up accepting May's deal.
    Like annoying noise on a railway train, the best thing to do with complaints from Brexiters is to ignore them. Once May's deal falls, they are no longer part of the equation. They will never get rid of the backstop unless there is No Deal. May extended the backstop to cover the whole UK and so now the UK is in the backstop until the EU says we can leave. The best way to look at what the Brexiters are doing is that they want to sabotage any solution so we leave with No Deal. Luckily we can ignore them if MPs, rather than May, is in control.
    There seems to be a lot of talk about Norway plus a Customs Union as a potential way out once May's deal is rejected. It is, after all, what any Prime Minister worthy of that title would have had in mind from the start, because it superficially appears something that could unite the 52% and 48%. But as I have argued before, thinking about compromises of this kind does not work with Brexit. Here is a not very pretty diagram that illustrates what I mean. It plots various options on two axes, economic welfare and sovereignty, in relation to where we are within the EU. (Staying in the EU is where the two axes cross i.e. zero on both axes.)
    Leave voters wanted more control over events and a better life. That is what they were promised. That combination is just not possible by leaving the EU.
    A compromise of sorts for Leavers would be to give them greater sovereignty at a very large economic cost to themselves and others. This is No Deal. It is not an option that most MPs can accept for very good reasons. Even if you believe the reports that some leavers would sacrifice everything for more control (I don't), you cannot justify imposing that kind of cost on the other (more than) half of the country. It will only happen if MPs really screw things up.
    May's Deal is a large yellow square because it leaves many issues unresolved, partly in an attempt to keep Brexiters on board. Any deal May does will end Freedom of Movement (FoM), so you have a little more control if you never intend to work abroad, but a lot less control if you wanted this as an option. But any positive on this account is negated by making the backstop UK wide. By leaving the Single Market for services, it has a significant economic cost (details here, summary here).
    The position of Norway plus a Customs Union, which is very similar to staying in transition or what I call Brexit in Name Only (BINO), is that it reduces as far as possible the economic cost of Brexit. However it quite clearly loses a lot of control compared to staying in the EU. In the EU we have a say and a veto over key issues, while with BINO there is no UK veto. I prefer to call this BINO rather than EEA+ or whatever because this name describes what it is.
    To be clear, BINO is better than May's deal (as the forward to this should perhaps have made clearer). They both give up sovereignty, but because BINO keeps us in the Single Market and Customs Union it is clearly better in economic terms. But once May's deal falls at the first attempt, MPs need to come up with an alternative that commands a majority in the house if they are really going to take back control from ruinous May. Going back to renegotiate the deal, even if it were possible which seems unlikely, is not going to produce anything that is fundamentally different from the deal MPs reject.
    If MPs want to take back control they will have to choose between a second referendum (or just revoking A50) and BINO. Which you prefer I suspect depends entirely on how you see the politics of Brexit. If you think the first referendum requires Leavers to have something to take away as a victory, then BINO is a price worth paying to avoid alienating voters. The problem with that argument is that the Brexiters and more importantly the press will be quick to point out that they now have even less control over their lives (they have been 'cheated'), and for once they would be right. BINO can be seen as the ultimate insult to Leave voters: you asked to leave the EU, so we have technically done so, and we hope you do not notice that you now have even less of what you wanted Brexit to give you.

The Liberal democrats are working for a stronger economy in a fairer society enabling every person to get on in life - locally and nationally


To be announcedThere is a long Liberal history in Skipton & Ripon - Claire Brooks came within 590 votes of victory in the 1974 general election for the Skipton seat, and David Austick won the 1973 by-election in Ripon. We are planning, and working hard, to return Liberal Democrat local, borough and county councillors and return a Liberal Democrat as MP for our constituency so we can put in place a full set of liberal policies and values for Skipton & Ripon. You can find out more, including how to keep in touch or join the Liberal Democrats, on this site.

In May 2010 we increased the Liberal Democrat vote in the constituency by around 4,000 votes to increase our overall share of the vote by 5.8% to 32.4%, sadly in 2015 our share of the vote fell to 7.4%, reflecting the heavy swing against the party nationally.

Since the 2015 general election the party has been rebuilding both locally and nationally and in 2016 we were delighted to see our membership grow to almost 150 members in the constituency. Now in 2018 our numbers have now reached well over 200, demonstrating the strength of liberal values within the constituency. This gives us a solid base from which to launch our campaigns for the 2019 local elections.

Click here to get a brief version of what Liberal Democrats stand for.

Selection of Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

Members with Andrew Murday, the new PPC for Skipton and Ripon

Andrew Murday (centre) with Alan Luckraft (returning officer) and members of the constituency party

Skipton and Ripon Liberal Democrat Party are delighted to announce that Andrew Murday was chosen as their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate at a selection meeting on Saturday November 17th.

Andrew, a cardiac surgeon by profession, now runs a smallholding near Glasshouses, in Nidderdale. Involved in Labour Party politics for many years, he joined the Liberal Democrats in 2017.

After selection he said: 'The Liberal Democrat philosophy of tolerance and fairness and the policies on education, the environment and the economy will be instrumental in restoring public confidence in the political process when the dust of Brexit finally settles.'

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and Skipton and Ripon constituency party member Dick Newby said: 'The possibility of an election well before the normal time of 2022 is now extremely high. Andrew is highly respected, both for his professional work and as a member of the local community. I am delighted that he will be the Lib Dem standard-bearer in Skipton and Ripon whenever the election comes.'

Andrew sets out some of the major issues which he will tackle as Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon

Although Brexit dominates today's domestic politics I believe it is just as important that we address the issues that have given rise to the growth of populism, of which Brexit is a symptom. Whatever the outcome of the current political maelstrom, it is vital that over the next few years we seek policies which will bring our divided society back to a cohesive whole.

To read more click here

Former town, district and county councillor Beth Graham, from Settle, dies aged 91

Beth GrahamA SETTLE woman renowned for being a formidable presence in local and county politics and who could be relied upon for fighting tough battles has died peacefully aged 91.

To read the full obituary please click here