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Today's Headlines

June 4, 2020 3:30 PM
By Danny Simm
Lib Dems call on PM to condemn Trump protest rhetoric

Yesterday senior figures in the Liberal Democrats wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to condemn Trump's violent rhetoric towards Black Lives Matter protesters.
  • Liberal Democrats stand in solidarity with black communities in the UK, the US and around the world. That is why we have written to Boris Johnson to urge him to publicly condemn the violent rhetoric and use of military force by President Donald Trump. To remain silent is to remain complicit.
  • British foreign policy must always promote human rights, democracy, and the rule of law all over the world. The USA is no exception.
  • Given evidence of their use against unarmed protesters and journalists, UK Ministers must look to suspend the sale of tear gas, rubber bullets and other such equipment to the United States.
  • However, we cannot ignore the systemic racism and inequality in our own society. Boris Johnson must set out what he is doing to prevent deaths like George Floyd's happening in the UK and what changes he will enact throughout the UK police and justice system so that BAME and white individuals are treated equally.
  • The Liberal Democrats would like to see a government-wide plan to tackle BAME inequalities be developed urgently, with sufficient funding put behind it, so that true change and progress can be achieved for those facing discrimination and injustice.

New quarantine measures "window dressing"

Yesterday the Government confirmed plans to quarantine those arriving in the UK for 14 days.

  • Any easing of the lockdown - including international travel - can only happen once the Government significantly increases testing and tracing to prevent a new surge.
  • Like the much famed NHSX app and now with quarantine spot checks, the Government are far from walking never mind running when it comes to taking the steps now needed to slow the spread of the virus.
  • It is abundantly clear that public health measures should have been implemented at our borders early on before community transmission was widespread. Announcing a blanket quarantine that has not been endorsed by SAGE and cannot be properly implemented is just window dressing. The British public deserve honesty and transparency.

Govt must not risk going backwards on containing COVID-19
  • Major concerns remain about the prospect of a new surge in COVID-19 cases given that the risk level remains "high" and, tragically, hundreds are still dying every day in the UK. The Government seem unable to get a grip on key issues further undermining public confidence.
  • It has taken months for the Government to introduce measures to quarantine new arrivals and it's not clear that this move even follows scientific guidance. For ten days now the Department of Health have failed to provide raw data on the numbers tested. The test, trace and isolate system that is vital to keep people safe has yet to be proven effective.
  • The Government must not risk going backwards in containing the spread of this the virus by lifting lockdown too early, before critical systems are up and running.

China is being wilfully ignorant with Hong Kong response

China yesterday warned the UK to "step back from the brink" over UK criticism of Beijing's national security law for Hong Kong.

  • China's Foreign Ministry are being wilfully ignorant. The Sino-British Joint Declaration was not a unilateral announcement but a clear joint legal text, lodged at the UN. The clue is in the name.
  • Both the UK and China made promises to the people of Hong Kong during the Handover. Under the Joint Declaration, Hong Kong's 'one country, two systems' way of life was to be protected and enhanced.
  • Beijing has shown increasing contempt for the Joint Declaration and it is clear that the government must now ensure all Hong Kongers are given the right to live in the UK. Liberal Democrats will continue to urge the UK Government to expand the BNO offer they have outlined.