The Environment and Europe. Ed Davey on the Marr Programme
Like us you might not be early risers on a Sunday! In which case you will have missed our leader Ed Davey's interview this morning on the BBCs Andrew Marr show
Ed was on good form and covered two big issues which will grow in importance as the pandemic begins to recede in the months ahead
Ed, as a former climate change secretary who knows his stuff on this argued for a £150 billion economic recovery plan over 3 years to create jobs, support green industries and tackle climate change. The Government was weak and timid in the face of this emergency, he said.
This corresponds with our view expressed before Christmas that grand sounding government ambitions arent being supported by costed actions ( See http://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2020/1383796/two-cheers-for-climate-proposals ). So far only around £4bn of new money has been allocated in this area whilst £29bn goes on new roads
Whilst Brexit may be done Europe will continue to haunt our policy as complaints from Fisherman , small business ( cost of bureacracy) and supermarkets ( Empty shelves particularly in Northern Ireland) are already showing
We believe it is in the interest of the British people, for jobs, small businesses, exporting, Scottish fishermen, for our security and for our police services that we have the closest possible relationship with our European partners, and we'll be arguing throughout the next few months and years that Britain needs to have a far more pro-European position."
Pressed on whether the issue of free movement should be reopened with the EU, Sir Ed added: "Yes, I think we should do. Free movement is a huge freedom for British people.
British people work across the European Union, they travel, they live, they bring up families across the European Union. "It is a huge freedom for our young people. I think one of the sadnesses of taking away free movement is it's very illiberal - it is taking away that freedom from all our British people."
We are now the only party who believe this following the decision of the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who recently announced that Labour will no longer campaign for free movement