The Coronavirus crisis has left countless families facing financial hardship, and although the furlough scheme is protecting many workers from redundancy, there have been warnings from the Bank of England that unemployment could double. The Chancellor has said he wants to 'wind down the scheme' but doing so in the short term will cause damage to workers, their jobs and the economy in the long term.
Parliament has voted for a General Election on December 12th, and whether "Brenda from Bristol" wants one or not, we are all set to go the polls again.
Every vote for the Lib Dems will be a vote to Stop Brexit.
But it's also a vote for a different future for the country: a future in Europe, tackling Climate Change, and investing in those who have been left behind by previous governments. A future that works for people - and the planet.
If Brexit is the biggest challenge facing the Country, Climate Change is the biggest challenge facing the world.
It needs to be tackled at all levels: by the UN, the EU, the UK, our regions and nations, local authorities and individuals.
But it needs to be tackled fairly.
That's why I'm delighted that, as part of our comprehensive plans to tackle climate change, we are committed to establishing a "Just Transition Commission" and associated funding to ensure that the poorest people and areas are not disadvantaged further by the action required.
Last weekend, the Liberal Democrats adopted a new bold new policy:
A majority Liberal Democrat government would Revoke Article 50 and Stop Brexit.
In all other circumstances, we are committed to continuing to campaign for a People's Vote, and to campaign for Remain if and when that happens.
Yesterday over a million people, including hundreds from Bristol, marched in London to demand a People's Vote and an exit from Brexit. Meanwhile, over 13,000 Bristol South residents, equivalent to 12% of the electorate, are amongst the almost 5,000,000 people across the country that have signed a record-breaking petition calling on the government to revoke article 50 and stop the Brexit process.
Additionally, research conducted for Best for Britain and Hope not Hate in 2018 suggested that the constituency would (at that point) back remaining by a margin of 62% to 38%, and that 70% would support a 'Final Say' referendum.
Despite this, and the growing public and political unease over the way the government has handled Brexit, local MP Karin Smyth (who voted for Article 50, and is part of Labour's shadow Brexit team) has yet to join her colleagues in Bristol's other parliamentary seats and support a People's Vote as a way out of the Brexit mess.Read more
Today, the boss of Airbus criticised the government’s handling of Brexit as a “disgrace” which meant it still couldn’t plan properly, even with just two months to go. In addition, he warned that Airbus might have to take decisions with the potential to be “very harmful” for the UK.
"Happy New Year"
It trips off the tongue so easily, and yet for many it is not a happy time: something we can forget so easily.
Nonetheless, I wish you a Happy New Year. And if yours lacks hope - and I know how that feels - then I wish you hope: things can get better.
(The rest of this post took on a life of it's own. Read on for my thoughts on what may happen politically, and a prediction(!)