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Lib Dem General Election candidate says people in Lichfield and Burntwood should be given the chance to vote again on Brexit

The Liberal Democrats’ General Election candidate for Lichfield and Burntwood says people should get the chance to vote again on Brexit – despite the area voting to leave.

Cllr Paul Ray is one of two confirmed candidates for the 12th December vote in the Lichfield constituency so far, with current Conservative MP Michael Fabricant also set to stand again.

Cllr Paul Ray
Cllr Paul Ray

The Lib Dem hopeful – who has also contested the last two General Elections – said he believes views will have changed since the referendum,

”The Lib Dems are the only major party to have come out unequivocally against the UK leaving the European Union which would impoverish the country for at least a generation,” he said.

“The Conservative party appear to wish to lead the country over the cliff of an economic and social disaster and Labour’s current leadership seems unable to make up its mind.

“Jeremy Corbyn though has always been against membership of the EU that has brought billions of pounds of benefits to communities throughout the nation and this region.

“I realise that this constituency voted to leave the European Union but the evidence is that many of those who voted leave did so because of misinformation, distortion of facts, or outright lies promoted by the leave campaign.

“The wishes of the majority is not to forge full steam ahead into the iceberg of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

“The final decision should rest with the general population, including those who were too young to vote in 2016 but whose lives will be among those most affected in the event of a Brexit.

“Remember, no-one born in this century voted – to leave or to remain.”

“The composition of the electorate has changed”

The issue of Brexit is expected to dominate the General Election as parties adopt their positions on the issue.

And Cllr Ray believes many of the arguments around the democratic process being followed in terms of the previous vote on the country’s future in the EU are flawed.

He explained. “To claim, as do some in the leave camp that a confirmatory referendum or People’s Vote would be ‘undemocratic’ is to ignore that opinions change as new facts come to light.

“And the composition of the electorate has changed, with the overwhelming majority of the younger generation being in favour of remaining as full members of the EU.

“How, after all, is asking the people to give their view undemocratic?

“”Lib Dems have always supported democratic solutions: voting at 16, reform of the House of Lords, proportional voting system, opposition to the ‘Snoopers’ Charter’ and so on.

“The extreme Leavers, including Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant, have repeatedly blocked any attempt in Parliament to accept a deal which would soften the blow for those most vulnerable and weakest in our society.

“A People’s Vote would mean that we would be able to make an informed decision about staying or leaving the EU.

“Whether you voted for leave or remain, we should make decisions about the future for our children and grandchildren based on facts rather than slogans and the last-minute panic which seems to have characterised the Conservatives’ ham-handed efforts so far.”

“Policies of fairness”

Despite failing to beat Labour or Conservative in the past two votes, Cllr Ray says recent council votes show the Lib Dems are gaining traction in the area.

“In the May local elections for Lichfield and Burntwood, our candidates won almost 30% of the votes where they stood,” he said. “That was almost 10% ahead of Labour.

“Since then support for the Lib Dems and their policies of fairness and vision of an equal level playing field for all has increased.”

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14 Comments

  1. Roy Appleby

    4th November, 2019 at 10:01 am

    You haven’t implemented the first one yet. When you do and after a while I might vote again. Love the sentence ” How, after all, is asking the people to give their view undemocratic ” you’ve asked us and we gave you our view. Do it !!

  2. Flossy

    4th November, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Neither Liberal nor Democratic – no thanks

  3. Fact Checker

    4th November, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Lib Dem candidate candidate can’t even stomach the official Lib Dem line on Brexit! I thought that Swinson was going to cancel it all without even bothering to have a referendum.

    More false promises from the Lib Dems, it’s like tuition fees all over again.

    And as for the May local elections, try this link:

    https://democracy.lichfielddc.gov.uk/mgElectionResults.aspx?ID=2&RPID=3123959

    It seems to say that the Lib Dems only got 14%, but Labour got 28%. Porky Pies from another out of touch Lib Dem of you ask me!

  4. Philip Allso

    4th November, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Well Cllr. Ray we do have experience of Lib Dems and their grab for power with the Tories. Doubtless you will think the departure from party principles was justified. Personally I think they were shameful. As with this present excercise and your flexible interpretation of democracy. Will the Lib Dems never learn? Your parties politics has always been “Jam Tomorrow” which you will never have to deliver because you can promise anything when not in power, and never will be. You espouse a divisive policy which can only bring about more unrest. The majority want their decision implemented and they are not going away. To all others…… This will be the only chance to depart the federal Europe that is emerging. The long term loss of our self determination will have consequences far in access of the present economy. Trade can be negotiated but subjugation cannot.

  5. M L

    4th November, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Twaddle We either stay part of Europe or be part of the USA the UK on its own can’t survive. The Brexiteers live in cloud cuckoo land. If Boris and his mates get their way it will be the USA. Get the yellow wig and his mates out vote liberal and that comes from some one that has voted Tory for 50 odd years

  6. Philip Allso

    5th November, 2019 at 9:55 am

    There are many scare stories about our potential trading capacity once out of the federal confines of Europe. We will of course continue to trade with them. Their economy would suffer greater than ours if we didn’t. As for America, we already run a trade surplus with them. Our exports are 67 billion as opposed the 60 billion we import. The NHS being taken over by them? It is a nationalised institution that will not appear on the open market. Just how naive do people have to be to not understand that. We have (since the days of mass produced penicillin) always purchased pharmaceuticals from them and other countries and always will. It might have escaped people’s notice that, while members of the EU, we have (and still are) suffered the most prolong period of austerity. Is that a good reason for remaining in? A new book recently published (The Unsettling of Europe) gives good insight into the ongoing population consequences of the federal excercise. There are those who espouse a United States of Europe. This will mean giving up autonomy and self determination not only for us but for our heirs. The biggest change since Hastings. This is a very long way from a Common Market.

  7. theaardvark

    5th November, 2019 at 10:25 am

    @Fact Checker… I recommend you check your facts. The LibDem “line on Brexit” is to revoke Art. 50 *if they win a majority* in the GE. And, if that were to happen, then there would be a clear mandate to do so. However, if the LibDems do not achieve a clear majority then the policy is to push for a second referendum to obtain a mandate for whoever is in parliament to take a specific action. Paul Ray’s comments are completely in line with those policies and there are no “false promises”.
    The (pre-election) policy is stated quite clearly here… https://www.libdems.org.uk/europe-policy

  8. M L

    5th November, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    The Unsettling of Europe don’t just pick the bits that suit your argument read all of it and then discus it chapter by chapter

  9. Philip Allso

    5th November, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    @M L, I have of course read the book M L. How could I recommend it otherwise? As to discussing it chapter by chapter that would require you reading it as well. I think that improbable. It, in any case, is not a condemnation of the EU but an observation of the consequences of population movement since the 1950s and the impact of the breaking up of Russia. It makes some pertinent findings which might not be immediately obvious. For instance, many of the former Russian satellite countries that joined the EU are now suffering serious skill losses and the inebility of looking after their elderly because of immigration levels to other European countries. There is much else but read it and see. I am not selective in any information I research. Nor am I swayed by the scaremongering of bigots. This is the most significant decision our kingdom has ever had to make. Treating it seriously seems the logical thing to do.

  10. Mike

    5th November, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Your leader but not mine great grandfather was on the side of the Germans in ww1 as most brexiteers are still fighting both thought you might be interested as you are an expert

  11. Philip Allso

    6th November, 2019 at 10:00 am

    @Mike….. I don’t really understand your comment but if I am reading between the lines it implies an anti German stance and a willingness to be led by some mythical leader. I doubt many are still reading any of this but I will make one last observation. I will also express it in terms that are easily understood. If you want a winning Premier football team you need good players. This might mean you have a good apprentice training system. It is far easier to get (import if you like) ready made players who someone else has had the expense of training. So it is with the NHS. Many here would want to train to be doctors and nurses but that requires money and resources. Far easier to buy them in. A visit to any hospital will demonstrate this. This also applies to many other skills. The government would have you believe it is lack of interest in our indigenous population but in reality it is of their own making. Germany realised that the socio-economic economy that uses people as a commodity (as do we) needed a skill base to sustain it. This (along with the introduction of the Euro) is the basis of the European Community. Many German areas have immigration levels above the indigenous population and they are rising year by year. You can only do that with open borders. Of course this has knock on effects. The multi cultural nature of most major EU members has now supplanted what was a local culture. Business and the economy is king and any expedient that supports these is thought as good. Perhaps Germany did lose the wars but won the economic peace but, much like our membership, it was a Pyrrhic victory.

  12. M L

    6th November, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    What I was saying is that Boris grandfather was a Turk fighting for the Germans in 1914. The family changed their name to Johnson he was born in New york but because he doesn’t like paying tax renounced his USA citizen ship If you trust him I think you are 3 pence short of a shilling

  13. John Griffin

    8th November, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Philip Allso under Trump the first hit will be drug prices, the privatisation of the NHS will be executed under the Tories using the regional structure already set up as units for company management (like local leisure centres). My daughter has worked in premature baby ICU and they are being lined up for privatisation. She has worked in the NHS for 15 years and says it has all but gone, and is a cash cow for private companies since most receive massive taxpayer subsidies and operate low tax regimes. Many CCGs are run by private companies. The NHS is NOT safe.

  14. Philip Allso

    8th November, 2019 at 9:13 am

    That is interesting John Griffin. More particularly because it cannot have been contrived overnight so must have been implemented by the Tories over a period of time and while we are members of the EU. We know that the Tories are totally against state owned facilities and would privatise anything that would create profits for the few. They have, of course, always stated that the NHS is sacrosanct but your daughters evidence shows them for the liers they are. It also begs the question how can we make the NHS ‘safe’?
    The whole story of pharmaceutical developments has been one of rare cases of philanthropy but more of greed. Some high priced drugs were researched with charity raised money! Another aspect I dislike is the new Tory voucher scheme for attracting health workers from abroad. Do we give any consideration to the countries we are depriving of their skill levels? It is all too easy to be seduced by political sound bites. Scepticism in politics is not the easy position to adopt. Experience probably means it is the safest.

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