The Liberal Democrats have a very clear message: we are stronger together. That is, we are pro-EU and pro-UK. The sad reality is that we are in an era of constitutional chaos and it is distracting us from the real issues facing our world, country and local communities. That is why the Liberal Democrat manifesto is radical, progressive, pragmatic and built on respect rather than division. It is in this light that Wendy Chamberlain, our candidate for North East Fife, has been endorsed by More United who seek to break away from tribal politics.
Throughout the Brexit process, the Liberal Democrats have been the consistent party of Remain. After three years of chaos, it is clear that we need to stop Brexit. The Liberal Democrats are in support of a People’s Vote or, in the case of a majority in the House of Commons, the revoking of Article 50. The hope which we offer has led to us welcoming members from across the political spectrum, from former Labour MP Chuka Umunna to former Conservative MP Sam Gyimah. These politicians have been attracted to our clear message of remain and the break which we offer from outdated tribal politics.
We believe that Scottish independence and the divisiveness of the Scottish National Party is not the way forward. In 2014, Scotland voted to remain within the United Kingdom. However, Nicola Sturgeon is still determined to break up our country and has said that she will take every vote for the SNP in this election as a vote for another independence referendum. In May 2019, on the Andrew Marr show, Nicola Sturgeon has claimed that even if we were to remain in the EU, she would not rule out another independence referendum, proving her obsession with the question of independence. She has repeated this claim throughout this General Election campaign. We believe that within Scotland, this has led to the SNP neglecting their first priority, which should be running Scotland effectively.
In North East Fife, there are only two votes separating us and the SNP. Clearly, for all voters who want to remain within the United Kingdom, voting for the Liberal Democrats is the only option as the Conservative and Labour parties are unable to beat the SNP.
An end to the constitutional chaos means we can tackle the pressing issues facing us. We are committed to a net-zero greenhouse emissions target by 2045. This will be achieved by insulating all of Britain’s homes by 2030, ensuring that at least 80 per cent of UK electricity is generated by renewables by 2030 and by establishing a Department for Climate Change and Natural Resources to oversee this transition. These are only a few policies of a radical programme which we propose to face the impending crisis we face. Progress needs to be global and that means unlocking Scotland’s renewable potential, both alongside the rest of the UK and within the EU.
The Liberal Democrats are passionate about pursuing an end to the stigma and injustice surrounding mental health treatment in the United Kingdom. Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people in their lifetime and without the proper funding for the NHS, proper treatment for these conditions can never be achieved. The Liberal Democrats propose a penny on income tax, going towards funding our NHS and will increase investment in mental health within this, which is so desperately needed. As part of this, we propose increasing the number of psychiatrists and specialist mental health practitioners, as well as putting a special focus on children’s mental health. Furthermore, we will end the use of prison cells to hold those suffering from severe mental distress.
The Liberal Democrats also have a strong reputation on local issues and have a forward-looking vision for North East Fife. If elected, Wendy Chamberlain would be the first ever female MP to represent North East Fife. Reflecting this, she welcomes gender equality initiatives violence reducing initiatives within communities, exemplifying the Liberal Democrats historically progressive attitude towards social justice issues. Wendy Chamberlain also emphasises violence reducing initiatives within our community and drawing on her history as a police officer, as our MP she would promote policies which would work towards identifying and preventing any offences. In terms of housing, undeniably a key issue in St Andrews and the surrounding area, Wendy Chamberlain would seek to monitor and look into the current HMO policy to see if it is successful in achieving what it sets out to. Wendy Chamberlain is also committed to our electricity in North East Fife being produced 100% renewably and is eager to support initiatives which support local renewable electricity.
This radical agenda is achievable. The IFS have concluded that both the Labour and Conservative spending plan were ‘not credible’. In contrast, the Liberal Democrat manifesto is a ‘radical document’ signalling a ‘decisive move away from the policies of the past decade’. The IFS also concluded the Liberal Democrat manifesto would require lower levels of borrowing. Meanwhile, the IFS also reported the un-costed SNP manifesto could lead to austerity in an independent Scotland. The unparalleled honesty in the Liberal Democrat manifesto is representative of the progressive change in politics which the party stands for. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit, stop the SNP and indyref2, and to bring in a new era of politics, one which is needed to address the pressing issues facing all of us today.