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  • Article: Aug 20, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats have this morning called for an urgent Willie Rennie MSPWillie Rennie MSPministerial statement from Alex Salmond following a series of new positions from his chief currency advisor on the monetary framework in an independent Scotland.

    At an event at Glasgow Caledonian University last night, the Chair of Alex Salmond's Fiscal Commission Working Group, Crawford Beveridge, said:

    · Sterlingisation was viable as a transition option for a period which could only last six months
    · It was entirely possible that a formal currency union would not be agreed in event of a vote for independence
    · A move to renege on an independent Scotland's share of the debt "looks like a default and it smells like a default" to credit ratings agencies

    As Alex Salmond has based his entire position on the Fiscal Commission's report and now that the Fiscal Commission has changed its position, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has called on the First Minister to report to parliament.

    Mr Rennie said:

    "Alex Salmond had hoped that his favoured advisor would calm the horses over his chaotic currency plans. Instead there is now a significant gulf between what Alex Salmond says and what his chief currency advisor says. Time is running out. Alex Salmond has based his entire position on the fiscal commission report and now the fiscal commission has changed its position.

    "It is now imperative that he explains his Plan B and the consequences of that alternative."

  • Article: Aug 20, 2014

    Responding to the conclusion of the disciplinary process against Lord Rennard, the Liberal Democrats have released the following statements:

    A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said:

    "The Regional Parties Committee met this week to consider whether the party had been brought into disrepute by statements made by Lord Rennard, or on his behalf, following the publication of Alistair Webster's conclusions.

  • Article: Aug 20, 2014

    Following the conclusion of the disciplinary process against Lord Rennard, Liberal Democrat Party President Tim Farron has written the article below.

    Since the allegations against Lord Rennard were first aired on Channel Four News, I've worked hard with members, activists, HQ staff and our parliamentary parties to fundamentally change the way our party treats these matters.

  • Article: Aug 19, 2014

    Former Liberal Democrat leader and member of the House of Commons Sir Menzies CampbellSir Menzies CampbellForeign Affairs Committee, Sir Menzies Campbell, has said that there can be no guarantee that every other member of the NATO alliance would be willing to accept the terms the SNP would seek in the event of independence.

    The comments come after NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that an independent Scotland would need unanimous agreement from all 28 member states in order to gain entry to the defence union.

    Sir Menzies Campbell said:

    "The NATO Secretary-General has spelled out in black and white the entry process for membership of the most successful defensive alliance in history. Since NATO operates by unanimity an independent Scotland would require to satisfy all and every one of the other members of its willingness to accept not only the benefits but the obligation of NATO membership. To do the latter it would require to accept NATO's Strategic Concept (mission statement) which sets out clearly that the deterrence is based upon conventional and nuclear means.

    "Removing Trident from Faslane and accepting the strategic deterrence at the same time would be, to say the least, contradictory and inevitably feature in consideration of an independent Scotland's application. There can be no guarantee that every other member of the alliance, particularly those who have joined recently and accepted the strategic concept, would be willing to cut an independent Scotland the slack which the SNP government optimistically anticipates.

    "The fact that Denmark is in a different position from other members does not automatically mean that the alliance as a whole would accept any further dilution. To impose in advance conditions for joining is hardly likely to encourage the existing membership to accept unanimously an independent Scotland's application."

  • key_economic-recovery.jpg
    Article: Aug 19, 2014

    Figures released today by the Office of National Statistics show that inflation fell from 1.9% to 1.6% in July. The rate fell more than was forecast, with economists expecting it to fall to 1.8%.

    Commenting on the latest inflation figures, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

  • Article: Aug 18, 2014

    Commenting on news that former Scottish Government Minister Sam Galbraith has passed away, Lord Jim Wallace said:

    "I am very saddened to learn of Sam Galbraith's death.

    "As a colleague in Scotland's first government after devolution, I got to know Sam as a man whose robust opinions commanded respect and whose judgement I could readily trust. His resilience in tackling his health challenges matched the commitment he showed to public service, throughout his life.

    "It was a privilege to work alongside him in coalition, and I very much wish to recognise the significant contribution he made, in helping our fledgling Parliament to mature and work well for Scotland.

    "My thoughts and condolences are very much with his family, as they mourn his loss."

  • Article: Aug 18, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrats will be making the case for a stronger Malcolm BruceMalcolm BruceScotland within the United Kingdom from Shetland to the Borders as the referendum campaign enters its final month.

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs and MSPs will be working with activists in their local areas to contact hundreds of thousands of voters over the next four weeks.

    The final stage of the grassroots Scottish Liberal Democrat referendum campaign will include:

    - Hundreds of thousands of leaflets delivered across Scotland
    - Public meetings and referendum Q&A's across the country
    - Conversations with tens of thousands of voters

    Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat party president Sir Malcolm Bruce said:

    "This is the longest campaign that I have ever been involved in and Scottish Liberal Democrats have been working hard to make the case for a stronger Scotland within the United Kingdom.

    "As a party, we have always championed home rule and Liberal Democrats were at the heart of efforts to secure the creation of the Scottish Parliament.

    "From the Borders to the north of Shetland, we have been knocking doors, hosting public meetings, delivering leaflets and speaking to undecided voters about what being part of the UK means for Scotland. For jobs, for families and for the opportunities available to Scots.

    "With the vote now just one month away the pace is picking up and so is the enthusiasm we are seeing in our teams across the country. We will be working tirelessly to make the positive case for a stronger Scotland within the UK between now and September 18th."

  • Article: Aug 18, 2014

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP today said that timeWillie RennieWillie Rennie is running out for the First Minster to give Scots the answers they need over what independence would mean for them.

    Mr Rennie was speaking after the First Minister unveiled a new Declaration of Arbroath this afternoon.

    Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

    "Invoking the spirit of Robert the Bruce and the Declaration of Arbroath is something that is likely to hit home with hard-line supporters of independence. But preaching to the Nationalist choir like this is a clear sign that he is losing the big arguments. Harking back to a very different world fails to address the needs of a modern, forward looking nation. Partnership, not past divisions is something that people in Scotland want.

    "With one month to go until the referendum the First Minister has given up on giving people the answers they need about what independence would mean for them. Instead, we are seeing photo opportunities heavy on historical symbolism but light on substance.

    "The First Minister has deliberately kept Scots in the dark over currency and has been found out on his NHS claims. With less than two weeks until postal voters begin to cast their ballots, time is running out for answers from the SNP."

  • Article: Aug 18, 2014

    Liberal Democrat Minister Stephen Williams has called for homophobia on the football terraces to be met with the same zero tolerance as racism.

    The Bristol West MP called for football clubs, the FA and the police to tackle anti-gay abuse with the same vigour as racial discrimination.

    Gay rights charity Stonewall said seven out of ten fans have reported hearing homophobic slurs at matches.

  • Article: Aug 18, 2014

    Liberal Democrats would maintain free access to national museums and galleries under manifesto plans announced today.

    The party would ensure free entry and continue to make this a condition of government funding.

    Museums and galleries play a crucial role in the cultural life of the UK, attracting millions of visitors each year and the Liberal Democrats want to see that continue.