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Great Britain to Little England: the impact of Brexit on the UK's role in the world
Nick Clegg's speech on Europe and the special relationship at Princeton University 20 April 2016
Today I want to talk about Britain's two most important relationships: with our neighbours in Europe; and our cousins in the United States.
Ahead of the key vote on Monday on whether the UK should offer sanctuary to 3,000 child refugees, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has written to every MP calling on them to put party politics aside and 'stand up for humanity'.
The Government last week tried to buy off MPs with a proposal to take up to 3,000 additional people including children from Syria and North Africa over four years, but this will not help one of the thousands of children in Europe today.
Commenting on Treasury analysis, which shows that Brexit would cost British households up to £4,300, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron said:
"The sheer volume of serious and sobering evidence against turning our backs on Europe is overwhelming. The Treasury assessment today, showing a £4,300 cost to families, gives another stark warning about the impact on every household in Britain.
The Government has agreed a Liberal Democrat amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill, which protects vulnerable tenants from being wrongly evicted.
Under the Housing & Planning Bill, landlords get faster access to a property if they believe the tenant has abandoned it.
The successful amendment requires a landlord to get in touch with a third party such as a charity, local authority or individual who has helped to pay the tenant's deposit. If the landlord gets a response that the tenant has not abandoned the property they can't change the locks and reclaim it.
The politics of envy helps no-one, but trust in politics does.
I have no desire to poke around in the Prime Minister's private wealth, and definitely have no desire to force him to relive the pain of losing his father, having to confront that time all over again through the pages of national newspapers.
It is absolutely essential that British people have full confidence in our leaders, and that when decisions are made and Budgets are written there is not even a slightest hint of a conflict of interest or personal gain. But we are now in a position where people no longer have complete faith in this Government's decisions.
Many thousands of children attend primary and secondary schools within the built up areas of Maidstone, a borough known to have very high levels of air pollution.
The recent joint report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Royal College of Physicians (*) stated that "Each year in the UK, around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution which plays a role in many of the major health challenges of our day". The report recommended that "Air pollution monitoring by central and local government must track exposure to harmful pollutants in major urban areas and near schools" and that local authorities should "Act to protect the public health when air pollution levels are high."
The progressing of Member Highway Grant projects can be lengthy as well as costly and I am aware that officers even after repeated phone calls are often left waiting months to receive an update from our chosen supplier. Once updates have been received the question remains is the project value for money, with an example being that one of my projects was estimated to cost close to twice the price quoted by another KCC approved independent contractor. Therefore, will the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport explain how he plans to make improvements to encourage Members to continue to fund highways projects for the benefit of Kent's residents?
Will the Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform advise what steps he will take to ensure that Kent pupils will continue to benefit from a good education at those schools which have previously chosen and performed well enough to remain under Kent County Council's control and which will soon be forced to become Academies?
Martin Vye, Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Education at Kent County Council, reacted with dismay and anger to last week's Government statement that it intends to force all local authority schools to become academies by 2020.
Martin said: "This Conservative Government simply does not trust councils - the representatives of local people - to look after the schools in their area. They have already compelled many schools into becoming 'academies', removing them from local council responsibility.