Brexit battle is central to Liberal Democrat manifesto

Liberal Democrats commit to fast-track social work training in manifesto
Lib Dems mull flat rate pension tax relief in manifesto

19 May, 2017

A headline pledge to deliver a second European Union referendum that "gives the final say to the British people" is backed up by a vow to incorporate existing European Union environmental protections.

The pro-EU party promised to give voters the option to remain in the bloc if they do not like the final terms of the Brexit negotiations.

Discussing the party's election chances on the BBC's This Week, Polly Mackenzie, a former advisor to Nick Clegg, claimed the Lib Dems had "gained votes from Remainers" but are also "losing votes" from people fed up with their Brexit argument.

Legalising cannabis and scrapping prison sentences for personal use of drugs are among a range of pledges in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

Speaking to Sky News, the Liberal Democrat's spokesperson on surveillance legislation said it was the party's position that "as a general principle, the bulk collection of everyone's data should not be allowed".

Mr Farage's world-view is "the same one that leads to Donald Trump banning Muslims and building a wall, the same one that Marine Le Pen tried to impose on the decent people of France", said Mr Farron.

Tim Farron is in Bethnal Green tonight launching the Liberal Democrats 2017 manifesto.

He said: "On the biggest question facing all of us, Brexit, which has such huge implications for our young people and our future, Corbyn ordered his MPs to stand down against Theresa May's government".

But an undeterred Mr Farron urged Britons to follow the lead of French voters who rejected the "two exhausted old parties" to choose Emmanuel Macron as their new president.

And they're intent on leading us into a destructive and extreme form of Brexit, taking us out of the Single Market and the Customs Union - and threatening to do so without putting a new trade deal in place.

The Liberal Democrats say they would protect the state pension triple lock. And if you don't like the deal you should be able to reject it and choose to remain in Europe.

The level inheritance tax (IHT) kicks in would also be lowered.

The party's flagship spending commitment - £6bn a year for the NHS - will be funded by a 1p rise in basic rates of income tax.

The party plans to fund its proposals by implementing an immediate 1p rise on basic, higher and additional rates of income tax to raise £6bn in additional revenue, which would be ringfenced exclusively for expenditure on the NHS and social care services.

Elsewhere on the general election campaign trail, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson visited a nursery school to highlight fresh efforts to boost literacy and numeracy standards.

Promises have also been made to provide a further £30 million for West Berkshire schools by increasing corporation tax, and £8.3 million more for policing in Thames Valley, should Lib Dems come into power on June 8. The Lib Dems oppose fracking but suggest that nuclear will play a role in the UK's electricity supply.

The party believes its penny-in-the-pound income tax increase would "give the NHS and social care services the cash they need", and allow a reduction in waiting times for mental health care to match those for physical health care. It was called by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May to unite the parliament around the Tories and strengthen her hand in Brexit talks with Brussels.

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