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The Week in Politics: 12th-19th August

Your round up of all the latest news, views and updates from the Liberal Democrats.

It’s been another busy week for Lib Dem MPs and campaigners. Here’s what we’ve been up to, in case you missed it…
Saturday 12th August

.@LiamFox has just claimed that sunglasses, swimwear and ice-cream are all big exports! 😁😁😁 Find out more: https://t.co/Jr2ssmRUAj
– Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) August 12, 2017

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Government release figures claiming that exports of sunglasses, swimwear, flip-flops, card games and ice cream means Brexit will be a success.
Read the article I want an exit from Brexit
Sunday 13th August

If you oppose an extreme, hard Brexit, then work with us to stop it – Lib Dem Leader Vince Cable on BBC Radio 4. . Do you want an exit from Brexit? Add your name today: https://www.libdems.org.uk/exit-brexit . . . . . #vincecable #libdems #libdemfightback #europe #brexit #politics #radio4 #westminsterhour #stopbrexit #exitbrexit
A post shared by Liberal Democrats (@libdems) on Aug 14, 2017 at 8:13am PDT

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Vince Cable on Westminster Hour – if you oppose an extreme, hard Brexit, work with us to stop it.
I want an exit from Brexit
Join the Liberal Democrats
Monday 14th August

It’s a disgrace that five years on since the abolition of IPPs, thousands are still languishing in prison.https://t.co/WK1qU39PRV
– Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) August 14, 2017

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Lib Dem Justice Spokesperson Jonathan Marks backs calls for urgent action to address the backlog of people serving prison sentences with no fixed release date.
Read the article
Tuesday 15th August

Vince Cable calls on the Government to withdraw Donald Trump’s invitation for an official state visit.
Read the article
Wednesday 16th August

“We have a very good cake in the EU and we should keep eating it.” @vincecable pic.twitter.com/9Ltw1Vb2zE
– Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) August 16, 2017

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Vince tells us about very good cake.

While Brexit Secretary David Davis has some questions to answer on future customs arrangements.
Read the article I want an exit from Brexit
Thursday 17th August

Shout out to all students getting your A-level results today. Whatever happens I hope you’re proud of what you’ve achieved. Good luck!
– Layla Moran (@LaylaMoran) August 17, 2017

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Layla Moran wishes students receiving their A Level results all the best.

In total over 9,000 patients were put in a mixed sex ward over the last year – up 55% from the previous year. https://t.co/0amxVzgI3z
– Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) August 17, 2017

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Norman Lamb calls on the Government to recommit to closing mixed-sex wards, instead of turning a blind eye.
Read the article

Southcourt (Aylesbury Vale) result:

LDEM: 37.3% (+8.4)

CON: 31.5% (+9.6)

LAB: 22.1% (-0.5)

GRN: 4.7% (-0.9)

UKIP: 4.4% (-16.5)
– Britain Elects (@britainelects) August 17, 2017

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Lib Dem Sally-Anne Jarvis wins a by-election in Southcourt ward, Aylesbury Vale. Lib Dem vote is up in Peterborough and Aylesbury Riverside.
Friday 18th August

The sale of the Green Investment Bank risks setting the UK back years in its efforts to tackle climate change. https://t.co/znGamj1VhS
– Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) August 18, 2017

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Vince Cable hits out at the Government’s environmental irresponsibility in selling off the Green Investment Bank
Read the article I want action on Climate Change

Sad day with death of Bruce forsyth. Privileged to work with him on Xmas #StrictlyComeDancing. Warm kind and utterly professional man.
– Vince Cable (@vincecable) August 18, 2017

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Vince pays tribute to Bruce Forsyth, who has died aged 89.

Brexit negotiations – Government must get real instead of producing fantasy wishlists.

David Davis is sowing the seeds of more chaos with these short-sighted and short-termist plans.
British businesses are being hung out to dry, with no long-term certainty they’ll be able to carry on selling goods freely to the EU. Meanwhile the trade in services that provides the bedrock of the UK economy is being overlooked.

Nothing would provide businesses and consumers with more certainty than staying in the Single Market and Customs Union. That is the option this government should be pursuing if it was serious about protecting jobs and free trade.

How to use social media to build your email list

Useful advice from Laura Packard:
With all social media websites, even ones that don’t filter, the flow of new content is so steady that your information may be quickly washed away. This is why it is critical to always be using social media to capture more email addresses – then you can reach your entire intended audience, and control the flow of communication to your supporters.

ECJ plan shows Govt is in denial over reality of international trade

Sir Paul Jenkins has called Theresa May’s Brexit strategy ‘foolish’ for hoping to distance the UK from the European Court of Justice whilst maintaining the benefits of the single market.

If the UK is to be part of something close enough to a customs union or the single market to remove the need for hard borders, it will only work if the rules are identical to the EU’s own internal rules.
Sir Paul Jenkins

Number of patients on mixed sex wards doubles since last year

The number of patients suffering the indignity of staying in mixed-sex wards soared to 908 in July 2017, more than double the number in the same month last year.
In total over 9,000 patients were put in a mixed sex ward over the last year, up 55% from the previous year.

The figures come after a recent official survey found NHS patients are increasingly dissatisfied with levels of privacy, dignity and well-being in hospital.

The Liberal Democrats have called on Theresa May to recommit to ending mixed-sex hospital wards, after the Conservative Party’s longstanding pledge to end the practice was dropped from its 2017 Manifesto.

Under Theresa May’s watch, we’ve seen a scandalous rise in the number of patients being forced to stay in mixed-sex wards.

Men and women shouldn’t have to share hospital wards, it’s an affront to basic human dignity.

It’s time to end the the continued underfunding of the NHS and care that is putting intolerable pressure on services and leading to these sorts of failures.

The Conservatives once pledged to end mixed-sex wards, now it seems they’ve given up.

David Davis’ comments on timetabling of Brexit talks reek of desperation

David Davis promised us ‘the row of the summer’ over the Brexit timetable, only to capitulate weeks later to the EU’s preferred timetable after a disastrous general election for his party which vastly undermined their negotiating position.
To be now, a couple of months down the line, trying to reopen the issue reeks of desperation at an approaching economic storm and a cabinet who don’t have a clue.

Sale of Green Investment Bank is environmentally irresponsible

The Government’s sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB), which was completed today, is environmentally irresponsible.
The Government confirmed today Macquarie Group Limited has now completed its purchase of the GIB for £2.3bn, which will now be known as the Green Investment Group (GIG).
I launched the Bank in 2012, during my time as Business Secretary. Its environmental mission is now in danger of disappearing, I am calling for Parliament to ensure commitments to protect green investment in the UK are kept.

Northern Ireland border plan has “more holes than a colander”

The government’s plan for the Northern Ireland border after Brexit has more holes in it than a colander.
It comes after the government admitted EU nationals will still be able to enter the UK from Ireland after Brexit under its plans.
The government’s position paper on Ireland and Northern Ireland states that “it is important to note that immigration controls are not, and never have been, solely about the ability to prevent and control entry at the UK’s physical border.”