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Key points from the Lib Dems' manifesto launch
20 November 2019, 20:33
Here are the key points of the Lib Dems' Stop Brexit manifesto launch, where leader Jo Swinson said the "country is brighter inside the EU."
The Lib Dems have pledged a £50 billion Remain Bonus, which they say would be used for the hiring of 20,000 new teachers, mental health provisions, free childcare and combatting climate change.
Speaking at the party's campaign launch in Camden, north London, Jo Swinson explained why the Lib Dems are committed to staying in the EU.
The Lib Dem leader said: "We have wasted the last three and a half years on Brexit instead of addressing poverty and inequality, funding for schools, the mental health crisis, and the climate emergency."
Jo Swinson said: "There is no form of Brexit that will be good for the future of our country".
The leader said Brexit would put jobs at risk, hurt the NHS, reduce environmental protections and threaten workers’ rights.
"Whether Brexit is done by Boris Johnson, or sorted by Jeremy Corbyn, they are both gambling with your future," Ms Swinson said.
Speaking specifically about the Labour leader's stance on Brexit, she said: "The biggest question of the election, and he still won’t answer it.
"Elections are about choosing the kind of country you want to build.
"A man who refuses to tell you what that looks like doesn’t deserve your vote."
"The state of our schools is just not good enough", said Ms Swinson.
The party has pledged to use the £50 billion Remain Bonus, gained by stopping Brexit, to reverse school cuts and hire 20,000 more teachers.
"There are schools shutting early on Fridays, because they can’t afford to pay their teachers.
"Headteachers, who are having to ask parents to buy toilet roll," the Lib Dem leader told her audience in north London.
Before the manifesto launch, the Ms Swinson had visited Trumpington Park Primary in Cambridgeshire to announce the party's plan to invest £10 billion a year in schools.
The party's manifesto pledges to provide parents going back to work with "free, high-quality childcare from when their child is 9 months old until their first day at school."
The Lib Dems said the childcare would be "35 free hours a week, 48 weeks a year".
"We all know someone, a friend or family member – usually a woman – who has had to give up her career to take care of their family," Ms Swinson said.
"They take time out of work for a couple of years, until the current childcare help starts. That’s why we will help parents going back to work."
The Lib Dems have pledged to invest £11bn in mental health over the next five years, and to increase the number of psychiatrists, and specialist mental health nurses.
Jo Swinson said: "It’s about time that we treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health."
"There are teenagers, like the one I met on a visit to a school recently, who have found themselves in deep crisis, feeling like they have no way out.
"And in that moment, the professional help they needed just wasn’t there," she said.
The Lib Dems have pledged to deliver a ten-year emergency programme to cut greenhouse gas emissions straight away.
"By 2030, 80% of our electricity will come from renewables.
"And we will lift millions of people out of fuel poverty, by insulating their homes In the next five years," Ms Swinson said.
"We will not leave our children with a boiling planet," the party leader added.
SO excited to kick off our manifesto day at Trumpington Park Primary School. Children like these, and their futures, are the reason we want to #StopBrexit for a #BrighterFuture pic.twitter.com/RgVng0jW5C— Jo Swinson (@joswinson) November 20, 2019
The Lib Dem leader made reference to the floods in North Yorkshire during the manifesto launch, saying: "Tonight, there are families sleeping in makeshift accommodation, whatever possessions they have left packed in plastic bags, their lives devastated by flooding."
Ms Swinson concluded: "We deserve better than what is on offer from the tired, two old parties.
"From the two men, who only know how to rehash ideas from the past – be it the 1970s or the 1870s."