EU referendum: why did Tories publish a draft bill, and what happens next?

Everything you need to know about the moves to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership in 2017 What is the coalition line on an EU referendum? The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats supported a bill (now law) saying there would be a referendum in the future on any proposal to transfer further powers to Brussels. […]


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Chancellor welcomes 0.3% economic growth, but Lib Dems are cautious

Nick Clegg says UK is not ‘out of the woods yet’ as Labour highlights slow pace of recovery Senior members of government have welcomed the news that Britain has avoided a triple-dip recession but the Conservatives’ coalition partners warned that the economy has a long way to go as Labour highlighted the slow pace of […]


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Lib Dems call on Shetland and Orkney to become more independent

Activists at Scottish Lib Dems’ spring conference agree that islands should loosen ties with both Scotland and UK Shetland and Orkney should loosen their ties with Scotland and the UK to run their own affairs, according to Liberal Democrats. Activists at the Scottish Lib Dems’ spring conference in Dundee agreed unanimously that the islands should […]


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The Lib Dem year in the north by numbers

In the first of a series of posts on the fortunes of the three main parties across northern England in 2012, Ed Jacobs looks at the Liberal Democrats’ year in numbers. The words ‘It’s been a tough year for the Lib Dems’ are ones which could have been used last Christmas and the Christmas before, […]


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Autumn statement: blues in the black, yellows in the red | Editorial

In narrow party political terms, at least Mr Osborne produced a plan. The same cannot be said of the Liberal Democrats He may not have an economic strategy, but George Osborne showed he has a clear political game. And it is, in essence, a Thatcherite game: to rally the hard-grafting and upwardly mobile against those […]


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George Osborne’s optimism disappears in autumn statement | Jonathan Freedland

The chancellor’s bright-eyed optimism that served as the coalition’s defining mission turns to dust in the Commons The disaster of March and the omnishambles budget meant the bar was set low for George Osborne’s autumn statement. So long as he avoided a move as politically disastrous as his slashing of the 50p top rate, so […]


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Lib Dems urge Nick Clegg to stand up to Tories over spending plans

Lord Oakeshott says leader must show more independence if autumn statement is not bold enough on economic growth Supporters of Vince Cable, the business secretary, have urged Nick Clegg to show greater independence from his Conservative coalition partners if this week’s autumn statement fails to set out a big enough package to lift the UK […]


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Byelections: Labour’s majority verdict | Editorial

These results are good for Labour, dire for the two governing coalition parties and headline grabbing for Ukip In the two and a half years since the 2010 general election, there have now been 12 parliamentary byelections in Britain, plus one in Northern Ireland. In a sequence which threatens to overturn the laws of probability, […]


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