Politics

Neither Labour nor Conservatives are interested in changing our broken system, because it works to keep them in power. They have been driven to the extremes and their leaders seek to win power by being slightly more palatable than the alternative – but the UK deserves better than the choice of the lesser of two evils.

Liberal Democrats have a plan to radically transform our political system so that it works for a modern democracy.

How will the Lib Dems reform voting in the UK?

We will: introduce proportional representation through the Single Transferable Vote for electing MPs, and local councillors in England; give 16- and 17-year olds the right to vote in elections and referendums; and enable all UK citizens living abroad to vote for MPs in separate overseas constituencies, and to participate in UK referendums.

How will the Liberal Democrats foster high quality public debate?

We will mandate the provision of televised leaders’ debates in general elections, based on rules produced by Ofcom. We will take big money out of politics by capping donations to political parties. We will establish UK and local citizens’ assemblies to ensure that the public are fully engaged in finding solutions to the greatest challenges we face. We will work towards radical real-time transparency for political advertising, donations and spending; and make algorithms used by the data companies available for close inspection by regulators acting for democratically elected governments, along with access for regulators to the programmers responsible for designing and operating them

How will the Lib Dems empower the UK’s nations and regions?

Liberal Democrats want home rule for each of the nations of a strong, federal and united United Kingdom. We will champion a federal future for the UK, based on a written constitution, and a radical redistribution of power away from Westminster to the nations, regions and local authorities.

Do the Liberal Democrats support independence for Scotland?

No. We will work hard to ensure that Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom, and we will oppose a second independence referendum and oppose independence. But we will allocate to the Scottish Parliament all of the powers set out in the Scotland Act 2016; and build on the recommendations of the Smith Commission by extending the accountability of UK-wide bodies such as the BBC and Ofgem to the Scottish Parliament.

Do the Lib Dems support greater devolution for Wales?

Yes. We will complete the next stage of devolution in Wales by implementing the remaining Silk proposals and substantially reducing the number of powers reserved to Westminster. We will: devolve Air Passenger Duty to put Wales on a fair playing field with Scotland and Northern Ireland and put Cardiff Airport on a fair playing field with regional airports in England; create a distinct legal jurisdiction for Wales to reflect the growing divergence in law as a result of devolution; and devolve powers over youth justice, probation services, prisons and policing to allow Wales to create an effective, liberal, community-based approach to policing and tackling crime.

Do the Lib Dems support more devolution in England?

Devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has implications for the UK parliament and its dual role in legislating for England as well as the federal UK. Liberal Democrats support an English-only stage in legislation affecting England, so that English MPs can have a separate say on laws that only affect England. We will enact permissive legislation to empower groups of authorities to come together to establish devolved governance – for example to a Cornish Assembly or a Yorkshire Parliament, building on the One Yorkshire campaign. We will proceed by consensus as far as possible but will not allow one local authority to veto a coherent proposal.