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Martin Horwood: Lib Dems clamping down on the arms trade

I am confident that Lib Dems will be united in welcoming today’s news that Vince Cable has put out a call for evidence on a new register of arms brokers. The proposed register would introduce tougher regulations on the arms trade and is yet another historic victory for the Lib Dems in government.

Arms brokers act as intermediaries in many arms deals by bringing together potential buyers and sellers in return for a cut of the transaction. Currently UK companies require a license before they can export military goods, but brokers are somewhat of an unknown entity. Under the proposals all brokers will have to appear on a public registry, with possible requirements to attend training courses and suitability assessments. 

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Vince Cable writes: UK manufacturing and the case for Europe

Seven years ago the financial crash seriously damaged the British economy, causing the deepest recession in decades. The wreckage laid bare the urgent need to invest in manufacturing, boost exports and, crucially, create a genuine partnership between industry and government to ensure long-term investment. In government, we have promoted a new industrial strategy to give manufacturers, in particular, the stability and support necessary for them to grow and create skilled jobs.

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Sorry Nigel, but I agree with Nick

Last week we ran a competition to win tickets to watch the Nick v Nigel debate on LBC live in the studio. Competition winner, Gillian Reeves, writes about what it was like in the audience of the first Leaders' Europe debate. 

If you would like the chance to win tickets for the next Nick v Nigel debate, click here.

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Spring 2015 Dates Released

Liverpool has been chosen to host the Party's next Spring Conference, 13-15 March 2015. This will be the third time that the Party has held their federal conference at the Arena and Convention Centre (ACC) Liverpool, situated on the City's impressive UNESCO World Heritage waterfront. All auditorium sessions, fringe and exhibition over the three days will take place under one roof at the conference centre.

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Steve Webb: Tackling rip-offs, standing up for savers

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of announcing in the House of Commons a raft of new measures designed to make sure that when people save for a pension they get value for money.

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Lynne Featherstone: Last night we saw the nasty side of Nigel Farage

I hope you enjoyed last night’s Nick v Nigel debate on Britain’s place in Europe.

Personally, I thought Nick wiped the floor with Nigel Farage. He had the facts on his side and he articulated the kind of open, tolerant, modern attitude towards Britain and the world that makes me proud to be a Liberal Democrat.

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Julian Huppert writes: We’re continuing Britain’s long and proud tradition of protecting the most vulnerable

Today the first group of vulnerable Syrian refugees arrived in Britain, 8 weeks after we finally got the Conservatives to agree to contribute to the international effort to resettle refugees who have fled the protracted conflict in Syria.

Those who arrived today and who will continue to arrive over the coming weeks, months and perhaps even years represent the most vulnerable and we’ve worked closely with UNHCR to identify them and get them out as quickly as possible. 

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Catherine Bearder MEP writes: Universal phone chargers - a victory for common sense

Don’t you just get fed up with carrying around endless cables? Packing to go away, which I have to do often (it goes with the MEP territory) I know I do. And then when they’re at home they just get knotted in the drawers like spaghetti.

For years now I have joined other MEPs in the campaign to realise a universal charger for all mobile phones, no matter the manufacturer or model.

Last week MEPs voted in favour of a draft law which now brings this a step closer.

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Lynne Featherstone: Wedded to same-sex marriage

Lynne Featherstone MP vowed to introduce it early on in her office, but the path to same-sex marriage has not been smooth, writes Charlotte Kelloway.

March 29 marks an important day in British history: it is the first day that same-sex marriages can take place. After years of campaigning and consulting, of speeches and hard work, the day will finally arrive when two people of the same sex can get married and enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples.

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Lord Brian Paddick writes: Legally married at last

In 1983 I married my wonderful wife Mary, who has supported me to this day. We divorced by mutual consent after five years, soon after I told her I was gay. As far as I was concerned, that was it.

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