Paul Ray (Lichfield)

Paul Ray (Lichfield)

Twitter: @PaulRay111. More information can be found here.

Thank you for contacting me and bringing these issues to my attention. All the questions you have asked are important ones, but some of them are not simple, and to answer them in full, with the attention to detail that they deserve, would be a lengthy process. I am sorry that it is not possible to answer all these questions in detail, but I can give you definite answers to at least two or three.

To answer your first question: Liberal Democrats are committed to a negotiated two-state solution. The UK must do all we can to help bring the parties back to the negotiating table, and we can help level the playing field. But we can only do that if we recognise the state of Palestine. Saying that we believe in a two-state solution without recognising one of those states ourselves would be laughably hypocritical if it weren’t so damaging.

Question 3: We do not feel that the UK's response to refugees has been adequate, and domestically, we propose that the Home Office (which has suffered from scandal after scandal) should not be the body responsible for visa and asylum processing, replacing it with a non-political agency - we would also propose relaxation of rules governing working, providing additional safe and legal routes to sanctuary to many more refugee, including chldren, and many other reforms in this area.

Your fourth question on human rights: we do not assume that leaving the EU is a done deal - but in the event that Brexit occurs, yes, we believe that human rights should be a condition attached to trade deals.

And in answer to question 8: A Liberal Democrat government will control arms exports to countries listed as human rights priority countries in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s annual human rights report and immediately suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

If you would like further detail on our policy position on these issues I attach our manifesto. The relevant sections are: Our Plan for Freedom, Rights and Equality and Our Plan for a Better World

The candidate answered the following questions: 

1) Do you agree that the UK should recognise Palestine? What would be your reasons for and against recognition?

3) Do you think that the UK's response to the refugee crisis has been satisfactory? What more should the UK be doing, in particular in countries where most refugees are being hosted?

4) Should guarantees on human rights be a condition of new free trade agreements after the UK leaves the EU?

8) Do you think that the government should suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia over its involvement in the bombing campaign of Yemen?

All the questions suggested can be found here