Why support the Welsh Liberal Democrats? Why vote Welsh Liberal Democrat? Because Liberals are different from other politicians in their approach to politics. Achieving things for people through political policies and government decisons is important. But just as important are values and principles - what we actually believe in. Quite often that's what is missing in modern politics.
Values and Principles - What We Believe
As Liberals, we have strong values and principles. We believe that every individual is unique and should be valued for who they are. Everyone should be free to achieve their aspirations. They should have the opportunity to make their own decisions on their own unique journey of life. We also believe that the quality of each individual's life is determined largely by the quality of their relationships with other individuals - with their family, friends and the communities of which they are a part. We therefore believe that the quality of human relationships should be at the centre of politics and political decisions.
We do not believe that political decisions should be made on the basis of whether you are male or female, whether you were born into a wealthy family, where you were born, the colour of your skin, your sexuality, whether you speak English or Welsh or both languages, whether you are 'working class', 'middle class', or 'upper class', whether you went to the 'right' school, or whether you know the 'right people'.
At the end of the day, for Liberals, it's people that really matter - not power, wealth or ideology. We also recognise that there is never one idea or belief that will solve all our problems. Human society, just like each individual human being, is complex and so the answers and solutions to our problems will often be complex and difficult. That's why we stand for a fair, free and open society.
In November 2015 the Academy of Medical Sciences submitted evidence to the House of Lords on the impact of EU membership on science in the UK.
The Academy made reference to the benefits to the UK of being connected to the large pool of talented researchers provided by the EU, and the contribution such individuals made to the UK's performance. It also made clear that regulatory harmonisation provided an essential platform to enable collaboration.
Ahead of the key vote on Monday on whether the UK should offer sanctuary to 3,000 child refugees, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has written to every MP calling on them to put party politics aside and 'stand up for humanity'.
The Government last week tried to buy off MPs with a proposal to take up to 3,000 additional people including children from Syria and North Africa over four years, but this will not help one of the thousands of children in Europe today.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the name of a trade deal being negotiated between the EU and the US. It is intended to create new trade and investment opportunities for companies, big and small, and new jobs. For consumers, it is intended to cut prices and widen choice, while keeping the EU's high standards for consumer protection, social rights and environmental rules.
There are three main pillars of TTIP. In the first, each partner will open up its trading, particularly government contracts. With the second, the EU and US will harmonise standards to lower costs of compliance. Usually EU and US standards are very similar in terms of safety and quality requirements but differ in the technical details. TTIP aims to lower the cost of trade by bringing regulation in line without lowering the EU's strict levels of protection for people and the environment. The third pillar aims to ensure that all companies can protect their intellecutal property, receive protection under the law and reduce paperwork. There will be measures on sustainable development, people's rights at work, the environment and more.
The EU is consulting on TTIP. You can read more about it, and contribute to the consultation, here.
"The sheer volume of serious and sobering evidence against turning our backs on Europe is overwhelming. The Treasury assessment today, showing a £4,300 cost to families, gives another stark warning about the impact on every household in Britain.
The International Business Times reported today that a PricewaterhouseCoopers study has estimated that as many as 100,000 financial service jobs could be lost by 2020 if the UK leaves the European Union. This would cause a £12bn loss to the British economy, which is 50% more than the £8.5bn the UK pays to belong to the EU. The impact would not be limited to the southeast: TheCityUK, an organisation that represents the industry, has stated that two thirds of the 2.1 million jobs in the sector are not in London. With financial services representing 12% of the gross domestic product, Brexit could deal a hammer blow to the economy.
The politics of envy helps no-one, but trust in politics does.
I have no desire to poke around in the Prime Minister's private wealth, and definitely have no desire to force him to relive the pain of losing his father, having to confront that time all over again through the pages of national newspapers.
It is absolutely essential that British people have full confidence in our leaders, and that when decisions are made and Budgets are written there is not even a slightest hint of a conflict of interest or personal gain. But we are now in a position where people no longer have complete faith in this Government's decisions.
Five of Britain's top leaders in the services sector have written an article for the Telegraph supporting Remain. They write:
"Britain sold £226 billion worth of services abroad last year. Our biggest export market by far was the European Union. Forty-four per cent of our goods and services go to the EU, compared with 5 per cent to India and China combined, though that figure is growing.
"The nature of the restrictions can take many forms, ranging from excessive licensing requirements to the refusal to recognise UK professional qualifications. Sometimes rules force companies to set up local subsidiaries run by the host country's citizens, or they limit who can own a company. The EU has removed thousands of such restrictions, to the benefit of the UK economy.
"Take financial services. Thanks to the EU, a firm that is allowed to do business in the UK can do so in every single EU state without having to seek additional permission. If we left the EU, there is a clear risk that many of the barriers would be re-erected. Those who want to leave the EU often point to Canada and Switzerland as countries outside that have struck trade deals with the EU.
"But even the most ambitious of these deals fall way short of the level of EU market access the UK gets for its services firms."