On Thursday MEPs in Strasbourg are set to adopt their recommendations for the forthcoming EU-US free trade negotiations.
The EU and US together represent about half (47%) of the global economy and 30% of global trade. According to government figures, a free trade agreement between these economic powerhouses could be worth between £4-10bn a year to the UK economy.
South East MEP Catherine Bearder, the Liberal Democrat European spokesperson on trade, commented ahead of tomorrow’s historic vote:
“An EU-US trade deal would open up and increase economic activity on both sides of the Atlantic. Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament and in government in the UK are concentrating our efforts on pushing for a speedy conclusion of negotiations to strengthen the European economy and bring new private sector jobs into the UK.” Continue reading “Bearder/ Ludford: MEPs set to back job creating EU-US trade talks” »
Ahead of tomorrow’s European Council on energy, MEPs in Strasbourg today sent a strong message to national governments in support of renewable energy calling for mandatory targets for 2013.
Fiona Hall MEP, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament and energy spokesperson, commented after the vote:
“The 2020 renewables target kick-started the industry and created jobs and growth in a time of economic downturn. We need to keep up the momentum – and continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. It is a win-win situation. Continue reading “Hall: We need mandatory renewables target for 2030” »
Ahead of tomorrow’s EU Summit in Brussels, the European Parliament has backed a common European strategy to combat tax fraud, evasion and havens.
UK Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:
“It is totally unacceptable that corporate tax avoidance is now the norm in Europe, aided and abetted by aggressive tax planning and tax consultancy firms.
“I have been fighting for companies to pay their fair share in tax for many years now and this can only be achieved by much more transparency in how companies prepare their accounts and with much better European and international cooperation. Continue reading “Bowles: EU must get tough on tax” »
Lib Dem MEPs have demanded an explanation from the European Commission regarding the decision to ban reusable olive oil dishes in restaurants, and will be tabling a series of parliamentary questions to get the bottom of the matter.
George Lyon MEP, Liberal Democrat European agriculture spokesperson, commented:
“At a time when the focus should be on promoting jobs and growth, this latest decision from the Council and European Commission really beggars belief. Banning reusable olive oil jugs would place an unnecessary burden on restaurants and potentially drive up prices for customers.” Continue reading “Lib Dem MEPs press Commission on olive oil regulation” »
Responding to Lord Lawson’s call for the UK to leave the European Union Fiona Hall MEP, the leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European parliament, commented:
“It is absurd to suggest that we must somehow choose between trade with Europe and with the rest of the world. We are on the cusp of a game-changing trade deal between the EU and the US, worth billions of pounds to the British economy, and major trade agreements with India and Japan are also in the pipeline. To leave the EU now would be ridiculous. We would be turning our back to the global economy and jeopardising crucial trade and investment.” Continue reading “Hall: Nigel Lawson short-sighted and reckless on EU” »
Lib Dem MEPs today called on all European political as well as national parties to include an election manifesto commitment to a Single Seat for the European parliament.
Speaking after a public hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels, senior Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, co-chair of the cross-party, pro-European, pro-democracy Single Seat campaign, commented: Continue reading “Lib Dem MEPs lead calls for election manifesto commitment to a Single Seat for the European Parliament” »
Picture shows Matthias Groote MEP, Chair of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament (left) with Chris Davies MEP (right) and Bill the Cod.
The Irish Presidency will this evening be accused of deceiving MEPs over an issue key to reform Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy.
The preparation of long term management plans for every fishery is seen as crucial to the rebuilding of depleted fish stocks.
But since 2009, EU governments have blocked negotiations on their preparation in an argument with the European Parliament over the terms of the Lisbon Treaty.
Ministers say that governments have the right to set annual quotas, but MEPs say the treaty gives them the power to set guidelines.
MEPs argue that the Ministers have in the past been responsible for allowing over-fishing and the decline in stocks.
Chris Davies, a British MEP who founded the cross-party Fish for the Future group, has been amongst those pressing for negotiations. Continue reading “Davies: Irish Presidency accused of deceiving MEPs” »
Senior UK Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today called on the European Parliament to scrap planned budget increases ahead of the next series of votes on EU spending in 2014.
Mr Lyon, a vice chair of the EU Budget Committee, has tabled amendments that, if implemented, would see the one off costs of funding the European election absorbed within a real-terms budget freeze.
Commenting, Mr Lyon said: Continue reading “Lyon: Lib Dem MEPs calls on EU Parliament to scrap planned budget hikes” »
MEPs in Strasbourg today narrowly (334-315) rejected a proposal by the European Commission to delay the auctioning of greenhouse gas allowances to avoid a further drop in the price of carbon. The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was originally introduced to incentivise investments in low carbon technologies by putting a price on polluting greenhouse gas emissions.
UK Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies, the environment spokesman for the Liberal Democrat (ALDE) group in the European Parliament, commented after the vote:
“MEPs have turned their back on the future. Continue reading “Davies/ Hall: Conservative MEPs betray British business in carbon vote” »
Sharon Bowles MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, today welcomed the vote in favour of the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, which implements Basel III – the international accord which sets global standards for banks – into EU law.
While in recent weeks the hotly politicised subject of capping bankers’ bonuses has dominated the headlines this measure is in fact part of a much larger raft of legislation which will increase banks’ resilience to future financial crises by requiring them to have higher capital buffers to absorb losses and hold more easy-to-sell liquid assets. In addition, the regulation and directive introduce various other measures to strengthen corporate governance and transparency, and encourage growth and lending to the real economy in the EU.
Sharon Bowles MEP said: Continue reading “Bowles: Strengthening EU banks to get Europe back on the path to growth and trade” »