Cameron speech against national interest

Commenting on David Cameron’s speech as Conservative party leader on the future of Europe and a possible in-out referendum in 2017, Fiona Hall MEP, leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament, said:

“Today David Cameron spoke not as Prime Minister but as a Tory  party leader backed into a corner by his outspoken tea-party backbenchers. He promised an in-out referendum on an uncertain renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU that leaves more questions than answers and creates a climate of uncertainty for investors.

Fiona Hall MEP“Instead of focusing all efforts on getting the British economy back on track, the Conservative party will now be tied up in its own internal renegotiation discussions that have very little to do with the reality of treaty change among 27 member states. Continue reading

Davies: Commission must not give competitive advantage to German car manufacturer

Chris Davies MEPThe German government has been attacked for special pleading on behalf of a car manufacturer that is refusing to meet EU requirements for eco-friendly air-cons.

Daimler has declared that it will continue to use HGC134a, an air-conditioning coolant with a global warming potential (gwp) nearly 1,500 times greater than CO2.  The industry standard is now to use HFC1234yf, which has a gwp of just 4, but the car manufacturer claims that it has conducted new tests that suggest it is inflammable at very high temperatures.

EU Commissioner Antonio Tajani confirmed in response to a parliamentary question from UK Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies that he would start infringement procedures against Member States that had not complied with the new EU rules from 1 January 2013.  However, he also conceded that the Commission was analysing a request by the German authorities to find a special solution for Daimler.

Mr Davies commented: Continue reading

Ludford: ECHR strikes right balance in protection of religious freedoms

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPToday the European Court of Human Rights has issued a judgment in the case of Nadia Eweida, Shirley Chaplin, Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane versus theUnited Kingdom, ruling in favour of the applicant only in the case of Ms Eweida, a British Airways airhostess who was denied the right to wear a cross at work. In the cases of Ms Chaplin, Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane the court ruled that there had been no violation of human rights.

The applicants are four British nationals who claim that they were discriminated against at work because of their Christian faith and prevented from exercising their right to freedom of religion. LibDem European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford MEP commented: Continue reading