George Lyon MEP: EU membership crucial to Scotch Whisky success

george lyonScottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon said today that protecting Scotland’s place in Britain and Europe is crucial to securing jobs, after the world’s largest spirits company Diageo warned that whisky exports owe much of their success to EU global trade deals and membership of the single market.

Diageo is Scotland’s top manufacturing exporter thanks to whiskies such as Johnnie Walker, J & B and Talisker. Its intervention follows a submission from the Scotch Whisky Association to the UK government’s EU review which stated: “The SWA firmly believes the UK’s EU membership provides significant benefits in improving trading conditions for Scotch Whisky.”

Commenting, Mr Lyon said:

“We all want to see the Scotch industry to continue to thrive. These interventions from some of the leading lights of our whisky sector show just how crucial access to the UK and EU markets are to the success of the sector.

“It is clear that our place in Britain and the EU provides significant benefits to the scotch whisky trade.

“With the President of the EU Commission saying just this week that it would be ‘difficult, if not impossible’ for an independent Scotland to negotiate EU membership it is becoming clear that that best way to keep Scotland in Europe and protect jobs is to stick with the UK family.

“That is why Liberal Democrats are making the case for Scotland staying in Britain, in Europe – and in work.”

LYON: Shocking waste in EU interpretation budget

Liberal Democrat MEPs today warned officials that action must be taken to reduce waste in the EU interpretation budget after it was revealed that almost 12% of the budget last year was spent on services not used on account of late requests or cancellations

While welcoming the news that 10 million euros of savings were made in 2012, Liberal Democrat MEP GeorgeLyonsaid that more efforts were needed to reduce the European Parliament’s administrative budget.

The Scottish MEP, who is Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee, commented: Continue reading

Lyon: Breakthrough deal on CAP

George Lyon MEPUK Lib Dem MEP George Lyon has welcomed the deal on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as a big step in the right direction, but stressed that Lib Dem MEPs would have liked to go further in the area of market liberalisation.

Commenting after the breakthrough deal between the European Parliuament and Member States was announced, George Lyon MEP (UK, Lib Dem), who negotiated the CAP reform on behalf of the ALDE Group, commented:

“In the Lyon report adopted by the Parliament back in 2010, I said that sustainability had to be at the heart of the new CAP if we are to address the huge challenges of a doubling of demand for food while at the same time reducing the use of scarce resources. Continue reading

Lyon: EU needs to focus spending on research not bureaucracy

George Lyon MEPUK Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee George Lyon today warned the EU Commission that ‘all spending is not created equal’ after it was confirmed that officials in Brussels plan to slash funding in research and development in 2014, while demanding a hike in administrative spending.

Speaking after the publication of the EU Commission Draft Budget for 2014, Mr Lyon welcomed the overall 5.8% cut to the budget but called on officials to think again on their plans to boost spending on bureaucracy and instead prioritise investment in areas that will support job creation.

Commenting, Mr Lyon said:

“Everyone knows that when it comes to EU spending, all things are not created equal. Liberal Democrats have been clear that the Commission must show restraint and needs to prioritise spending in areas that will help create jobs and boost economic growth. This is something that it seems that the Commission have ignored and there are still big questions over some elements of this draft budget. Continue reading

Lib Dem MEPs press Commission on olive oil regulation

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

Lyon: Lib Dem MEPs calls on EU Parliament to scrap planned budget hikes

George Lyon MEPSenior 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: New test results underline need for EU-wide action on horsemeat scandal

UK Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon has today warned that addressing the horse meat scandal will require an EU-wide solution.

Mr Lyon, a member of the EU Agriculture Committee, was commenting after the EU Commission published the result of testing which found the presence of horse DNA in almost 5% of beef samples taken from across the continent. He said: 

‘What these test results underline clearly is that this is an EU-wide problem that demands an EU-wide solution. Continue reading

Lib Dems want better deal for UK in EU’s long term budget

George Lyon MEPLiberal Democrat MEPs today supported the size of the EU’s multi-annual financial framework deal reached by Member States last month. They also supported moves to renegotiate the shape of the budget to make it more flexible and focused on areas that will bring jobs and growth to the UK, such as investments in R&D, innovation and infrastructure.   

Commenting after the votes, Lib Dem European budget spokesperson George Lyon MEP, said:

“At a time when people all over Europe have to tighten their belts we need to ensure that the EU is working to create jobs and build the stronger economy that we need. Our priority needs to be supporting projects that have real economic benefits in the UK and across the continent, not signing off on massive increases in administration budgets. Continue reading

Lyon: Lib Dems call for reform of European Parliament’s budget

Today the European Parliament voted on the guiding principles for its 2014 admin budget.
 
Commenting after the votes, senior Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon, Vice-President of the Budget Committee, said:
 
“When budgets are tight all across the EU, the European Parliament needs to set out realistic plans for future budgets and seizing opportunities to find long-term savings.
 
Already this year we have made cuts to Member’s travel allowances and have made significant savings in our buildings policy, but more can be done . We need to use the 2014 budget to look at whole-hearted structural reform to find further efficiencies in areas such as translation, interpretation, transport and catering and also to improve the efficiency and quality of MEP’s work. Continue reading