European Parliament News

Here you can find an archive of all the news items that have been on this website.

Conservatives call for EU action to help the steel industry

16-Dec-2015 @ 17:0

Conservative MEPs have pledged to continue fighting for effective European action to help the steel industry after voting against proposed measures they fear could spark a trade war with China.

The European Parliament today approved a report calling for the introduction of a complex system of border measures on imported steel, aluminium and other base metals based on the amount of carbon emitted during their production.

Labour report on tax threatens national sovereignty, say Conservative MEPs

16-Dec-2015 @ 13:0

Conservative MEPs have voted to reject a report from a British Labour MEP which calls for more powers for the European Commission over tax policies.

The report, co-written by Anneliese Dodds, calls for the introduction of a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, a European definition of tax havens, and mandatory notification of all new tax measures by national governments to the European Commission.

It is part of the European Parliament's response to the "LuxLeaks" revelations over allegations of tax avoidance.

Conservative MEPs fully support the fight against aggressive tax avoidance, but this should be a global fight, rather than yet another excuse for handing over more powers to the European Commission.

Ashley Fox MEP, leader of the Conservative delegation in the European Parliament said: "Once again we see how Labour MEPs simply do not have British interests at heart, being behind a report which calls for tax policies to be handed over to Brussels bureaucrats.

"This report completely oversteps the mark with regards to tax harmonisation. Tax policies are a matter for national governments, and Conservative MEPs will fight to keep it that way.

"Of course, tackling tax fraud and other harmful taxation practices is a very real issue, but it is one that reaches beyond the frontiers of the EU, and so an international agreement is needed.

"Instead of coming up with its own ideas, the EU should be rigorously following the ongoing work already done by the OECD and the G20."

Kamall: on tomorrow’s summit: no easy answers to Europe’s many challenges

16-Dec-2015 @ 11:0

There are no easy answers or simplistic responses to the many challenges mounting in the EU such as the migrant crisis, terrorism and the UK renegotiation, Syed Kamall MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists leader, said today in a speech on tomorrow’s summit.

Speaking in the chamber in Strasbourg, he said:

Conservatives welcome quota increase for British fishermen

16-Dec-2015 @ 1:0

Conservative MEPs have welcomed the deal reached this morning that will see an increase in the quota of many species which British fishermen can catch.

The decisions taken by the EU Fisheries Council will mean a 100% increase in English Channel plaice, a 20% increase in Celtic Sea hake and a 15% increase in Western Channel sole. West coast monkfish was increased by 20%, west coast and Rockall haddock by 21% and 47% respectively. Quotas of skates and rays and pollock will be maintained at 2015 rates, in contrast to the usual 20% precautionary cut for these species.

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Conservatives back support for microbusinesses

16-Dec-2015 @ 9:0

A scheme to increase the availability of credit to new and developing firms should be measured by its ability to help entrepreneurs get their projects off the ground.

Duncan: Energy Union must not lead to a one size fits all approach

15-Dec-2015 @ 14:0

Conservative Energy Spokesman in the European Parliament, Dr Ian Duncan MEP, has warned that much-needed plans for an EU Energy Union must not remove flexibility from national governments to determine their own energy mix.

Dr Duncan was speaking as the European Parliament voted on its response to the European Commission's Energy Union strategy, published earlier this year.

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EU plans to protect steel industry could spark trade war

14-Dec-2015 @ 8:0

New proposals to protect the European steel industry from imports are possibly illegal, would almost certainly not work and risk provoking a trade war with China.

Unless last minute changes are made, Conservative MEPs will on Wednesday vote against a report to the European Parliament proposing to introduce a complex system of border measures on imported steel, aluminium and other base metals based on the amount of carbon emitted during their production.

Fish discard ban catastrophe headed off by Conservatives

11-Dec-2015 @ 16:0

Following Conservative pressure, the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee has reversed its decision of yesterday which would have introduced the discard ban for North Sea cod a year early.

Conservative MEPs welcome increased access to finance for small businesses

10-Dec-2015 @ 19:0

A new plan that will guarantee loans to small businesses in the UK has been welcomed by Conservative MEPs.

UKIP and SNP representatives heap misery on UK fishermen

10-Dec-2015 @ 18:0

A large swathe of the UK's fishing fleet is facing damaging uncertainty after a European Parliament committee refused implement a previously agreed decision on discards.

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Reforms to kick-start Digital Single Market must not undermine existing rights

09-Dec-2015 @ 14:0

A series of proposals to update consumer rules for the digital age must underpin, rather than undermine the digital single market, say ECR MEPs.

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Senior Conservative addresses major EU transport summit

09-Dec-2015 @ 8:0

The Deputy Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, Jacqueline Foster MEP, has urged MEPs to avoid becoming too focused on employment and environment issues when examining transport legislation.

Foster leads debate at major conference on drones

08-Dec-2015 @ 18:0

Conservative Transport Spokesman Jacqueline Foster has reiterated calls for a light-touch, safety-first approach to the proposed regulation of non-military drones at a major aviation industry conference today.

Mrs Foster was a keynote speaker at a wide-ranging debate in Brussels on the development of drones, organised by the influential European Aviation Club, of which she is a longstanding member

Ford: Agreement on information security rules will help counter cyber-attacks

08-Dec-2015 @ 11:0

New rules have been agreed which would establish minimum standards of cyber security for key infrastructure sites across the EU, such as airport facilities, power stations and banks.

The Network and Information Security Directive is an attempt to deal with the emerging threat of cyber-attacks and the need for information sharing across member states.

It also covers some digital service providers, such as search engines and online marketplaces, although following pressure from MEPs, requirements in this area will be specific to the digital sector and future-proofed, as cyber security is already a top priority for many of these digital companies.

The final round of talks on the directive were chaired by ECR MEP Vicky Ford, the Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Mrs Ford commented: "This has been a hugely complex piece of legislation. We have set up a network which will enable experts from each of the 28 countries in the EU to share and develop best practice in network security, whilst not compromising any individual member state's own national security measures."

The British Conservative added: "Network security is a significant and growing concern and many operators already invest significantly in their network and information security systems.

"I hope that this agreement will help others to come up to speed but without putting an unnecessary burden on smaller companies."

A final vote in the European Parliament to approval the deal is expected to take place in the Spring, after which member states will have just less than two years to put the measures into place.

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New firearms legislation needs "a lot of work"

07-Dec-2015 @ 19:30

Draft legislation proposed by the European Commission aimed at tightening gun laws in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks needs a lot of work, according to Conservative MEP Vicky Ford.

Mrs Ford chairs the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and was speaking after members received a presentation of the Commission's proposals.

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Swinburne questions Bank of England chief

07-Dec-2015 @ 1:0

Conservative Spokesman on Economic Affairs, Kay Swinburne, has addressed Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, speaking in the European Parliament's Economic Affairs Committee in his capacity as Chairman of the European Systemic Risk Board.

Her questions focussed on the overlap between EMIR, which mandates central clearing of derivatives, and CRD IV which is European legislation on Basle III, in particular the leverage ratio.

​​Kirkhope welcomes agreement on key EU counter-terrorism proposal

04-Dec-2015 @ 16:30

Conservative Home Affairs Spokesman Timothy Kirkhope has welcomed confirmation of the deal between MEPs and national governments on the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive.

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Smart meter roll-out will reduce energy use and save money

03-Dec-2015 @ 15:30

Conservative Spokesman on Energy and Climate Change, Dr Ian Duncan, has welcomed today's announcement that seven million UK homes are to receive smart meters for energy use.

The roll-out is being funded by a £1bn programme funded by six commercial banks and the European Investment Bank, backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI).

Smart meters contain a digital display, showing consumers how much energy they are using and how much it is costing them.

Dr Duncan commented: "Against a backdrop of the UN Climate talks in Paris – which I will be attending - this is the perfect time to be focusing on measures to boost energy efficiency.

"Smart meters can offer a range of benefits for consumers, giving people almost real-time information about their energy use

"The meters should mean households are only billed for the energy they actually use, meaning an end to sometimes costly estimated bills.

"Today's announcement will complement the positive work being done by the UK Conservative government, which plans to ensure that all homes and small businesses receive a smart meter by the end of 2020."

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British workers get first look at UK job vacancies in new EU deal

03-Dec-2015 @ 11:30

Tens of thousands of jobs will be advertised only to workers in Britain under changes agreed in Brussels today.

Foster rejects "ridiculous" report calling for a ban on cars

02-Dec-2015 @ 19:45

A report from a Green MEP calling for cars to be banned from all European cities by 2050 has been rejected by Conservatives.