European Parliament News

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

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.

Conservative MEPs oppose EU tax straightjacket

02-Dec-2015 @ 19:0

Conservative MEPs have opposed a move which they fear will see Brussels continue attempts to introduce EU direct taxation and tax harmonisation.

Improved access to TTIP documents a welcome move, say Conservatives

02-Dec-2015 @ 17:0

Conservative MEPs have welcomed today's announcement that all MEPs will have access to all categories of confidential documents relating to the proposed EU-US trade agreement, TTIP.

Quotas for boards are a quick fix and do not address causes of gender inequality

02-Dec-2015 @ 16:0

Conservative MEPs are today reiterating their opposition to mandatory EU targets to improve gender balance on company boards.

In a debate in Brussels, a number of MEPs asked why a proposal for gender balance among non-executive directors of major companies had yet to be formally agreed by national governments.

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Conservatives calls for answers on EU-China steel discussions

01-Dec-2015 @ 14:15

International Trade Spokesman Emma McClarkin has urged the European Commission to provide answers over the state of talks between the EU and China on allegations of "dumping" in the steel sector.

The East Midlands MEP has tabled a so-called "priority question" to the European Commission, following reports that the US trade officials have set up a dialogue mechanism with their Chinese counterparts to discuss over-capacity.

The European Commission is being asked what interaction it has had with China over allegations that China has breached international trade rules by possibly flooding Europe with cheap imports.

Miss McClarkin said: "The British steel industry is facing unprecedented pressures, with many job losses and plant closures.

"I am concerned that the European Commission has been far too slow off the mark in investigating whether current anti-dumping measures need to be revised or strengthened.

"If the US can set up a formal dialogue with China on steel, then why can't the EU?

"At last week's Parliamentary debate in Strasbourg, the European Commission supported our calls for stronger anti-dumping measures, but it is now time for warm words to be backed up with real action to support our steel industry."

Plan would lift red tape from businesses and benefit investors

30-Nov-2015 @ 17:15

Proposals to cut red tape for companies seeking to raise capital and make prospectuses easier for potential investors to understand have been welcomed today by Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne.

The ideas put forward by Briton's EU Commissioner Jonathan Hill particularly benefit small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) , which would be relieved of some of the costly burden of producing a lengthy, detailed prospectus each time they sought to raise funding by issuing shares or debt.

Conservative MEPs: Supporting the British steel industry

26-Nov-2015 @ 01:00

The Background

Conservative MEPs: Supporting the British steel industry

The British steel industry is facing unprecedented pressures following the financial crash of 2008, and - as in the rest of Europe - large scale job losses and closures have taken place. In the UK this has included the closure of the SSI plant in Redcar and job losses at plants operated by Tata Steel.

Conservative MEPs want more effective protection of workers

25-Nov-2015 @ 16:30

Simpler and more effective European rules covering the safety of workers were demanded today by Conservative MEPs as they voted against moves to impose further legislation on businesses.

Employment and Social Affairs spokesman Anthea McIntyre said that while the European Parliament's new strategic framework on health and safety at work broadly addressed the right issues, Conservatives could not support proposals for new laws covering harassment and violence in the workplace and musco-skeletal conditions.

UKIP fail to back repayment of £630 million to the UK

25-Nov-2015 @ 13:30

A European parliament vote confirming the immediate repayment of £630 million to the UK has been welcomed by Conservative MEPs.

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Conservative MEPs lead the fight against EU tax harmonisation

25-Nov-2015 @ 13:30

Conservative MEPs have today rejected a report calling for EU tax harmonisation.

The report comes from a special committee of MEPs set up in the wake of the "LuxLeaks" revelations over allegations of tax avoidance.

Conservative MEPs oppose EU UN Security Council seat

24-Nov-2015 @ 16:45

Conservative MEPs have voted against a European Parliament report which calls for a seat for the EU at the UN Security Council.

New insurance rules will bring greater clarity and choice for consumers

24-Nov-2015 @ 1:0

Conservative MEPs have backed new rules designed to ensure clearer information and greater choice for consumers when buying insurance products.

The so-called Insurance Distribution Directive covers general insurance products, including car insurance and life insurance policies.

The directive takes a "minimum harmonisation" approach, meaning that existing practices in individual EU countries will be allowed to continue.

Consumers and retailers will be given enhanced information about the price and costs of products, and whether the insurance seller has an economic incentive or receives commission, so that an informed decision can be made.

The directive also brings in a new standardised product information document for non-life insurance documents. This was originally overly detailed and burdensome, however Conservative MEPs have succeeded in ensuring that the information required will be much less prescriptive than proposed.

Ashley Fox MEP, who led negotiations on behalf of the ECR group said: "Buying insurance products can be a particularly complex and time-consuming process, so these new rules will give consumers greater choice and information about what they are purchasing.

"We have succeeded in taking out some of the excessive elements of the original proposal, meaning that we can provide more information to consumers whilst at the same time minimising the burdens on insurance retailers.

"In addition, we have worked to ensure that when an insurance product is sold in addition to a good or service which is not insurance, the customer should be offered the possibility of buying the good or service separately"

Conservative Spokesman on Economic Affairs, Dr Kay Swinburne MEP added: "This is yet another example of Conservative MEPs working to ensure that EU legislation is used to bring advantages to consumers, rather than simply create new burdens."

Anthea McIntyre launches key report on bringing jobs back to Britain

20-Nov-2015 @ 11:0

Conservative Employment spokesman Anthea McIntyre has today launched a key report on the importance of "re-shoring", bringing jobs back to Britain.

Conservatives give cautious welcome to key EU energy report

18-Nov-2015 @ 17:0

Conservative Energy and climate change spokesman, Dr Ian Duncan MEP has given a cautious welcome to a report from the European Commission on the state of the so-called Energy Union.

Today's report looks at progress made in 2015 and identifies key actions for 2016, with the aim of increasing security of supply in response to current geopolitical issues and maintaining the EU's lead in the transition to a low carbon economy.

Alongside the security and decarbonisation goals the State of the Energy Union report continues the focus on energy efficiency, the internal energy market, and research, innovation and competitiveness.

The report approves a number of key infrastructure projects, including interconnections between the UK and Ireland, and between the UK, France and Belgium. This should allow the UK to achieve its 10% interconnection target for 2020, improving security of supply and increased capacity, reducing the cost to consumers.

The report also praises measures taken by the UK government to tackle fuel poverty, noting that the UK is among the few EU countries with a clear fuel poverty definition and related strategy and programmes to deal with it.

Dr Duncan commented: "The focus on infrastructure investment to create a free market in energy is welcome.

"However there remains a lot more to be done to bring down regulatory barriers if we are to deliver cheap, clean energy to consumers across Europe"
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Conservative MEPs welcome announcement on EU-Australia trade negotiations

16-Nov-2015 @ 18:0

Conservative MEPs have welcomed the news that EU and Australian leaders have opened the way for talks on a free trade agreement.

Text of oral question tabled on steel industry

13-Nov-2015 @ 12:0

Here is the text of the oral question tabled by Conservative MEPs on measures being taken to tackle the situation in the steel industry

Fox: Conservatives reject "interfering" report on EU election rules

11-Nov-2015 @ 19:45

A report from a group of MEPs on bringing in common EU rules for European Parliament elections has been branded "interfering and unnecessary" by the leader of the Conservative delegation in the European Parliament, Ashley Fox.

Conservative MEPs support aviation sector and reject "anti-growth" resolution

11-Nov-2015 @ 19:30

Conservative MEPs have refused to support a resolution on the aviation sector which calls for a reduction of the power of member states and an increase in the amount of prescriptive social legislation.

The resolution from the Transport Committee sets out the Parliament's position ahead of the European Commission's publication of a new Aviation Package by the end of the year.

Although Conservatives agree with much of the content of the report, such as improving the capacity and connectivity of EU airports, advancing the conclusion of air service agreements with a number of non-EU countries, and speeding up implementation of the Single European Sky initiative, the report has been padded out with extra demands that the delegation cannot support.

Transport Spokesman and Deputy Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, Jacqueline Foster MEP, said: "I strongly support any measure which would boost the aviation and aeronautics sector, particularly speeding up the implementation of the Single European Sky programme.

"Regrettably, however, EPP, socialist and liberal MEPs have inserted a number of demands which we just cannot support.

"Although fully supporting proper recognition of EASA as an extremely effective safety agency, we do not support a single European voice in this key area.

"Every country is contracted to the International Civil Aviation Organisation in its own right, and I cannot support the removal of a representative from each member state, including the UK.

"Furthermore, I believe that current employment legislation on working conditions, standards and practice should be maintained, rather than this report being hijacked by overly prescriptive proposals on contracts and job locations which would hinder growth and competitiveness.

"I look forward to receiving the Commission's proposals in December, which I hope will be a balanced and forward looking package of legislation to modernise and grow our vital aviation sector.