European Parliament News

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

Syed Kamall: David Cameron has a clear mandate to call for EU change

08-May-2015 @ 11:0

London MEP Syed Kamall, who leads the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the  European Parliament has welcomed the Conservative Party's anticipated win in the General Election and said the  Conservatives now have a mandate to push for change in the EU ahead of a  promised referendum in 2017.

Conservatives welcome compromise on EU emissions rules – but concerns remain

06-May-2015 @ 19:0

A compromise to exempt gas turbines and gas engines used on offshore platforms from new EU emissions rules has been backed by Conservative MEPs.

In a vote in the Environment Committee in Brussels on the so-called Medium Combustion Plants Directive (MCPD), a majority of MEPs voted to ensure that offshore oil and gas rigs do not now have to install expensive new equipment.

The proposed law is designed to limit the emissions of certain pollutants from medium sized combustion plants such as gas turbines and gas and diesel engines, however for some sectors and operators the costs may be disproportionate.

Conservative MEPs remain concerned, however, as small back-up generators would be forced to comply with the directive.

This could have a detrimental impact on remote communities, such as Scottish islands, where small generators provide additional power during peak periods and maintain power for emergency systems.

Astonishingly, despite the potential impact on Scotland, the SNP's own group failed to back the exemption for offshore platforms, or support an exemption for back-up generators.

Conservative Environment Spokesman Julie Girling said: "I'm pleased that common-sense prevailed over offshore platforms.

"It seemed as if the Commission decided to include offshore platforms in the directive as an afterthought - an ill-conceived move which could have cost the vital oil and gas industry thousands and led to massive job losses, while providing only minimal air quality benefits.

"However I'm disappointed that MEPs have not supported our call to exempt back-up generators from the directive.

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Commission proposals on VAT rules a step in the right direction

06-May-2015 @ 12:45

Conservative MEPs have given a cautious welcome to proposals from the European Commission to ease the burden on microbusinesses caused by cross-border EU VAT rules.

Duncan Welcomes Agreement on Carbon Market Reform

06-May-2015 @ 9:30

Conservative Energy Spokesman Ian Duncan MEP has welcomed an agreement being reached on the market stability reserve (MSR).

Bringing the Maldives back from the brink

30-Apr-2015 @ 13:30

A senior MEP and foreign affairs specialist today (Thurs) put forward a blueprint to save the paradise islands of the Maldives from descending into chaos and ever-greater bloodshed.

How EU rules are hitting British forestry

30-Apr-2015 @ 13:0

European rules on marketing timber are harming British forestry businesses, an MEP has cautioned.

Conservative Anthea McIntyre said regulations intended to block illegally-sourced wood being imported from abroad were proving a big drain on domestic producers.

The West Midlands MEP issued the warning in Strasbourg during a debate on  the European Union's Timber Regulation, which the EU Commission is proposing to review this year.

Currently it demands that businesses marketing timber or timber products in the UK market undertake a "due diligence" exercise to minimise the possibility that they contain any illegally-harvested timber.

That means a burdensome investigation process, including seeking any evidence of lawful harvesting, before undertaking a risk assessment and mitigating any possibility of wood coming from illicit sources.

The legislation was intended primarily to deal with imports of illegal timber from non-EU countries, but is badly affecting woodland-owners in the UK where illegal logging is a non-issue.

Miss McIntyre  said: "The legislation may be well-intended as an environmental measure - but because it is over-prescriptive it has unintended consequences.

"Illegal logging has to tackled - but not where it doesn't exist.

"The UK timber industry entirely supports the principle of stopping the criminal trade, but the EU must come up with a better way of doing it.  We need to apply the regulation to third-country imports, but a blanket approach in the EU is not necessary given that the level of illegal logging is so infinitesimally small.

"We need targeted activity, working with problem countries to strengthen their internal governance procedures, so that the vast majority of woodland owners across the EU are not burdened with unnecessary cost or pointless bureaucracy."

Supreme Court Ruling on UK Air Quality

30-Apr-2015 @ 12:30

After  the election on May 7th, the new government will be left in no doubt about the need for immediate action to tackle air quality following a judgement  by the Supreme Court which ordered that the UK must submit new air quality plans to the European Commission by the end of 2015.

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Strasbourg vote exposes Labour's migration duplicity

29-Apr-2015 @ 18:0

Labour's MEPs today laid bare their party's "say one thing then do another" approach to the EU and immigration.

Tories condemn EU bid to launch its own crime probes in Britain

29-Apr-2015 @ 17:30

The creation of a European Public Prosecutor's Office would mean a carte blanche for the EU to launch criminal investigations wherever it chose, a senior Conservative MEP has cautioned.

Conservative MEPs lead call for greater budgetary discipline

29-Apr-2015 @ 16:45

Conservative MEPs have today refused to discharge the 2013 accounts of EU institutions, as the Commission continues to show no sign of applying proper budgetary discipline.

Kamall: EU needs to answer tough questions to resolve Med disasters

29-Apr-2015 @ 16:0

Speaking in a debate in the European Parliament on last week’s EU summit, European Conservatives and Reformists Group leader Syed Kamall - Conservative MEP for London - said that EU leaders have taken an important step forward, but serious questions must be answered both to stabilise the region, process applications, discourage people from making the journey, and target people traffickers.

MEPs back Conservative support for fishermen over discard ban

28-Apr-2015 @ 18:0

Conservative fisheries spokesman Ian Duncan has welcomed today's vote in the European Parliament which will give fishermen two years to adjust to new rules banning the discarding of caught fish but has warned that the Scottish Government must support fishermen to implement the changes.

Yes to cutting plastic bag use. No to bad legislation

28-Apr-2015 @ 1:0

EU rules aimed at cutting down on plastic bag use – adopted by the European Parliament today – seek to achieve the right aims, but fail to put in place legislation that is clear, enforceable and workable, according to Environment Spokesman Julie Girling.

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Compulsory spy-in-the-car system bad for road safety

28-Apr-2015 @ 14:30

Conservative MEPs today (Tues) are opposing EU legislation which would force all cars to include controversial satellite-tracking technology that broadcasts a locator signal in the event of an accident.

Conservative MEP heads off "crazy" regulation of washing up gloves and umbrellas

23-Apr-2015 @ 12:15

Meddling EU plans to regulate everyday household items such as umbrellas and washing up gloves in the same way as industrial safety equipment have been blocked.

Commission's GM cave-in: submission dressed up as subsidiarity

22-Apr-2015 @ 16:30

Conservative MEP's reacted angrily today to EU Commission plans to let individual countries ban GM food and animal feed.

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Figures expose pointless EU directive

17-Apr-2015 @ 1:0

A study ordered by Conservative MEPs has laid bare the futility of the notorious EU Working Time Directive.

Iconic conservationist praises Conservative MEP over fight to end animal trafficking

15-Apr-2015 @ 1:0

Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs, Jacqueline Foster, has been praised by the conservationist and actress Virginia McKenna OBE for backing a new report calling for EU action over the illegal trade in wild animals.

Bio-fuels compromise safeguards jobs and investment

14-Apr-2015 @ 18:30

 Bio-fuels compromise safeguards jobs and investment

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Conservatives back scheme encouraging importers to stay away from "conflict minerals"

14-Apr-2015 @ 17:0

Conservative MEPs have today supported a certification system that would encourage importers not to use minerals that are likely to fund conflicts, such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo.