European Parliament News

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

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.

Duncan Slams Labour for Risking Oil and Gas Jobs

14-Apr-2015 @ 12:45


Ian Duncan MEP has launched a scathing attack on the UK Labour Party for opposing common-sense plans to protect North Sea Oil and Gas from European meddling.

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Auditors "unaware" whether £10 billion EU youth employment scheme created a single job...yet Labour wants to spend more!

31-Mar-2015 @ 16:0

Conservative MEPs today condemned Labour's backing for the European Union's costly Youth Guarantee Scheme after reports suggested it has yet to create a single job.

Duncan condemns 'stupid and insulting' report on over-fishing

27-Mar-2015 @ 12:45

The Conservative fisheries spokesman in the European Parliament today vigorously defended British fishermen after a European think-tank accused the UK of overfishing and endangering fish stocks.

Ian Duncan, Conservative MEP for Scotland, condemned a report by the New Economics Foundation which claimed the UK was the worst offender in Europe for over-fishing, calling for a public apology and retraction.

"Two cheers" for EU legal opinion on benefits

26-Mar-2015 @ 18:30

 Anthea McIntyre MEP today cautiously welcomed new legal advice issued to the European Court of Justice on benefit rules.

Conservative MEPs reject proposals for more EU tax harmonisation

26-Mar-2015 @ 18:30

Conservative MEPs have opposed a report calling for more tax harmonisation at an EU level.

The report - supported by Labour, Lib Dem and SNP MEPs - calls for the EU to be given more powers to enforce a compulsory Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, and endorses a Financial Transaction tax.