European Parliament News

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

Verhofstadt frightened of offending Spain over Gibraltar

31-Mar-2017 @ 11:00

European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt has been accused of appeasing Spain by excluding references to Gibraltar from the Parliament's draft Brexit resolution.

Article 50: It's time to begin shaping our future

29-Mar-2017 @ 13:15

Responding to today's submission by the Government of Article 50, triggering the start of negotiations over the UK's departure from the EU, Ashley Fox, leader of Conservative MEPs in the European Parliament, said:

Kamall: We need to ensure both the EU and UK thrive post-Brexit

29-Mar-2017 @ 13:00

Following the submission of Article 50 today Syed Kamall, Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, said:


Trade policy must tackle corruption to end wildlife crime – McClarkin

28-Mar-2017 @ 15:00

Emma McClarkin MEP is calling for future trade deals to include anti-corruption provisions to stop the money laundering and criminal activity associated with the illegal wildlife trade.

Simpler energy labelling agreed for household products

23-Mar-2017 @ 16:00

A revision of the EU's energy labelling scheme has been agreed following late night talks in Brussels.

The current confusing system which includes A, A+, A++ and A+++ ratings will revert back to the original A-G scale, making labels much easier for consumers to understand. Under the existing rules a washing machine, for example, can be rated as A class but be in the fourth best category, with A+++ being the most efficient.

EU-Japan deal could restore EU's credibility as a trading partner

21-Mar-2017 @ 16:00

Today's commitment between the EU and Japan to reach a speedy conclusion to trade talks is a positive step in the EU restoring its credibility following the delays in the EU-Canada trade deal.

The commitment was made by all parties when the Commission President Jean Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk met Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, today in Brussels. As negotiations enter their fourth year, both expressed hopes to conclude talks by the end 2017.

European Conservative and Reformist Chairman, Syed Kamall MEP, who is following the agreement as shadow rapporteur, said: “I welcome the today's commitment from both parties to speed up these talks.

“On the EU side, the world watched as the EU-Canada agreement was thrown into doubt at the eleventh hour. This is the EU’s opportunity to demonstrate once more that it is a capable trade partner, open to the world, and able to ratify ambitious, encompassing deals.

"On the Japanese side, now is the time for them to demonstrate a real commitment to a partnership with the EU and a willingness to engage fully over the negotiating table.

"Today’s events are a good start, but let’s get this agreement signed and bolster both Japan and the EU’s reputation.”

Together the EU and Japan’s economies account for more than a third of the world’s GDP. As a highly developed economy and a major global trading nation and investor, Japan is an important partner for the EU.

Dr Kamall MEP, Conservative MEP for London, added: “As a major investor in EU countries and consumer of our goods and services, it is vital that the EU signs a free trade agreement with Japan. Completing this agreement will mean more jobs, lower prices and economic growth. I welcome this commitment, but from both sides, we don’t need more words - what we need now is get on, finish the negotiations and sign the agreement.”             

Conservative MEPs back action to tackle rogue traders

21-Mar-2017 @ 15:15

Steps to improve cross-border co-operation in tackling rogue traders have been supported today by Conservative MEPs.

The European Parliament's Internal Market Committee approved a report updating the EU's Consumer Protection Co-operation Regulation, in particular to take account of the new challenges presented by international online transactions.

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EU response to African drought a “drop in the ocean”

17-Mar-2017 @ 01:00

The EU is scaling-up its response to famine and drought in the Horn of Africa after Conservative development spokesman, Nirj Deva MEP, called for urgent action from the international community.

European Parliament welcomes Montenegro’s steps towards EU membership

16-Mar-2017 @ 01:00

 Today the European Parliament welcomed the reform progress in Montenegro as part of the country’s path towards EU accession.

New measures will tackle trade in conflict minerals

16-Mar-2017 @ 13:00

 Conservative MEPs have helped shape a new regulation to stop the financing of armed groups through trade in minerals.

Glyphosate ruling should end hysteria and provide certainty for farmers

15-Mar-2017 @ 17:00

Glyphosate ruling should end hysteria and provide certainty for farmers

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Urgent action needed to combat spiralling humanitarian crisis - Deva

15-Mar-2017 @ 10:00

Conservative development spokesman Nirj Deva MEP is calling for emergency action from the international community to combat a spiralling humanitarian crisis as drought conditions worsen across Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

This is a chance to improve the lives of 7m horses and donkeys

14-Mar-2017 @ 14:00

Measures to improve the welfare of millions of horses and donkeys across the EU have been approved today by the European Parliament.

The proposals from Conservative MEP Julie Girling were passed by a large majority and cover animals used in a broad range of activities, from farming to tourism. They include:

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EU backs plan for all shareholders to be given the right to vote on company directors’ pay

14-Mar-2017 @ 13:30

The European Parliament has passed plans to give all shareholders the right to vote on company directors’ pay, bringing the EU in line with UK shareholders’ rights.

The UK Government has already introduced reforms giving shareholders the power to challenge what they regard as excessive pay. This vote brings the EU in line with the UK by granting shareholders the right to vote on their company's remuneration policy.

Deva: EU aid plan will boost international trade

14-Mar-2017 @ 12:45

The European Union's new approach to development aid is predicted to produce "a plethora of trade deals" in the coming years.

Conservative MEP's report closes firearms loophole exposed by Paris terror attacks

14-Mar-2017 @ 12:45

New firearms legislation which imposes restrictions on the type of guns used in the Paris terrorist attacks has today been steered through the European Parliament by Conservative MEP Vicky Ford.

Revisions to the EU's Firearms Directive mean that guns converted to fire blanks will in future be licensed under the same rules as the original live firing version. Currently these are able to be sold freely in certain European countries despite the fact that some versions are easily converted to use with live ammunition.

Other measures tighten the rules on the ownership of semi-automatic weapons fitted with high capacity magazines, require national authorities to keep details needed to trace firearms and improve information sharing between Member States.

Speaking after her report was approved by MEPs by 491 votes to 178, Mrs Ford said: "The attacks on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters and at the Bataclan theatre in Paris exposed a dangerous loophole which allowed poorly deactivated firearms, known as salute and acoustic weapons, to be freely available. A number of similar items were amongst a cache of over 30 illegal firearms found by British police on a boat in a Kent marina in August 2015. Following today's vote, this loophole will be closed.

The European Parliament has spent 18 months scrutinising the issue and Mrs Ford met organisations from the UK and across the EU, including the Countryside Alliance, British Sports Shooting Council, British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Royal Armouries, the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation and the Nordic Hunters' Alliance.

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Vicky Ford: Brexit needs to work for consumers

10-Mar-2017 @ 14:30

Consumer organisations in the UK and the rest of the European Union should continue to help each other post-Brexit, Conservative MEP Vicky Ford said today.

Mrs Ford, who chairs the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee, has welcomed a report examining the potential impact of Brexit on consumers that has been published today by European Consumer Organisation BEUC and UK's Which?. It calls for decisions on issues such as the safety and quality standards of household goods and products to be assessed against the impact on consumers. The two organisations want existing levels of co-operation maintained to ensure there is no erosion of consumer rights.

She said: "Currently consumer organisations and trading standards bodies all across Europe work with each other. They warn each other of dangerous products, faulty goods or scams and keep consumers informed.

"It is important that practical and pragmatic solutions are found to make sure that this vital work can continue. We hear a lot of people saying that Brexit needs to work for business but it is even more important that it works for consumers."

Mrs Ford (East of England), added: "This is an excellent piece of work. It is important that issues facing every day consumers on both sides of the Channel are put at the heart of the Brexit discussions."

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European Parliament today approved plans to tackle wildlife trafficking on eve of World Wildlife Day

02-Mar-2017 @ 12:30

On the eve of World Wildlife Day, the European Parliament has approved Conservative MEP Emma McClarkin’s proposals to use trade policy to tackle illegal wildlife trafficking.

Ashley Fox: The EU must respond to people's call for change

01-Mar-2017 @ 16:00

Responding to the European Commission's Future of Europe white paper, Ashley Fox, leader of Conservative MEPs, said today:

"I am pleased to see President Juncker laying out a series of options for the future of the EU rather than once again simply pushing his tired vision of a federal Europe. It is a little late, but he is finally acknowledging there is more than one way for the EU to proceed.

"Of course, Britain is leaving the EU and the remaining 27 Member States must decide their own future. However, it is in the UK's interest for the EU to be a successful, stable and well-governed partner and ally.

"I sincerely hope this important debate takes note of the clear call for change coming from people across the Union who have lost confidence in the EU as currently structured."

MEPS call for a "special relationship" with the UK

01-Mar-2017 @ 12:00

The European Parliament's influential Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee is calling for "deep mutual market access" and "a special relationship" between Britain and the EU post-Brexit.

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