Anthea McIntyre MEP

West Midlands

Anthea McIntyre

Roles:
Employment and Social Affairs Spokesman

Parliamentary Committees:
Employment and Social Affairs; Agriculture and Rural Development

Parliamentary Delegations:
Relations with South Africa; Relations with India

Parliamentary Activities:
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"Disgraceful" waste of gender-equality agency

22 Jan 2013 @ 10:0

Marina Yannakoudakis MEP led calls in the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights Committee, where she is Conservative spokesman, not to approve the budget of the European Institute for Gender Equality. The institute, based in Vilnius, has a budget of €7 million and duplicates the work of Member States, the work of the Commission’s DG Employment, and another EU agency: the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.

"Make new migrants renounce mutilation", says Conservative-led community forum

07 May 2014 @ 10:0

People coming to Europe as migrants should be obliged to sign a declaration rejecting the brutal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

"Mixed bag" CAP deal ticks no boxes

26 Jun 2013 @ 14:0

A prospective agreement on the future of the EU's controversial Agricultural Policy, hammered out following lengthy "trilogue" negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council, represents a huge wasted opportunity, Conservative MEPs said today.

"Mixed results" from EU meeting on arrested ski instructors

26 Feb 2014 @ 18:0

Conservative MEP Emma McClarkin today appealed directly to EU Commissioner Michel Barnier to intervene in the case of seven British ski instructors arrested in France.

"Silly and dangerous" Lib Dem plans to have us vote for European parties

03 Jul 2013 @ 9:0

The European Parliament will vote tomorrow (Thursday) on whether to adopt anastonishing report proposing intrusive changes to the way European elections arerun in Britain.
The report has been drawn up by Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff and urgesa series of measures which he thinks would create greater engagement of votersacross Europe. As well as promoting the idea of a directly-elected president ofEurope, it calls for pan-European parties to be given party political broadcastsand for their logos to appear on ballot papers.
Ashley Fox MEP, Conservative spokesman in the parliament on constitutionalaffairs, today labelled the plans "silly and dangerous" and vowed he and hisfellow Tories would oppose them resolutely.
Mr Duff, an MEP for the East of England, is proud to hold the post ofPresident of the Union of European Federalists and makes no secret of his wishto see Britain swallowed into a European super-state, run from Brussels, withvotes cast along pan-European party lines rather than according to nationalpolitics.
South West MEP Mr Fox said: "This sounds like the sort of screamingfederalist nonsense you might expect to come out of Belgium or Luxembourg. Forit to come from a British MEP just shows how far he and his party are out oftouch with British voters on such a key issue.
"His federalist dream is everyone else's nightmare. He is effectivelycalling for a directly-elected President of the European Commission. Europe doesnot need any such thing because it is not a state, much as he might want it tobe one.
"Nor do we need the logos of European parties on our ballot papers. Britishvoters know exactly who Labour and Conservatives are. Some even recognise thename Liberal Democrat - but nobody has the faintest idea what ALDE or S&Dstands for.
"I have not yet been inundated by demands from voters for extra partypolitical broadcasts. I would suggest they have quite enough already, thank youvery much, without being force-fed more from federalist European parties.
"I'm all for ways of improving voter engagement in the European elections -but these silly and dangerous proposals would have the opposite effect. Theywould turn voters straight off.
"They will simply create more hostility to Brussels and its constantinterference in national affairs rather than foster some pan-Europeanidentity."

"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.

25 years on, Margaret Thatcher's Bruges speech still shows the way forward

16 Apr 2013 @ 14:15

Speaking in a debate on the Future of Europe with Finnish Prime MinisterKatainen, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Martin Callanansaid that Margaret Thatcher's 1988 Bruges speech was still strikingly relevantto the debate.

A smaller EU budget is better - now it must be spent better too

08 Feb 2013 @ 10:0

Richard Ashworth, leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs, today offered a cautious welcome to news of a deal at the Brussels summit on the EU's Multi-annual Financial Framework.

Accession report praises Montenegro "good news story"

22 Jan 2013 @ 10:0

A report which could eventually pave the way for Montenegro to join the EU was approved by the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee today (Tuesday).

Accounting standards need scrutiny to make sure banks behave

08 May 2013 @ 18:0

Conservatives MEPs today called for the regime for global accounting standards to be held up to thorough international scrutiny in light of the central role it played in causing the financial crisis.
The MEPs a series of key questions at a hearing in the European Parliament on the future of International Financial Reporting Standards.
With the European Commission set to commit to another six years of funding for both the International Accounting Standards Board and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group - the bodies which respectively write the standards and grant them the EU's legal endorsement - the hearing flagged up several major areas requiring attention on in depth.
Host Syed Kamall MEP, Conservative MEP for London, said: "It cannot just be business as usual. We need to be sure we get to a regime which is clear and simple but also thorough and a powerful tool for better governance. Time is passing and this needs addressing now."
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are globally-recognised accounting standards that have been used in the EU for the accounts of banking groups and other listed companies for more than 20 years. Some investors believe that their complexity allows banks to misrepresent the reality of their balance sheets, making it hard to know what may be wrong with their finances.
Some of the standards are said to have contributed to the crisis, in particular those relating to how derivatives and losses on loans are recognised on balance sheets.
Dr Kamall, Conservative MEP for London, believes that fresh call for European banks to be stress-tested once more, to identify possible capital shortfalls, means transparency in banks' balance sheets should be top priority for the Commission.
He has been fighting hard to raise awareness of the issue at a European level.
At today's event, organised by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants, he said: "The European accounting model has developed over several centuries and is about far more than simply providing information to the capital markets"
"Accounts in this context are drivers of better governance, not just about information for investors."
"It is important to discuss the extent to which IFRS, which run up to several thousand pages of rules, can achieve these aims. Often the more rules there are, the easier they are to get around."
"The G20 commitment is to strengthen the global financial system. We have to ask ourselves whether converging around complex, wordy accounting standards is something that will stave off future crises."

Alarm sounded over new EU jobs ruling

11 Sep 2015 @ 11:30

Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre has expressed alarm over potential implications of a new European court ruling on workers' hours.

The judgment published today by the European Court of Justice rules that travelling time to and from jobs must be counted as part of the working day for employees who do not have a regular fixed place of work.

Anger as Parliament moves to take electronic cigarettes off the shelves

10 Jul 2013 @ 19:0

 

Anger over costly EU propaganda to sell us benefits of "hopeless" CAP

16 Oct 2013 @ 9:0

Conservative MEPs today condemned a costly European Union"awareness campaign" intended to tell people what a good job theCommon Agricultural Policy is doing.

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.

Appeal for calm reflection as US spy-row inquiry starts in Brussels

04 Sep 2013 @ 9:0

MEPs are being urged to show some calm, restraint and a sense of proportion when they begin tomorrow (Thursday) looking into spying allegations against the United States.

Ashworth: Proposed EU budget cut a step in the right direction

26 Jun 2013 @ 13:0

The leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs today welcomed proposals for a six per cent cut in next year's budget for the European Union.
Richard Ashworth said it was important for the EU's leaders to grasp the economic reality that had led to drastic spending limits right across Europe as national governments trimmed borrowing to balance the books.
He spoke after the Commission announced a draft budget for 2014 amounting to €142.01 billion in commitment appropriations and €135.9 billion in payment appropriations. The figures are some six per cent lower than this year's for both commitments and payments.
Mr Ashworth, Conservative MEP for the South East and budget spokesman for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the parliament, said: "We would have preferred an even greater reduction in overall spending and a more radical reform of the way the money is spent. However it has to be said that we see here a significant move in the right direction.
"We would particularly welcome the accent on investment and the focus on key areas such as small businesses and measures to tackle youth unemployment.
"There is generally a more disciplined approach to budgeting here than we have seen in the past. It is a sign that the pressure from the UK and other like-minded governments is getting results."

Asparagus mission hears MEP's plea to keep protection for unique foodstuffs

25 Apr 2017 @ 13:00

New British laws mirroring the EU's protection for unique regional foodstuffs could give an ongoing boost for our producers post-Brexit, MEP Anthea McIntyre said today.

Miss McIntyre said adopting the EU's Protected Geographical Indication system (PGI) into UK law would mean that specialist growers and processors could continue receiving protection for their goods to ban inferior copies from abusing their good name.

Audit deal should restore confidence

17 Dec 2013 @ 14:0

The European Parliament's lead MEP on new legislation to reform the audit sector today hailed a breakthrough in negotiations which should see a deal finalised when representatives of member states meet in Brussels tomorrow (Wednesday).

Audit negotiations called off as compromise stalls

04 Dec 2013 @ 17:0

Sajjad Karim, the European Parliament's lead negotiator on an important package of reforms to the audit profession, has called off the latest round of negotiations due as part of the legislative process.

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.

Auditors expose wasteful EU spending - on trees

19 Sep 2013 @ 13:0

Conservative MEPs today called on the European Union to take an axe to "frivolous and unfocused" spending programmes after the bloc's auditors levelled searing criticism at a costly scheme supposed to make forests better.

Back from Iraq, Struan Stevenson MEP says "Maliki’s authoritarian policies are tearing the country apart"

27 Nov 2013 @ 11:0

A Scottish Euro MP has just returned from four days in Iraq, where he visited Syrian refugee camps, and discussed the country’s worsening human rights situation and persecution of minorities with senior political leaders.

Baroness Thatcher: tribute from Conservative MEPs' leader Richard Ashworth

08 Apr 2013 @ 16:0

Baroness Thatcher: tribute from Conservative MEPs' leader Richard Ashworth
Richard Ashworth, leader of the UK's Conservative MEPs, today said: "Baroness Thatcher was an inspiration to a generation.
"Her vision and leadership almost single-handedly transformed a dysfunctional economy. In alliance with President Reagan she helped re-shape our world.
"What is more, she taught Britain to have a pride in itself once again.

Battle lines drawn to resist fresh EU budget cash grab

27 Mar 2013 @ 13:0

Conservative MEPs today pledgedto fiercely resist a bid by The European Commission to add an extra €11.2bn tothe EU budget for 2013. 

Better spending and better policies will lead to growth at EU and national level

13 Mar 2013 @ 12:0

MEPs today debated Thursday's economic-orientated EU summit, as well as the agreement on the EU's seven-year budget, with European Commission President Barroso and the Irish Presidency. European Conservatives and Reformists group chairman Martin Callanan said that when it comes to both the EU budget and national spending, the answer is not more taxpayers' money, but better policies that stimulate growth from successful business.

Big step forward for campaign to end Strasbourg circus

14 Oct 2013 @ 18:0

Campaigning MEP Ashley Fox today hailed a key vote in theEuropean Parliament as a major boost in his drive to end the notoriousStrasbourg "travelling circus".

Big step forward in fight against cyber crime

16 Apr 2013 @ 13:0

Big step forward in fight against cyber crime

Boycott urged over illegal pork

31 Jan 2013 @ 13:0

A leading MEP today urged consumers to boycott pork products which have not been produced to the same high welfare-standards used in Britain.

Britain's long-term EU budget goal "in sight"

15 May 2013 @ 11:0

Agreement on an extra €7.3 billion in this year's EU budget should pave the way for a long-term spending settlement which delivers a series of key British objectives, the leader of the UK's Conservative MEPs said today.
Richard Ashworth was speaking after Finance Ministers sitting in the EU Council decided by qualified majority that in theory they would allow the extra spending towards unpaid bills run up last year by member states - including Britain - on EU projects.
The European Parliament, which has co-decision powers with the Council on budget matters, has insisted that key negotiations on the EU's long-term budget blueprint to 2020 could go no further until the matter of the so-called "draft amending budget" for 2013 was settled.
The UK along with Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands were in a minority in opposing the extra spending, but Mr Ashworth said today that what might appear to be a backward step could help deliver a better long-term deal for Britain in the seven-year Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF).
In announcing its new position, Council said the extra money for 2013 would only be finally approved once MEPs agreed final terms on the long-term budget.
Mr Ashworth said: "If this measure is finally agreed next week between Parliament and Council, it should mean Britain achieving its key goals for the long-term budget - including the Prime Minister's historic deal for the first ever budget reduction. We should see the seven-year budget fall by 3.3 per cent and a lid firmly put on the idea of the EU raising its own funding through own-resources taxation.
"All of those are worth striving for and it is now incumbent on the Parliament to accept the current position and stop coming back with demands for more cash."
As a key UK negotiator in the Parliament on budget, the South East MEP has been concerned that the political log-jam over the 2013 budget could threaten the prospects of a sound seven-year agreement.
He said: "The issue of the amending budget has been a cloud over our talks, but it could prove to have a silver lining if it helps deliver the right agreement on MFF. This puts a good long-term deal in sight."

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.

Brussels conference on mutilation demands better co-operation, tougher prosecution

12 Feb 2014 @ 11:0

Calls for greater international co-operation in the fight against the horror of female genital mutilation were at the centre of a unique conference in Brussels.

Brussels urged - keep out of social housing

11 Jun 2013 @ 14:0

Conservative MEPs today urged European Union officials to keep away from issues that should best be tackled by national governments.
The plea came after a majority in the European Parliament backed a report calling for the EU effectively to fund new council houses all across Europe - and to set management frameworks and investment targets for social housing schemes in member states.

The report, drawn up by French Green MEP Karima Delli, criticises governments such as the UK's which are bearing down on debt through deficit-reduction measures, and demands that the EU should start paying for new social housing. It also calls for a "European Social Housing Action Framework" and a "Social Investment Target".

Budget deal breakthrough: a victory for Cameron and Conservative MEPs

27 Jun 2013 @ 12:0

European Parliament negotiators today agreed to accept the broad terms of the deal over the European Union's long-term budget originally reached by David Cameron on February 8.

Call for ban on unfair single-bag flight rule

17 Jan 2013 @ 01:00

The "single bag" rule imposed by some airlines is unfair and undermines the competitiveness of regional airports, the European Parliament was told yesterday in a debate called by a Conservative MEP.

Call for Camp Liberty residents to be returned to Ashraf and designated refugees

20 Feb 2013 @ 16:0

The Friends of a Free Iran (FOFI) intergroup in the European Parliament, which enjoys the active support of over 200 MEPs from different political groups, held an urgent press conference highlighting the recent rocket attack on Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty in Iraq. The camp occupied by 3100 asylum-seekers and refugees was attacked by 40 missiles on 9th February which resulted in the death of 7 people including a woman and injuries - many critical - to over 100.

Callanan: Cut Red Tape and smash vested interests to create a business-led economic recovery

23 Oct 2013 @ 12:0

Tomorrow's meeting of EU leaders in Brussels shouldprioritise cutting the red tape that causes Europe to export jobs and wealth,rather than goods and services - Martin Callanan MEP, European Conservativesand Reformists Group leader, said today in a debate with the CommissionPresident Barroso.

Callanan: EU budget deal not perfect but European Parliament should stand behind it

18 Feb 2013 @ 15:0

Speaking today in a European Parliament debate with Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Martin Callanan MEP called on MEPs to avoid going to war with national governments over the agreement they reached on the EU's next seven-year budget.

Callanan: EU needs to focus on open markets and free trade to reduce youth unemployment, not irresponsible and undeliverable guarantees

12 Jun 2013 @ 13:0

In a debate on the economy and youth unemployment with the European Commission President Barroso today, European Conservatives and Reformists Group Leader Martin Callanan MEP argued that the European Social Model is not working, and European leaders are acting irresponsibly in sustaining socialist policies that promise a lot but fail to deliver jobs and growth.

Callanan: EU summit should bring concrete results on energy prices and tax evasion

21 May 2013 @ 17:0

Speaking in a debate in the European Parliament ahead of tomorrow’s European Council meeting, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Martin Callanan said that the agenda contained two ‘worthy’ and ‘concrete’ issues – tax evasion and energy prices – that need concrete action to make Europe more competitive.
Speaking on tax evasion, he welcomed the focus on clamping down on illegal means, but said that cooperation should not be used as a cover for tax harmonisation, and that the best way to prevent tax fraud is to have a more competitive and simple tax regime.
As for energy, he called for a ‘thorough trawl’ through all EU policies with reform or repeal of those that exacerbate energy prices. These could range from climate policies like the ETS through to financial services legislation, which could impede private investment in infrastructure.
Mr Callanan also warned against a one-size-fits-all approach, and said that following the Greens down a road of closing off certain energy options would be ‘the sure way to make the lights go out in Europe.’

Callanan: EU will miss opportunity to fundamentally reform spending

06 Feb 2013 @ 13:0

Speaking this morning in a debate with European Commission President Barroso on tomorrow's EU summit, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Martin Callanan MEP lamented that any deal reached this week on the EU's budget will pass up the opportunity to fundamentally reform the spending priorities of the EU.

Callanan: Greece is evidence that abstract visions should give way to realism

15 Jan 2014 @ 16:0

Speaking during a debate with Greek Prime Minister Samaras today, European Conservatives and Reformists Group leader Martin Callanan MEP said that the experience of Greece should teach the EU a lesson that abstract visions not rooted in reality are harming the European Union, and should be replaced by a more practical EU.

Callanan: President Hollande has shown Europe its future if it reverts to socialism

05 Feb 2013 @ 1:0

Speaking in a keynote debate with French President Francois Hollande this morning, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Martin Callanan MEP thanked the socialist leader for showing the rest of Europe the future it could have if it follows him down the road of greater centralisation, higher taxes and rigid labour markets.

Callanan: Welcome for Irish Presidency's emphasis on growth, jobs and stability

16 Jan 2013 @ 13:0

European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Martin Callanan MEP has told the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny that he will have the ECR's support in delivering his EU Presidency priorities of making the Single Market go digital, opening access to finance for small businesses, and a trade deal between the EU and the USA.

Campaign for a digital single market must be fought on several fronts

04 Jul 2013 @ 8:0

Achieving an effective digital single market is not just about developing new technologies, a senior British MEP warns today.

CAP: A Conservative critique of the supposed "reforms"

27 Jun 2013 @ 10:0

After two years of discussions and a huge amount of work from ministers, parliamentarians and officials, the deal struck in trilogue yesterday (Wednesday) on reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy amounts to a huge missed opportunity.
That is the view of Julie Girling MEP, Conservative agriculture spokesman in the European Parliament, who took part in the lengthy negotiation process and the detailed and gruelling final talks this week in Luxembourg and Brussels.
And she pointed out that even now, the "deal" reached is not a final agreement as there are many outstanding issues on hold relating to the EU's long-term budget (the so-called Multi-annual Financial Framework) which has still to be settled.
She said: "Our negotiations have managed to remove many of the very worst elements of the proposals as originally tabled and voted by Parliament. But that cannot disguise the fact that what is left is still not good - a backwards step in many ways to interventionism and statism. It does nothing for food security, consumers or the environment, and even less for farmers.
"British farmers have little to celebrate here and to an extent their efficiency will be punished instead of rewarded."
Following the negotiations concerns remain:
Despite all the work to achieve a 'final' agreement today many issues remain open pending a deal on the Multiannual Financial Framework. This includes key elements of the Direct Payments regulation, such as capping, external convergence, the movement of money between pillars, and elements of the Horizontal Regulation primarily concerning the 'crisis reserve'.
In addition, although the greening proposal has been significantly watered down we maintain our position that greening measures should be implemented via Pillar 2 funds. The current agreement is overly complex, administratively cumbersome and it will lead to upheaval such as remapping for very little environmental gain.
We are also unhappy with the introduction of an additional 'greening penalty' in the Horizontal Regulation for those who do not carrying out their 'greening' requirements under pillar 1. Although we did manage to delay this penalty for the first two years, we were not able to prevent an eventual 25% penalty.
The continuation of coupled payments is regrettable as these lead to over production which is not related to market demand. We regret the rejection of the requirement for full transparency, which was supported by the European Parliament at plenary.
We will be voting against the agreement on the Single Common Market Organisation for a number of reasons:
- the extension of wine quotas to 2030.
- the increase of intervention and reference prices.
- the extension of the sugar quota to 2017.
- the extension of the power of Producer Organisations.
However we do support the rejection of general marketing standards, so the return of 'bendy banana' can be laid to rest.
We welcome the reduced mandatory negative list for the definition of the 'active farmer' and the flexibility of Member States to add to this list to fit particular national circumstances.
We also welcome the agreement that no double-funding can take place despite the introduction of mandatory greening provisions.
As representatives of a country outside the Eurozone we Conservatives fought hard to keep text introduced by the European Parliament which allows Member States to use an average exchange rate for conversion rather than the exchange rate on the last day of the month. This will avoid issues with speculation and was a huge achievement for Conservatives and the UK.

CFP vote marks "end of the beginning", says Stevenson

06 Feb 2013 @ 16:0

Today’s vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg marked a "seminal and long-overdue landmark" on the road to reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), but there are still enormous hurdles to clear before meaningful change is embedded that will make EU fisheries sustainable in the long-term.

Cheers for UK legal action over EU bonus interference

25 Sep 2013 @ 17:0

Reacting today to news that the UK is to take legal action against the EU over its planned cap on bonuses for bank employees, Syed Kamall MEP, Conservative spokesman in the European Parliament on economic and monetary affairs, said: "I welcome this move by George Osborne and I congratulate him for standing up to Brussels.

Chichester welcomes "beefed up" cyber defences

01 Feb 2013 @ 17:0

A senior Conservative MEP today welcomed a comprehensive package of improvements to Europe's cyber-security operations, approved during detailed negotiations in Brussels.

Commission benchmarking intervention is impulsive and out of proportion

18 Sep 2013 @ 17:0

Plans announced by the European Commission to regulate a huge range of financial and trading benchmarks were condemned today as disproportionate and needless.

Commission must heed this cry for help from small businesses

07 Mar 2013 @ 13:0

The EU must offermore than warm words to address the deep concerns of small businesses overBrussels red tape, Conservative MEPs cautioned today.

Commission reports on passenger data and tracking of terror funds

27 Nov 2013 @ 18:0

Today the European Commission adopted an evaluation repor ton the European Union – United States Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) and a review of the US Passenger Name Record (PNR) Agreement. A Communication was also adopted on proposals for a Europe-wide Terrorist Finance Tracking System (TFTS), concluding that the establishment of such a system is not expected at this stage. The Commission undertook the assessments follow in allegations that the United States might have accessed so-called Swift financial data outside the scope of the TFTP agreement.

Commission stance threatens discard ban

20 Dec 2013 @ 9:0

In a surprise eleventh hour intervention, Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki has scuppered any chance of a timely deal on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the third and final key pillar of fisheries reforms in the EU.

Commission's "preposterous" quota claims debunked

25 Jan 2013 @ 13:0

The lead Conservative MEP on equality issues today poured scorn on a claim by the European Commission that its own actions were responsible for putting more women in top company boardrooms.

Committee backs Conservative MEP's plan to tackle growing threat of plant pests

26 Apr 2016 @ 01:00

A Conservative MEP's drive to protect gardens, farmland and the UK countryside from deadly plant diseases took a big step forward today.

Competition Commission's Audit concerns being addressed by MEP Karim

22 Feb 2013 @ 17:0

Reforms to the EU's audit market, currently being led through the European Parliament by Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim, will address concerns raised by the UK's Competition Commission regarding the lack of competition in the sector and the dominance of the 'Big Four' companies.

Conservative legal challenge over Strasbourg ruling

15 Jan 2014 @ 14:0

Conservative MEPs today mounted a protest after their bid to cut just a small part of the waste of the European Parliament's so-called traveling circus was ruled out of order.

Conservative MEP welcomes European Court ruling on benefits

14 Jun 2016 @ 01:00

The European Court of Justice has ruled today that Britain has a right to protect its public finances from benefits tourism by imposing tests on EU citizens moving there and claiming benefits.

Conservative Employment Spokesman in the European Parliament, Anthea McIntyre MEP welcomed the ruling, which rejected a challenge from the European Commission. They had questioned whether the UK's decision to introduce a “right to reside” test for a number of social security benefits such as Child benefit, Child Tax Credit and Income Support was discriminatory. However, the court today upheld the UK's argument that non-active people coming to the UK must have sufficient resources to not become a burden on the UK's social security schemes.

Conservative MEPs back Gibraltar's Brussels protest

28 Jan 2014 @ 11:0

Conservative MEPs today gave their full support to protestors who travelled to Brussels to demonstrate against Spanish harassment of Gibraltar citizens.

Conservative MEPs condemn Spaniards' Gibraltar gun incursion

26 Jun 2013 @ 9:0

The three British Conservative MEPs who represent Gibraltar in the European Parliament last night issued an unqualified condemnation after it emerged that a shot had been fired from Spanish vessel during an incursion into territorial waters around The Rock.
Giles Chichester, Ashley Fox and Julie Girling described the incident as reckless and provocative.
They spoke out after Europe Minister David Lidington revealed that an officer aboard a Guardia Civil boat had fired a weapon during an illegal incursion into British Gibraltar territorial waters on Sunday.
The three, whose constituency is officially designated the South West of England and Gibraltar, said: "Sadly incursions into our waters by the Guardia Civil have increased in frequency recently.
"They are a form of international political posturing by a struggling government which hopes to distract attention from its domestic failures.
"As such they are an unwelcome and aggressive irritant.
"However, for a shot to be fired will push to a new level the offence caused to the people of Gibraltar. This action is wholly illegal and as provocative as it is reckless.
"We wholeheartedly back the British Government's demand that Spain should explain its actions. We believe it should also apologise and offer a solemn assurance that there will be no repetition of such foolishness."

Conservative MEPs hear of optimism in Somalia

01 Feb 2013 @ 10:0

Nirj Deva MEP, Conservatives spokesman on international development in the European Parliament chaired a meeting in Brussels with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia.

Conservative MEPs propose red-card system to block bad EU laws

04 Feb 2014 @ 13:0

Conservative MEPs today put forward plans for a red-card system to let national parliaments block burdensome and interfering European legislation.

Conservative MEPs reject "passenger rights" proposals which exclude Gibraltar

05 Feb 2014 @ 14:0

Conservative MEPs today voted to reject a discriminatory report which sets out planned legislation on consumer rights for air passengers – but excludes all flights in and out of Gibraltar Airport.

Conservative MEPs urge rethink on funding for key regional transport scheme

03 Sep 2015 @ 01:00

Conservative MEPs from East Anglia and the Midlands are challenging the European Commission for rejecting a funding bid to help shift millions of tons of freight from road to rail in their regions.

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.

Conservative MEPs will seek to stop e-cigs overregulation

25 Feb 2014 @ 18:0

A last ditch effort will be made by Conservative MEPs tomorrow to prevent the EU from over-regulating electronic cigarettes.

Conservative message on financing SMEs is getting through

02 May 2013 @ 16:00

Anthea McIntyre MEP today welcomed a "useful step forward" in her drive to get better access to finance for small businesses. 

Conservative negotiator vows to resist "misdirected" proposals on fund-manager bonuses

21 Mar 2013 @ 13:0

The European Parliament's Economic and Monetary AffairsCommittee today approved by a small majority plans to cap the bonuses earned byinvestment fund managers.

Conservative report says all farmers must benefit from technological advances

07 Jun 2016 @ 17:30

Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre has secured European Parliament approval for a report calling for the greater use of technology in agriculture.

Conservative spokesman denounces violence against women

06 Feb 2013 @ 15:0

The Conservative spokesman on women’s rights in the European Parliament, Marina Yannakoudakis, spoke out in Strasbourg to condemn domestic violence.

Conservative victory lifts threat to our seed industry and garden centres

11 Feb 2014 @ 16:0

Conservative MEPs scored a major success today when EU plans - which could have created huge problems for Britain's garden centres and producers of packet seeds – were rejected.

Conservative welcome for fisheries reform and end to discards

06 Feb 2013 @ 13:0

Struan Stevenson MEP, Conservative spokesman on fisheries and senior vice-president of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee, welcomed today's historic vote in Strasbourg for wholesale reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy.

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.

Conservatives beat GM fanatics' attack on honey

14 Jan 2014 @ 14:0

Conservative MEPs today defeated a bid by eco-zealots to get pollen officially designated an ingredient of honey.

Conservatives condemn "socialist wish list" of redundancy rules

15 Jan 2013 @ 14:0

A raft of proposals which would make it much harder for companies to restructure their operations in difficult times has been adopted by the European Parliament today (Tues) in the face of resolute opposition from Conservative MEPs.

Conservatives condemn "wrongheaded" proposal to cap fund-manager bonuses

19 Mar 2013 @ 13:0

An EU plan to extend bonus-capping powers into the field of investment management has been condemned by Conservative MEPs

Conservatives condemn Spain's ranting over Gibraltar

06 Aug 2013 @ 11:0

Conservatives condemn Spain's ranting over Gibraltar
The three Conservative MEPs representing Gibraltar today accused Spain of "desperation and recklessness" over its increasingly outlandish threats against the British territory and its citizens.
Giles Chichester, Ashley Fox and Julie Girling spoke out after Spain issued a series of menacing proposals, including the imposition of a €50 charge to cross the border, and the closure of Spanish airspace to Gibraltar flights.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo summarised his list of aggressive proposals with the high-handed warning: "The party's over."
The three MEPs, whose constituency is the South West and Gibraltar, responded with a joint statement:
"It is clear this posturing and chest-beating is an act of desperation and recklessness.
"The Spanish Government faces so many problems domestically that it is desperate to create a diversion. A bout of sabre-rattling at Gibraltar provides the perfect distraction. The Spanish papers love it and it keeps Premier Rajoy's calamitous difficulties off the front pages.
"As responsible parliamentarians, however, wish to remind Spain that this kind of megaphone diplomacy should have ended with General Franco. It has no place in a modern Europe and does a disservice to the people of modern Spain.
"It also flies in the face of all the rules on the free movement of people and goods which are at the heart of the European Union and the single market.
"If they think such a boorish rant will advance their case one iota, they are wrong. We and the people of Gibraltar will be resolute against such bullying."

Conservatives counter EU mission creep on pay law

11 Sep 2013 @ 9:0

The European Union is guilty of meddling and "mission creep" in its determination to impose ever more social legislation and employment laws on member states, Conservative MEPs said today.

Conservatives counter proposed free-movement diktat

12 Mar 2014 @ 9:0

Conservative MEPs will today vote to reject "rigid and dictatorial" EU legislation which threatens to impose a central interpretation from Brussels of how rules on free movement of workers should be applied.

Conservatives defeat "foolhardy and catastrophic" trawling ban

10 Dec 2013 @ 16:0

British Conservative MEPs have defeated a move in the European Parliament to impose a blanket ban on all deep sea trawling.

Conservatives deliver long-term research funding

25 Jun 2013 @ 15:0

After months of discussions an agreement was reached today on the EU's next seven year funding programme for science and research.
The so-called Horizon 2020 package will have a budget of around £60bn for projects over the next seven years.
East of England MEP Vicky Ford was Conservative negotiator on the deal and today welcomed the eventual outcome of the protracted talks.
Horizon 2020 will focus funding in three separate pillars: excellence in largely academic-based blue-sky research, supporting industrial companies in innovative areas and finally addressing the so called societal "grand" challenges which include food and energy security, climate change and demographic changes. Some 20 per cent of the funding should go towards small and medium sized businesses and there will be a new financial instrument specifically dedicated to funding innovation.
EU research funding is extremely important for the UK and is one of the few areas where the UK gets back roughly what it contributes. By the end of the 2007-2013 programme, the UK will have received around €7.5bn in funding - around 15% of the overall €50bn budget. Cambridge University, for example, estimates that 20% of the work undertaken by its researchers is funded by EU grants.
However, EU research programmes have a reputation for complex bureaucracy and red tape. Mrs Ford has been gathering evidence and suggestions for reforms for the past three years and tabled many amendments to the legislation to simplify the paperwork and application processes, particularly important for improving the participation of small businesses.
These changes include shortening timetables for awarding grants and receiving payments, introducing a clearer complaints procedure and improving communication between participants. Mrs Ford has also been adamant that grants should be awarded on the basis of excellence in order to ensure that funding goes to those who put forward the best case.
She said: "Science and research is critical to maintaining innovation thus driving growth and creating jobs. Recent studies have shown that scientific research which is the result of international collaboration tends to have a greater impact. We should focus the EU budget on areas where it does add value.
"Other MEPs should stop the institutional infighting over the EU budget, lead not by policy but purely by their constant pursuit of more money and more power. They need to get behind the deal agreed by national governments otherwise we risk holding back our scientists and businesses at such a crucial time."

Conservatives demand action on mutilation of girls

03 Feb 2014 @ 9:0

Following pressure from campaigning MEP Marina Yannakoudakis, a hard-hitting resolution will be put to the European Parliament this week demanding action to end the horror of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Conservatives demand early Commission report on Gibraltar border investigations

26 Sep 2013 @ 15:30

Gibraltar's Conservative MEPs have called on the European Commission to make an early and "crystal clear" public statement on the findings of a fact-finding mission sent to the Spanish border.

Conservatives dig in against unwanted European sales law

18 Jun 2013 @ 13:0

Conservative MEPs today vowed to resist European Commission plans to introduce a European sales law which would cover online shopping and e-commerce across the whole EU.
They warned that the proposed Common European Sales Law would help neither customers nor traders - and would have a damaging effect on the development of the digital single market.
They were responding to an appeal from the BEUC, the Europe-wide umbrella organisation for consumer groups, which called on MEPs to reject the proposals and urged commissioners to concentrate on more-effective measures to boost the digital single market.
Ashley Fox, a Conservative member of the European Parliament's Internal Market Committee, said: "We believe the proposed law is too complex and not needed anyway. The existing differences between the national contract laws of different nations are not creating any barriers to trade.
"The legislation is trying to solve problems that don't exist, yet could throw up problems all of its own. Were this new law to come into force consumers’ confusion and regulatory costs for business who sell offline and online would increase further."
As BEUC has pointed out, four different legal scenarios would then exist for:

Conservatives MEPs act to protect immigration borders

06 Feb 2013 @ 15:0

Conservative MEPs today helped to vote through a key package of measures which will help to strengthen Europe's borders against illegal immigration and make it easier for Britain to send asylum seekers back to their point of entry to the EU.

Conservatives oppose compulsory sex education aged four

22 Oct 2013 @ 14:0

Conservative MEPs today headed off extreme proposals on"sexual and reproductive health and rights" which would see sexeducation become compulsory across Europe for children as young as four.

Conservatives oppose plan for EU "social police"

25 Nov 2013 @ 11:0

Conservative MEPs have vowed to fight plans to give the European Union a supervisory role over a range of social issues in member states.

Conservatives refuses to support 'highly prejudiced' NSA report

13 Feb 2014 @ 9:0

The European Parliament's self-appointed inquiry into the Edward Snowden allegations against the NSA has today voted on a draft report of its findings. Conservative spokesman Timothy Kirkhope MEP voted against the report, saying that the committee failed to carry out a serious inquiry and the report calls for EU interference in national security matters, despite the EU Treaties clearly stating they are a sovereign national issue.

Conservatives reject patronising boardroom quotas

20 Nov 2013 @ 15:0

Conservative MEPs today voted against EU plans to imposea compulsory female quota of 40 per cent on company boardrooms - with swingeingsanctions for firms that fail to comply.

Conservatives resist "indisciplined" budget-grab by MEPs

23 Oct 2013 @ 17:0

Conservative MEPs dug in today to resist a move in theEuropean Parliament to hike up next year's EU budget by more than a billionpounds.

Conservatives resist Brussels power grab on social housing

14 Jan 2014 @ 17:0

Conservatives will this week oppose head-on a plan for the European Union to give itself powers to control the way Britain and other countries deal with homelessness.

Conservatives see off EU threat to caravans and small garages

11 Mar 2014 @ 13:0

Conservative MEPs were celebrating today (Tuesday) after successfully side-lining over-zealous road safety Regulations which would have subjected caravans and light trailers to a cumbersome and intrusive inspection regime.

Conservatives send Commission a budget-talks warning

24 Oct 2013 @ 13:0

Conservative MEPs today sent a warning message to the EUCommission over poor management and brinksmanship in its handling of budgetnegotiations.

Conservatives shun tainted Single European Sky plans

12 Mar 2014 @ 12:0

Excellent proposals to make the Single European Sky initiative a reality have been badly thrown off course by the addition of extra proposals which add legal problems, create red tape and discriminate against Gibraltar, senior Conservative MEP Jacqueline Foster warned today.

Conservatives turning the tide on EU red tape

10 Feb 2014 @ 17:0

Conservative MEPs have succeeded in securing cross-party and multi-national support for a comprehensive blueprint to boost business and job-creation across Europe.

Conservatives welcome withdrawal of moves to ban eel fishing

18 Jun 2013 @ 16:0

Conservative MEPs today welcomed moves to safeguard traditional eel fishing and avoid a damaging EU-wide ban which would have destroyed the industry.

Conservatives win through for UK Offshore Oil and Gas industry

21 May 2013 @ 13:0

British MEPs today declared victory in their long-running battle over offshore oil safety rules.
Since the Gulf of Mexico crisis there have been continual calls from some MEPs effectively to shut down oil and gas drilling in Europe. EU officials made a power grab over the offshore industry by proposing a European super-regulator for the industry and one-size-fits-all safety legislation.

North Sea oil and gas companies pointed out that the European draft legislation would make the industry less safe and would cost over £140 million in legal and administration fees to implement.

Conservatives: Marathon regulation talks seal leading role of London and UK

15 Jan 2014 @ 14:0

A new package of measures to regulate the market in financial products - agreed in Strasbourg last night after months of negotiation - will improve transparency and ensure the UK stays at the forefront of the global trade.

Consumer protection measures undermined by MEP vote

22 Oct 2013 @ 14:0

Late last night, the European Parliament's Economic andMonetary Affairs Committee decided to add additional, unnecessary requirementsto investor-protection measures set out in the Key Information DocumentRegulation.

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20 Nov 2013 @ 9:0

Prime Minister David Cameron today congratulated Syed Kamall on becoming leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs.

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11 Dec 2013 @ 10:0

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament has attacked a delegation of left-wing MEPs heading off to Iran on Thursday, without setting any preconditions such as the regime allowing them to meet opposition spokespersons or debating the human rights situation.

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26 Feb 2014 @ 10:0

Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson has contacted the European Commission on behalf of hundreds of British fishermen who have not been able to fish since December due to the relentless storm conditions which have prevented them from going to sea.

Copyright: moves to make licensing of copyrighted content easier

09 Jul 2013 @ 15:0

Members of the European Parliament Legal Affairs committee adopted unanimously today their position on the proposal for a directive on the collective management of copyright.

Costly waste of the EU's 'Arms length' agencies

21 Nov 2013 @ 11:0

Many of The European Union's agencies and institutionsare unnecessary talking shops and duplicate work which couldreadily be handled by existing national bodies, Conservative MEPswill warn today.

Court ruling strengthens Cameron's hand

15 Sep 2015 @ 12:00

A European court ruling seen as a boost to Britain's renegotiation strategy has been upheld.

CRA measures "a mixture of the unnecessary and the inadequate"

16 Jan 2013 @ 16:0

The European Parliament today (Wednesday) approved new legislation aimed at restricting the influence of Credit Ratings Agencies (CRAs). The new laws impose a rotation regime on certain categories of work and set a strict timetable for when and how often agencies may issue judgments of sovereign debt.

Deva calls for UN to cut ballooning budget

26 Sep 2013 @ 12:0

Nirj Deva MEP, Vice Chairman of the European parliament's Development Committee and Conservative spokesman for International Development, today lashed out at bloated and expanding UN bureaucracy.

Deva hosts ground-breaking Myanmar visit

07 Mar 2013 @ 14:0

In a ground breaking historical visit, the President ofMyanmar (Burma) Thein Sein visited the European Institutions in Brussels and waswarmly received by the European Parliament, the European Commission andCouncil.

Deva says we must stop the rise of Jihadist states in Africa

15 May 2013 @ 17:00

A conference of donor nations and charities in Brussels today aims to mobilise and coordinate support for strife-torn Mali.

Dismay over EU legal action

30 May 2013 @ 17:0

Conservative MEPs today reacted to European Commission plans to take court action against Britain over benefit-tourism safeguards.
Anthea McIntyre and Timothy Kirkhope spoke out after the Commission announced so-called infringement proceedings against the UK over the ‘right to reside’ test applied to EU migrants seeking certain welfare benefits. Commission officials claim the test breaches EU law because British citizens pass it automatically.
Miss McIntyre, Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament, said: "Commissioners don't seem to realise how thin the British public's patience with Europe is wearing. This is no time for unnecessary provocation.
Mr Kirkhope, a former Home Office minister and Conservative spokesman on Justice and Home Affairs in the parliament, said the case demonstrated the need for a Europe-wide overhaul of the way benefits rules are applied.
The Commission considers that criteria already laid down by EU law are strict enough and thus ensure that only those people who have actually moved their centre of interest to a Member State are considered habitually resident.
Mr Kirkhope observed: "The UK was not the only member state on whom the Commission launched infringement proceedings today. Spain has had complaints about the refusal by Spanish hospitals to recognise the European Health Insurance card, the Commission has asked Finland to remove restrictions on migrant workers entitlements to unemployment benefits, and the Commission continues action against Lithuania to uphold EU citizen's rights of free movement for their families across Europe.
"Britain already has support from Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. The UK has an opportunity to lead and build strong coalitions in Europe which create reform, allowing only those that contribute to British society to access to social welfare, but still ensure freedom of movement in order to allow the British economy to grow, the single market to flourish, and allow the millions of Britons who have chosen to live elsewhere in the European Union to have fair access and rights to other Member States social welfare systems.
Miss McIntyre said: "Britain has very good reason to apply these tests. Our benefits tend to be universal and means-tested, whereas those some other parts of Europe tend to be earned through insurance payments - that is, by long-term residence.
"That's why these rules are entirely appropriate for Britain. Similar rules also exist in Holland, Germany and Austria.
"I certainly welcome efforts to increase mobility for those what wish to work, but I do not welcome measures that will inadvertently provide incentives to those who want to come to the UK not to work.
"This decision to target the UK is disproportionate and downright unhelpful at a time when the Britain's future in Europe is the subject of so much controversy."

Don't just change Europe's leaders, change its whole direction

11 Sep 2013 @ 16:0

Europe does not need a new leadership, it needs a completely new direction, MEPs heard today.

ECR Group welcomes historic Canada trade deal

18 Oct 2013 @ 11:0

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group in theEuropean Parliament warmly welcome the conclusion of the EU-Canada negotiationsfor a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). A deal is expectedtoday. This comes after four years of hard work on this agreement following thelaunch of negotiations in May 2009.

Electronic cigarettes safe thanks to Conservative MEPs’ amendment

08 Oct 2013 @ 19:0

Strasbourg, 8th October 2013 -- Electronic cigarettes no longer face being taken off the shelves by the EU after Conservative MEPs were successful today in amending EU legislation on tobacco labelling.

EMIR vote cancellation means MEPs' message is getting through

07 Feb 2013 @ 13:0

A decision today by the European Parliament to withdraw a controversial motion on EMIR derivatives regulation - in advance of an impending vote in Strasbourg - is a sign that MEPs' concerns have hit home, a senior negotiator on the legislation has said.

EP vote marks a sad day for women

26 Feb 2014 @ 16:0

Campaigning Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis has reacted with dismay to a vote in the European Parliament today which seeks to classify all prostitutes as sex slaves working under duress.

Erosion of North Sea safety standards thwarted

21 Feb 2013 @ 16:0

Conservative MEPs have successfully headed off EU proposals on oil and gas safety which they feared would mean poorer standards in the North Sea and unnecessary added cost.

EU 'Package Holiday' rules brought into the 21st century

09 Jul 2013 @ 16:0

Gone are the days when package holidays were always booked from a brochure at a travel agents, so EU laws protecting travellers need to be updated, Malcolm Harbour MEP and Jacqueline Foster MEP said today in response to the European Commission proposals to revamp rules for 'Package Holidays'.

EU 'sanctions' on Mugabe's inner circle to be relaxed

22 Mar 2013 @ 14:0

Following what southern African observers have described as a 'peaceful and credible' referendum on Zimbabwe's
Constitution, there are now moves to lift the EU 'restrictive measures' on most of the Mugabe supporters that had previously been banned from Europe and had their assets frozen. Only 10 individuals (from the 91 previously banned) and two companies will remain on the list.

EU ban on deep water trawls will harm Scottish fishing industry, says MEP

21 Mar 2013 @ 16:0

Struan Stevensonhas responded to yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament’s EnvironmentCommittee  to ban deep water trawling at depths below 200 metres saying thatsuch a move would seriously harm the Scottish fishingindustry.

EU banking bail-out deal protects UK red lines

20 Mar 2014 @ 16:0

All-night bargaining over the proposed single resolutionmechanism (SRM) for banks has produced an agreement which will do the job whilestill protecting the interest of euro "out" nations which choose notto participate.

EU banking union sets in place the basis of a multi-speed Europe

22 May 2013 @ 13:00

An agreement reached on the EU Banking Union is a 'seminal' moment that sets in place a mechanism for a multi-speed EU, Kay Swinburne MEP said today as MEPs held a vote on a single supervisor for Eurozone banks.

EU banks agreement is a curate’s egg: very good in parts

28 Feb 2013 @ 18:0

Last night’s agreement on the Capital Requirements Directive secured the main safeguards for the real economy and is overall a good deal for almost everyone in the UK, despite the caps on a few bankers’ bonuses, Vicky Ford MEP, one of the parliament’s lead negotiators from the European Conservatives and Reformists group, said this morning.

EU budget: MEPs must never be allowed to raise their own taxes

13 Mar 2013 @ 13:0

The European Union's political elite must forget once and for all the idea of so-called "own-resources" tax-raising powers, Conservative MEPs cautioned today.

EU Commissioner’s comments that UK ‘will allow criminals to run free’ are extremely unhelpful: Kirkhope

02 Jan 2013 @ 11:0

Comments by EU Commissioner Viviane Reding – reported by the Daily Telegraph – that the UK will allow criminals and paedophiles to run free by opting out of the EU’s justice and home affairs field are ‘extremely unhelpful’, Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Conservative justice and home affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, said.

EU follows UK with plan to protect farmers from unfair practices

12 Apr 2018 @ 13:45

 

EU legal highs clampdown welcomed

17 Sep 2013 @ 12:0

Proposals to strengthen the EU's ability act against 'legal highs' have been welcomed by Conservative home affairs spokesman Timothy Kirkhope MEP.

EU mis-spending - It's 'Carry On Squandering'

05 Nov 2013 @ 9:0

Misspending and waste of European Union moneyis continuing to get worse, the latest report by the bloc'sauditors reveals today.

EU must drop obsession with renewables targets

02 Sep 2013 @ 17:0

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford has called on the EU to end its slavish and counter-productive obsession with energy targets for renewables.
In her position as rapporteur on industry and energy in the European Parliament, Vicky Ford said the target has harmed investment in alternative technologies.
The East of England MEP explained: "The targets may sound good, but in fact they focus effort and investment onto one area. Instead we should be encouraging a broad scope of potential measures to combat atmospheric carbon dioxide."
She has drafted her group's response to an EU report on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and is dismayed that this burgeoning technology is being stifled partly because of market-distortions created by the EU strict renewables targets.
Her report identifies CCS as the only large-scale and demonstrable technology currently available to take carbon dioxide produced when burning fossil fuels and thus can produce low-carbon electricity.
Failing to include CCS within a long-term energy strategy will severely hamper national, EU and global efforts to address climate change, she believes.
Mrs Ford said: "If we are serious about wanting reliable, affordable and secure energy sources as well as being able to control and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere then we need to make sure all technologies can be used.
"During my research for this report, many people have pointed to the EU renewable target and said how this policy has undermined investment in alternatives such as carbon capture and storage.
"Therefore I believe we should look at a technology neutral approach when setting energy goals."

EU procurement reforms are major boost for taxpayers, small businesses and the European economy

15 Jan 2014 @ 15:0

The enormous spending power of public authorities will be deployed to support innovation, small businesses, economic growth and taxpayer value, thanks to reforms voted through the European Parliament today.

EU sales law is a recipe for confusion

17 Sep 2013 @ 11:0

Legislation to create a so-called single European Sales Law is a recipe for confusion and uncertainty, a Conservative MEP has cautioned.

EU set to introduce draconian overregulation of e-cigarettes

17 Dec 2013 @ 10:0

A provisional deal reached last night between MEPs and national governments on a new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) will take the majority of e-cigarettes off the market.

EU still looking for more to do

21 Feb 2013 @ 18:0

In a joint meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defence committees today (21 February), Poland and Sweden's Foreign Ministers presented their proposals, alongside Italy and Spain - to create a 'European Global Strategy' for a more active EU foreign and defence policy.

EU tackling terrorism at home

30 Jan 2013 @ 15:0

Tackling terrorism at the grass roots was the main agenda for a high level conference with EU officials, NGOs and Europe's home ministers yesterday. The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom, hosted the meeting in Brussels and interior ministers from France, Spain, Norway, and Sweden highlighted the need to curb home grown extremism and terrorism.

EU takes UK to court over energy-saving products

21 Feb 2013 @ 17:0

Responding to news that the European Commission is to take the UK to court over its reduced rate of VAT on energy-saving materials and installation, Martin Callanan MEP, Conservative environment spokesman in the European Parliament, said:

Europe's "triple key" to boosting job creation

18 Sep 2013 @ 16:0

Europe should follow the UK's example on employment by adopting a three-pronged strategy on job-creation, MEPs were told today.

European Commission now wants to meddle in our defence industries

24 Jul 2013 @ 14:0

In proposals aimed at extending its involvement in defence industrial production, the European Commission has published (24 July) proposals to foster cooperation among EU countries on defence matters. The EU’s commissioner for the internal market, Michel Barnier is urging Europe to “earn its sovereignty and not be forced to go buy equipment outside of Europe."

European Court supports clampdown on EU benefits tourism

11 Nov 2014 @ 15:45

European Parliament adopts three legged package to stabilise banks and protect taxpayers

15 Apr 2014 @ 19:0

A new package of legislation adopted by the European Parliament today will protect taxpayers and ordinary bank depositors from bank failure, Vicky Ford MEP, one of the parliament’s lead negotiators on the proposals, said today.

European Parliament approves plans for online gambling shake-up

10 Sep 2013 @ 13:0

Proposals for a major revamp of European regulation covering online gambling were approved by MEPs today.

European Parliament hears welcome for new British car jobs

11 Sep 2013 @ 16:0

The announcement of hundreds of new jobs at Jaguar Land Rover was welcomed by West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre during a speech in Strasbourg.

European youth study and sport package agreed

19 Nov 2013 @ 13:0

The European Parliament today approved a comprehensivepackage of funding measures in the field of education, training, and sportwhich will cover youth study and training programmes through until 2020.

Euro-Prosecutor – the slippery slope to sidelining our own courts

12 Mar 2014 @ 15:0

Plans for a European Public Prosecutor could create a slippery slope towards a continent-wide criminal justice system, Conservative MEPs have warned.

Even the EU's lawyers now say its FTT is illegal

10 Sep 2013 @ 18:0

A leading Conservative MEP today called on the European Union to drop plans for a Financial Transactions Tax after it emerged that the bloc's own lawyers have determined it to be unlawful.

Female directors make sense, quotas don't

18 Sep 2013 @ 17:0

Compulsion and quotas can never be the way to increase female representation in the boardrooms of Europe, MEPs were cautioned today.

Fight against hatred must keep on

12 Mar 2013 @ 16:0

Yorkshire Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope today called upon the European Union to carry on campaigning in the fight against racism, xenophobia and hate crimes.

Fight goes on despite disappointing fish funding votes

10 Jul 2013 @ 18:0

Fight goes on despite disappointing fish funding votes

Fighting crime and terror at a Europe-wide level

05 Feb 2013 @ 16:0

A senior Conservative MEP welcomes today plans for new European measures to combat money-laundering and fight terrorism within the EU.

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.

Financial "plumbing" needs attention – or a burst could wreck everything

11 Dec 2013 @ 14:0

Financial businesses outside the banking sector are potentially just as vulnerable to market stress – and so must be able to demonstrate proper governance and robust risk-management in just the same way.

Ford urges businesses and scientists to bid for money from Brussels

31 Jan 2014 @ 13:0

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford was once again standing up for British science and research when she delivered a speech at the Royal Society in London today.

Foster: new safety rules extend British standards to the rest of Europe

26 Feb 2014 @ 13:0

New rules have been agreed on the reporting of all aviation related incidents which will enhance safety across the EU, extending the model of Britain’s safety regime, a leading MEP predicted today (Wednesday).

Foster: We will fight EU plan for caravan and trailer tests

02 Jul 2013 @ 9:0

Conservative transport and tourism spokesman Jacqueline Foster has vowed to do all she can in the European Parliament to resist proposals which would impose a cumbersome and intrusive inspection and testing regime for caravans and light trailers.
The European Union has drafted a raft of proposed legislation on vehicle safety testing which would hugely extend the scope of the current regime for MOT tests, as well as roadside tests on commercial vehicles.
Mrs Foster, Conservative MEP for North West England, said: "Caravan enthusiasts and the caravan industry itself are extremely fearful. This proposed regulation will bring extra costs and inconvenience that could spoil their holidays and leisure time.
"It also poses a threat to ordinary householders occasionally using small trailers for jobs like taking garden waste to the tip.
"I am all in favour or improving road safety, but this is set to take our perfectly good British system backwards."
The draft legislation includes proposals that could potentially ban some repair garages from also conducting MOT tests and for making caravans and light trailers (under 3.5 tons) subject to frequent MOT tests.
Mrs Foster said: "I have spent many months objecting to the inclusion of caravans in this proposed regulation. I believe it to be pointless and it would contribute nothing to improve road safety. It is accepted that our roads are among the safest in Europe.
"Caravans are generally well-maintained by their owners and used typically in good driving conditions with low annual mileage. I am pushing hard to protect the UK from yet more overly prescriptive, burdensome and unnecessary regulation from the European Commission.
"With so many caravan owners across the United Kingdom, not least the one million members of the Caravan Club, this industry is worth more than £6 billion a year. It contributes greatly to our local and national economies. This is an important part of our leisure and tourism industry which we should be encouraging, not penalising."
In a speech to the plenary sitting of the Parliament in Strasbourg last night (Monday), Mrs Foster told fellow MEPs: "I was also stunned by colleagues calling for measures that would have banned some repair garages from operating testing services. This would have potentially affected the work of up to 50,000 inspectors, and 20,000 SMEs in the UK, threatening some with closure. In these tough economic times, we should be supporting our SMEs, not closing them."
On roadside inspections, Mrs Foster played a key role in removing initial plans to have smaller vehicles included in the proposal. She said: "Widening the scope to smaller vehicles would only reduce attention of Heavy Goods Vehicles, which is where the bigger danger lies. Our roadside inspectors need to make sure that they can inspect what is really necessary. HGVs pose a far higher road safety risk than smaller vehicles, so we should not undermine road safety.
"This proposal is a Commission classic: Over-burdensome, too prescriptive, and too costly."

Fresh boost for single seat campaign

28 May 2013 @ 16:0

Further backing for the European Parliament single-seat campaign came today in a key decision by MEPs on the Petitions Committee - despite attempts to cut short the debate and suppress the initiative.
Conservative MEP Giles Chichester, who has responsibility for drafting the committee's opinion on the issue, stoutly resisted attempts by French, Greek and Romanian MEPs to declare the opinion out of order.
He said: "Some MEPs for some reason want to continue the wasteful travelling circus between Brussels and Strasbourg. They were trying every trick in the book to stop this opinion going ahead. But we stuck to our guns and continued work on an opinion which I hope will add clout to the campaign for a common sense solution."
The Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee, under the guidance of another Conservative MEP Ashley Fox, is preparing a report on how the Parliament should bring its will to bear on the single seat question.
The advice from Mr Chichester's Petitions Committee will now feed into that report.
Most of the European Parliament's work is done at its huge complex of offices and debating chambers in Brussels, but once a month 754 MEPs, 3,000 staff and 25 trucks carrying documents and equipment all decamp to Strasbourg in France.
The trek costs an estimated £160 million a year, in a report now 10 years out-of-date, and needlessly pumps 20,000 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. Despite a clear majority of MEPs opposing the arrangement, it remains in place because of a stipulation in the EU treaties to stage 12 sessions a year in Strasbourg.
Today's committee opinion notes that the parliament has received several petitions in protest, one signed by more than a million EU citizens. Despite that, repeated attempts by the committee since 2006 to put the issue on parliament's agenda have been obstructed.
The opinion says plainly that the Parliament would be "more effective, cost-efficient and respectful of the environment if it were located in a single place."
It notes: "The continuation of the monthly migration between Brussels and Strasbourg has become a symbolic negative issue among most EU citizens which is detrimental to the Parliament's reputation."
Finally, the opinion calls for Parliament to stage a defining debate on the issue and "if an appropriate majority vote is recorded, recommends that Parliament propose treaty changes under Article 48."
Mr Chichester said: "Stubborn self-interest and backroom fixes are the only reason this arrangement is still in place. We are saying: let's get the whole thing properly debated and decided by elected representatives, let's have the whole discussion out in the open and let's come to a solution that shows some accountability to the electorate."

Fresh evidence of FTT damage

03 Apr 2013 @ 13:0

New research on the potential impact of  the EU's planned Financial Transactions Tax is further evidence that the move is ill-conceived and will create unintended damage.

Fresh thinking required on Korea crisis

14 Mar 2013 @ 8:0

Bold new thinking is required to solve the looming nuclear crisis in North Korea, a senior MEP said.

Charles Tannock, Conservative spokesman on foreign affairs in the European Parliament, said efforts should focus on persuading the Democratic Republic Republic of Korea (DPRK) to sign the international nuclear comprehensive test-ban treaty and ultimately to unify peacefully with its neighbour South Korea.

Funding for global accounting body finalised... but with strings attached

04 Dec 2013 @ 15:0

Negotiations on a controversial funding programme for the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have finally been concluded after months of discussions.

Gender scheme will lead to ridicule

15 Mar 2013 @ 15:0

EU proposals for tackling gender stereotyping risk bringing the whole issue of women's rights into disrepute, Conservative MEPs are warning.

Gib MEPs condemn illegal Spanish trade-ban

28 Aug 2013 @ 17:0

The three Conservative MEPs representing Gibraltar today reacted angrily to news that Spain has banned exports of building materials to The Rock as part of the escalating border row there.

Gibraltar MEP hit by Spanish trolling torrent

15 Aug 2013 @ 9:0

A British MEP has been bombarded with vicious abuse by Spanish internet trolls after standing up for Gibraltar over Spain's bullying

Gibraltar will not be intimidated by Spain: local MEPs

29 Jul 2013 @ 13:0

Spain's provocative efforts to intimidate and cut off Gibraltar are unacceptable, Gibraltar's Conservative MEPs said today after Spanish authorities engineered six hour queues at the border crossing with Spain this weekend.

Girling slams EU response to internet safety concerns

23 Aug 2013 @ 15:0

South West and Gibraltar MEP Julie Girling has heavily criticised the response of the European Commission following a Parliamentary Question she tabled in July regarding the controversial website Ask.fm.

Girling welcomes moves to end US beef ban

05 Nov 2013 @ 18:0

The Conservative agriculture spokesman in the European Parliament today welcomed an indication by American authorities that the USA is set to lift its ban on imports of beef from the EU, imposed in the wake of the BSE crisis.

Harbour welcomes Amazon price-rule concession

31 Aug 2013 @ 15:0

Harbour welcomes Amazon price-rule concession
A senior Conservative MEP today hailed a major shift by internet giant Amazon over its web market pricing policy as a good news for consumers.
It will also help small businesses which are making offers through the Amazon website.
Malcolm Harbour said by dropping its controversial "price parity" policy, Amazon was acting in the best interests of fairness in a free market.
As chairman of the European Parliament's Single Market and Consumer Protection Committee, he had already expressed his concerns to the company about the practice.
This banned vendors using its online market from undercutting Amazon's price for the same goods.
As well as pressure from Brussels, Amazon was also facing an investigation by the UK Office of Fair Trading over the measure, which was potentially infringing EU competition law.
Mr Harbour, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said: "It is encouraging that Amazon has been persuaded to think again about this restrictive policy.
"Surveys show that Amazon has a very good satisfaction rating with customers, but this approach did not help small traders or the consumer.
"Amazon is a big and powerful company, but it does not want to act as a law unto itself."

Harbour welcomes end to excessive credit card charges

11 Apr 2013 @ 18:0

Harbour welcomes end to excessive credit card charges

Harbour: Jaguar Land Rover's vote of confidence in the West Midlands

14 Jan 2013 @ 10:0

The announcement today of investment by Jaguar Land Rover to create 800 jobs in Solihull was welcomed by West Midlands Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour.
He said: "This represents a huge vote of confidence for the skills and the hard-working outlook of the West Midlands people.
"Equally it is a vote of confidence for the single market and Britain's place in it.
"As chairman of the European Parliament's Single Market Committee I know what a powerful magnet access to the market can be for attracting strategic investment and creating high-skill, high-value jobs.
Mr Harbour, a former motor-industry  executive with vast experience of the sector, concluded: "This is a good day for the West Midlands, for the UK motor industry and for Europe too."

High-level conference gauges future trends – and informs the search for a European response

19 Feb 2014 @ 12:0

Europe's leaders and policy-makers must engage with one another - and with the rest of the world – in facing up to the central questions of our age.

Holiday pay ruling exposes "damaging" EU directive

04 Nov 2014 @ 15:0

The Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament today said a landmark ruling on holiday pay demonstrated the damaging effects of the EU's Working Time Directive.

Horticulture - a question of growing potential

09 Jul 2013 @ 9:0

Plans for boosting the horticulture sector across Europe were under discussion in Brussels today at a hearing called by British MEP Anthea McIntyre.
Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, is lead negotiator for the European Parliament on plans to introduce new strategies in the sector to boost productivity, competitiveness and income.
She called the hearing, along with the chairman of the Parliament's Agriculture Committee Paolo De Castro, in order to hear the widest possible range of expert advice before drawing up her initial report.
In advance of today's meeting at the European Parliament she said: "Horticulture is an important and expanding part of agriculture right across Europe, but we believe it has the capacity to contribute even more to the overall food-production mix.
"Changing technology is leading to rapid advances to do with growing conditions and husbandry, which means the potential for further expansion and better yields is huge.
"This sector can start to play a hugely important role in addressing issues of food security and affordable nutrition."

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."

Kamall slams "divide and rule" plan to split euro and non-euro MEPs

04 Feb 2014 @ 9:0

The leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs today condemned attempts to hive off certain key policy decisions to a separate "euro-only"' committee.

Kamall to lead Tory MEPs into 2014 election

19 Nov 2013 @ 14:0

Syed Kamall is the new leader of Britain's ConservativeMEPs.

Kamall welcomes investigative spotlight on bank accountancy standards

24 Sep 2013 @ 19:0

The European Parliament's Economic Monetary Affairs Committee today voted to press ahead with a major investigation into the international accounting standards used by banks (International Financial Reporting Standards or IFRS) and their role in the financial crisis.

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