BLOG: Final EU round-up of 2016 including my Daily Politics appearance, overview of May’s #ShambolicBrexit and more…
Here is your final EU round-up of 2016.
Last week, European leaders met in Brussels for the EU summit and guess what… #ShambolicBrexit continues. Theresa May was clueless as ever. Not only was she ignored (as many of you saw via social media) but she was also excluded from the end-of-summit Brexit discussions. She was a leader without influence, isolated, invisible; far from taking back control, she has lost it.
Just like her Brexit secretary David Davis, Theresa May still has no real plan on how to deliver Brexit. Appearing before the Department for Exiting the EU select committee, Davis repeated his trick of speaking whilst not really saying anything. He also kicked the government’s Brexit plan down the road, saying it will not be published until February. What he failed to mention is that the plan has actually been postponed amid cabinet infighting.
Indecision continues to impact UK sectors, especially energy. The government has been incredibly silent on the issue of energy and our relationship with the EU. Just like the Single Market and Customs Union, the UK is a part of the Internal Energy Market. It is paramount that we remain within the Internal Energy Market if we want to keep energy prices down, promote renewables and decarbonise our economy. See my speech to Theresa May during plenary: (goo.gl/L08OoZ).
During votes, MEPs supported a Labour report on parliamentary rules that will make the institution more efficient, transparent and accountable. New measures include stronger sanctions against anyone making defamatory or xenophobic statements in plenary.
Labour MEPs also voted against measures to open up railway contracts across Europe to private sector operators. We were concerned that new laws did not provide protection for rail workers’ terms and conditions when services are contracted out and failed to ensure good staffing standards on privately-run services.
Another important vote was on the better access to compensation for Thalidomide survivors. The work of the 50 Years Campaign has been crucial to achieving this outcome and now the European Parliament is putting serious pressure on Member States and the Commission to coordinate actions and provide real support to those who have been affected by Thalidomide.
On Friday I was on the Daily Politics show discussing Brexit, the European Parliament President election, the abhorrent situation in Aleppo and Syria and a brief look at Sweden. Watch it here: (https://goo.gl/4yb1We). Then in the evening I visited the fantastic Bury North CLP. It was great to see many friends and to have lively discussions and debate.
Then on Monday I was at Walton Liverpool Sorting Office. It was great to get involved and to see CWU Representatives. We absolutely must support our Post Offices as they are vital to local communities #Peoplespost.
So that was your final EU round-up of 2016. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a lovely festive period.
See you in the New Year!
See photos here: goo.gl/ttxKha