BLOG: It has been a busy couple of weeks in the European Parliament – #Brexit, High Court rulings and more
It has been a busy couple of weeks in the European Parliament – so let me update you on the latest.
To kick start the week, the European Labour Party (EPLP) welcomed Gianni Pittella, President of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D). The EPLP belongs to the S&D group and Gianni reiterated that Labour MEPs are full members and will be supported until the UK leaves the EU. This is testament to the warm and supportive nature of our S&D colleagues – and that the work must go on!
Throughout the week I held meetings on energy (with Rural Energy in Europe) and manufacturing (with Engineering Employers Federation). After the vote to leave, many sectors are concerned about the potential impact of trading tariffs and our participation in collaborative projects such as the Energy Union. Labour MEPs will be facilitating ongoing sector meeting to inform Brexit negotiations. Ongoing uncertainty is having a detrimental effect on business and investment in the UK. I doubt Greg Clark can meet with every business and sector to reassure them – like she did with Nissan. Labour MEPs want to see a joined-up and transparent industrial policy – it is evident that this is totally lacking currently.
That is why Labour supports the recent High Court ruling, stipulating that Theresa May must consult the UK Parliament before triggering Article 50. This does not mean we will not be leaving the EU – Labour respects the decision of the British people. However, the Government must bring its negotiating terms to the UK Parliament in a transparent fashion. We cannot give the Tories free reign to dismantle our hard fought workers’ rights, environmental protections, health and safety standards…the list goes on. Theresa May must give the British people a clear understanding of what post-Brexit Britain looks like.
Labour MEPs also voted on a number of key issues throughout the week. We reiterated calls for the UK to maintain its existing EU anti-tax avoidance measures and stop blocking further proposals – especially after the European Commission’s announcement of a new system to prevent aggressive tax avoidance. Further, we called on the UK and French government to organise a holistic response for unaccompanied minors following the demolition of the ‘Calais Jungle’ and the horrific conditions children have been made to live in.
That was your weekly update. Remember, you can follow my work on Facebook (TheresaGriffinMEP) or Twitter (@TheresaMEP).