It was another busy week in the European Parliament – here is your weekly update.
The week started with GMB General Secretary Tim Roache and GMB colleagues joining the European Labour Party (EPLP) to discuss the impact of Brexit. Trade Unions and the EPLP are working closely to protect EU workers’ rights, including four weeks’ paid holiday; parental leave; extended maternity leave; flexible work requests and equal protections for part-time and full-time workers. These are rights the Labour Party and our trade unions have campaigned tirelessly to implement and deliver. We cannot and will not let the Tories push them aside during renegotiations.
Midweek, we were joined by members of the Labour Shadow Cabinet, including Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, Dianne Abbott, Rosie Winterton and our Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Discussion focused on what Theresa May ‘really’ wants post-Brexit. In the Single Market or out? Hard Brexit or Soft? Parliamentary Assent or not? Over the coming months we want to ensure May’s position is clear. She must reveal her decisions to the public and stop trying to pretend you can be in the Single Market and ignore its rules. Labour wants to ensure that the Government addresses all of these issues whilst giving the public opportunity to scrutinise negotiations. We have to protect our industries, international health research, advanced manufacturing, universities, regional development – the list goes on and on. Never mind the security of our gas supply and the crucial role of interconnectors between EU countries.
Aside from Brexit, my Parliamentary work continued with several events focused on energy poverty and energy security. On Monday, I spoke at the European Commission’s Consumers Summit where I called for clear and robust regulation to boost consumer trust in the energy sector. Similarly, at the SEDC Symposium on Empowering Residential and SME Consumers, I outlined the importance of EU funds to renovate homes and improve energy efficiency – for every 1% improvement in energy efficiency we can renovate 3 million homes and lift 7 million people out of energy poverty.
Finally, the week ended with Tracy Brabin becoming the new Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen. Tracy will be a strong voice for her community and let us never forget what Jo Cox stood for – ‘We have far more in common than which divides us’.
As ever, thanks for reading and you can follow my work on here and via Twitter (@TheresaMEP).