Latest Parliamentary Blog: Brexit, Digital, Energy and More!
Last week I was back in Brussels – here are the highlights.
The Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee voted on a key piece of legislation I have been working on for many months now – Security of Gas Supply. The EU is still highly reliant on external energy sources, especially when it comes to gas. That is why the ITRE Committee voted to support the development of regional risk assessments and emergency plans to strengthen our energy security. In an increasingly interconnected gas market it is only by working together that we can ensure gas security for every Member State.
Midweek I spoke at the Energy Transition Symposium: A multifaceted challenge for Europe. I stressed the need for the EU to support the renovation of homes to increase energy efficiency through investment plans and binding energy efficiency targets. Current EU energy efficiency targets are set at 27% – however – for every 1% increase we can renovate 3 million homes. Imagine what we could do with a 40% target!
Towards the end of the week I spoke at the DIGA Project: Digital Innovation for Growth Academy. Currently, women make up 52% of the EU population but only 30% of start-up entrepreneurs. We need to ensure female entrepreneurs are giving equal access to finance, training, business networks and work-life balance measures.
In Westminster, the Labour Party called on Theresa May to answer our 170 questions on Brexit – one for each day before Theresa May’s self-imposed deadline to start the process for leaving the EU. The questions were sent by Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer to David Davis. With the pound reaching a 128-year-low, businesses scared to invest in the UK, a 57% rise in hate crime and #Marmitegate; Theresa May has a lot to answer for.
Amid u-turns, contradictions and infighting, we still don’t know what Tory Brexit policy is. In the Single Market or out? Hard Brexit or Soft? Parliamentary assent or not? It is now three months since Theresa May became prime minister, yet though the Tory Party conference proved instructive as to the tone and mood of the government, we are still no clearer as to what exactly will happen – and nor, it appears, is her party.
As ever, thanks for reading. Don’t forget you can follow my work on Facebook (TheresaGriffinMEP) and on twitter (TheresaMEP).