BLOG: EU citizens rights, WTO tariffs and more…my weekly EU round-up

It has been another busy week in both Westminster and Brussels – here’s your weekly EU round-up.

On Wednesday, the Government suffered the first defeat on the European Union Withdrawal Bill – with 358 peers voting in favour of Labour’s amendment to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. We must remember that these individuals are not only vital for our economy and public services; but are also friends, family members, loved ones and colleagues.

The Lords will vote next week on a further amendment which would give MPs a meaningful vote on the outcome of May’s negotiations with the EU – a vote which could also go against the Government. The amended Bill will return to the House of Commons on March 13 and March 14, when MPs will debate whether to keep the changes. Watch this space for further updates.

In Brussels, my work continued to ensure that a hard-Brexit is mitigated – meeting with industry and trade unions. In particular, I met with The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to discuss the impact of Brexit on the automotive sector. The SMMT’s demands are clear: tariff free access to the single market, continued membership of the Customs Union and unrestricted access to talent across Europe. Leaving the EU without a trade deal will lead to World Trade Organisation rules and that means 10% tariffs on cars – this will hit jobs, competitiveness and the industry as a whole.

In other news, we lost a dear MP on Sunday – the Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman MP. Gerald entered Parliament in 1970 and served his constituents tirelessly and emphatically. From the Rent Act to the Industry Act – Gerald epitomised Labour values and always sought to serve underrepresented people. He will be remembered fondly.

As ever, thanks for reading and you can follow my work on here and Twitter (@TheresaMEP).