Blog

  • courtesy Ottojula via Wikimedia Commons

    Disagreements and common ground

    I spent part of the summer in the USA, where I had meetings with members of Congress in Washington. One of the main subjects we discussed was, of course, the ongoing negotiations for a transatlantic trade deal known as TTIP. I also met the US negotiators and the EU’s ambassador to the USA. It was […]

  • courtesy Erik Christensen via Wikimedia Commons

    Whaling in the Faroes

    It’s a pleasure to receive well-argued representations from constituents on genuine issues. Here is one such message I received recently from Millie Hall of East Yorkshire, on the subject of whaling by Faroese people. I expect you are aware of the continued whaling in the Faroe Islands as pictures hit the media recently when around […]

  • University Graduation

    Universities for Europe

    The forthcoming referendum on our EU membership has made it all the more important that we concentrate on challenging misinformation. To do this convincingly, it’s crucial that we have a constellation of voices. Those in the No camp can easily laugh off politicians, but they find it far harder to laugh off businesspeople, charities, scientists, […]

  • 800px-Greek_flag_at_the_Acropolis

    Greece: a deal, but…

    I’m relieved that a deal has at last been reached – but it comes after weeks of considerable damage to the Greek economy. I have every sympathy with the Greek people, but no sympathy with the Greek government. The successive u-turns of the Syriza/far-right coalition have been hugely damaging: they seemingly agreed a package three […]

  • courtesy Tony Hisgett via Wikimedia Commons

    Austerity, Keynes and debt

    The term ‘austerity’ features prominently in recent debates, whether we’re discussing Greece, Osborne’s spending cuts, or the Labour leadership election. But the term itself is rarely defined. Yet what we mean by ‘austerity’, and the circumstances in which various forms of it apply, are both crucial. For some, austerity has the precise meaning of ‘public […]

  • Courtesy jeffowenphotos via Wikimedia

    TTIP update

    A long-awaited vote on TTIP in the European Parliament, unfortunately postponed from last month, has been rescheduled for this Wednesday. Just to reiterate the key points: A final draft of TTIP is not imminent — it is most probably years away. When the draft is completed, MEPs will have the power to accept or reject it. Depending on the content, it […]

  • courtesy Smith & Nephew

    Workplace visits

    Over the past couple of months, I’ve been visiting several major employers in Yorkshire & Humber, not least for discussions on how various EU policies and rules affect them. Reflecting on these experiences, two things strike me. The first is simply pride: I’m amazed by the diversity and international reach of the work that’s done […]

  • courtesy pixabay

    Returning to the playground

    A year ago today, I took my seat as an MEP following the European elections. I commented at the time how similar it all felt to the first day back at school, with a few new pupils wandering the corridors in confusion, various playground manoeuvrings about who would end up in which gang, and everyone […]

  • Tourist taking photos

    ABSURD EU PHOTOGRAPHY MADNESS is damp squib

    We got a sneak preview on Wednesday of the underhand tactics UKIP intend to deploy in their attempts to whip up anti-European hysteria in the run-up to the planned referendum. Here’s the opening of a press release issuing forth from the office of Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP from the North East: ANGEL OF THE NORTH […]

  • The Duke of Edinburgh, Egon KLEPSCH, EP President, Queen ELIZABETH II, and Enrico VINCI on the 12th of May 1992 in Strasbourg

    History of a pro-European monarch

    In a forthright statement, yesterday Queen Elizabeth called for unity in Europe. Addressing German president Joachim Gauck, she said: The United Kingdom has always been closely involved in its continent. We know that division in Europe is dangerous and that we must guard against it … that remains a common endeavour. She did not explicity […]

  • via EPLP

    TTIP postponement

    Today’s much-anticipated vote in the European Parliament, which was to lay out our position on the ongoing Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership negotiations, has been postponed. The new date for the debate and vote has not yet been confirmed. Nothing else about the debate has changed. We continue to argue for a TTIP that benefits people on both […]