• Tourist taking photos


    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 […]

  • Courtesy Open Democracy on Flickr

    This week’s vote on TTIP

    The debate about a possible future Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership continues, with a lot of attention focusing on an upcoming parliamentary vote this Wednesday 10 June. As a Labour MEP, I am fully opposed to the so-called ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ scheme (ISDS), and will vote accordingly on 10 June. This is not yet a […]

  • via Flickr

    Building a majority against ISDS

    My colleague Jude Kirton-Darling MEP has written a useful update on the state of play regarding TTIP, including a detailed explanation of the work Labour has been doing so far and what happens next: If adopted as such by the plenary of the European Parliament, the motion will send strong messages to the Commission. One […]

  • (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

    Remembering Heysel

    Thirty years ago today, I was in Block Z of the Heysel stadium, while 39 people died just a few metres away from me. The memory of this has haunted me ever since. It was also a sobering lesson of how public authorities can try to absolve themselves of any blame, something sadly witnessed again […]

  • Scotland Polling Place

    EU referendum: who gets to vote?

    Two thirds of the way into her speech at the State Opening of Parliament this afternoon, the Queen announced what we’ve all been expecting: “My government will renegotiate the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union and pursue reform of the European Union for the benefit of all Member States. Alongside this, early legislation will […]

  • courtesy DFID via Flickr

    An open letter to David Cameron

    British Influence have today published my open letter to David Cameron. The full text is below. Dear Prime Minister, Firstly, congratulations on your election result. Your majority is thin, and your government will be fragile — but it is a government nonetheless. In the course of winning power, you have committed us all to a […]

  • Open sign

    Response from the Commission on VAT

    Readers of this blog will know that I’ve been providing regular updates on the work Labour MEPs are doing to address the so-called VAT-MOSS issue, where originally well-intentioned changes to cross-border VAT rules have ended up affecting small and micro-businesses severely and disproportionately. I’ve raised the problem in conversations with Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of […]