Tag Archives: international affairs

  • Courtesy immagine Via Flickr

    Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan

    Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are disproportionately applied to Christians and human rights activists. In 2010, the Christian woman Asia Bibi was handed down a death sentence for blasphemy and the Christian government minister Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated for advocating on her behalf.

  • Waiting for Theresa

    Whether or not the Prime Minister is having an existential crisis, the theatrics of the EU Withdrawal Bill going through Parliament cannot distract from the embarrassing fact that, yet again, she was turning up to a European Council summit with nothing to offer.

  • Short Speech in Future of Europe Debate

    Short speech during the Future of Europe debate on 30th May 2018

  • Copurtesy Wikimedia Commons

    Brexit could sink the Falklands

    The Falklands and other overseas territories will be affected if we leave the EU. They were overlooked during the debate and Falkland Islanders weren’t even given a vote in the referendum. It’s time we started talking about what’s at stake.

  • Courtesy Russell Watkins/DFID via Flickr

    The Rohingya crisis on verge of getting even worse 

    I have just had the harrowing experience of visiting the world’s largest refugee camp. Over half a million people are crammed into hastily erected shelters and tents that, in about 50 days, will be hit by the monsoon torrential rains which will wash away the shelters. There is a race against time to avoid the worst of this “catastrophe within a catastrophe”.

  • Courtesy Photo-Rave / Creative Commons

    LOSING control of our money, borders, laws and trade

    Brexit supporters are organised and disciplined in their constantly repeated sound-bites. Almost every day you can hear the mantra “Take back control of our money, borders, laws and trade”. Constant repetition of this line is aimed at it becoming a commonplace, something that is accepted without discussion. Yet the assertion is false.

  • Courtesy Pixabay

    May’s Fudge in Florence

    Flying all the way to Florence, with a large entourage, pursued by an army of journalists, to give a speech that she could have given in London, Theresa May’s speech today was more about the show than the content.

  • Courtesy wikimedia commons

    Japan’s concerns about UK’s Brexit deal

    A letter from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs published last year has resurfaced this week, and is a stark reminder of how little progress has been made on Brexit negotiations, and of the uncertainty it causes for industry and trade.

  • Courtesy The Staggers

    Tusk calls out Tory hypocrisy

    In the New Statesman’s rolling blog I point out how the Tory hypocrisy and inconsistency is already damaging our chance of negotiating anything like a good Brexit deal for the UK.

  • courtesy Public Domain Pictures

    Update from USA

    I just spent four days in Washington and Virginia ahead of the US presidential election, meeting congressional staffers, party officials, diplomats, think tanks, journalists and ordinary people. After the latest events, the presidential race looks uncomfortably close. There is even a small chance that there will be no overall majority in the electoral college (in […]

  • Flag of the UN

    International democracy?

    A growing number of problems can’t be dealt with adequately by national authorities alone — they require concerted international action at various levels. And contrary to much anti-European rhetoric, the EU is actually the most democratic of all the international structures we belong to. Traditional methods of international co-operation are slow, cumbersome, opaque and, frankly, […]

  • courtesy US government via Flickr

    Similar yet different: the USA and the EU

    It is typical of the Leave campaign that in response to President Obama’s support for Britain remaining in the EU, they have challenged his right to make the argument, rather than engage in the argument itself. Boris Johnson has even gone so far as to call Obama a hypocrite, on the grounds that the USA […]

  • Food

    Ending excessive food speculation

    This week I’ve been contacted by a large number of constituents concerned about excessive speculation on food commodities, and the impact this has on the cost of food for some of the poorest people in the world. Labour MEPs have made fighting this kind of excessive speculation a priority in recent years. The Markets in […]

  • There’s nothing left-wing about being anti-EU

    This article was originally published on Labour List. Like Britain, the EU isn’t perfect. Political battles need to be fought at European level, just as at national level, to change things. But our economic and environmental interdependence with our neighbouring countries makes such battles at European level vital – and the idea of opting out […]

  • 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 […]

  • Soldiers in Goma, DRC

    Cleaning up our minerals supply chain

    Tomorrow sees a crunch vote in the European Parliament to tackle the deadly trade in conflict minerals around the world — an issue on which I’ve received more than a thousand messages over the past few months. Minerals such as tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold are part of many European companies’ supply chains. But the […]

  • courtesy werner22brigitte via Pixabay

    Shaping transatlantic trade

    The British Chambers of Commerce have just reprinted my column from a couple of months ago on TTIP and what’s at stake: The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is not all sweetness and light. Even as initial negotiations got underway between European and American trade representatives a couple of years ago, concerns […]

  • via Wikimedia Commons

    What question does TTIP answer?

    I had the opportunity a week ago to hear views on TTIP on the other side of the Atlantic, when I was invited to speak at Harvard University and took the opportunity to meet various stakeholders there and in Washington. Interestingly, many of the concerns raised by people I spoke to were very similar to […]

  • courtesy Venturist on Flickr

    Views on the EU from across the Atlantic

    Earlier this week I spent two days in the US, taking up a long-standing invitation to give a lecture on the European Union at Harvard. While I was on the other side of the Atlantic, I also took the opportunity to talk to various stakeholders — politicians, academics, diplomats, trade union representatives — and discuss […]

  • Speaking at TTIP rally in Hull

    Red lines on TTIP

    I spoke at the Save the NHS from TTIP rally in Hull on Saturday. It was a well attended event, despite the weather. It’s not that I oppose trade agreements between Europe and America. As a Yorkshire & Humber MEP, I’m well aware of how our small and large manufacturers could benefit from a reduction in American tariffs. But some of the mooted elements of this agreement are unacceptable.