Author Archives: Catherine Bearder MEP

Catherine Bearder writes… Now the referendum is over, we need a unifying vision for Britain

Now that the people of Scotland have voted to remain a part of the UK, discussions over what further devolution of powers for Scotland will take place – as well as for the other British nations and regions – will inevitably dominate public debate. However, a big risk facing us as a country is that we become too introspective, turning in on ourselves rather than looking at the wider picture.

That’s because as well as a new constitutional arrangement, we desperately need a unifying vision of Britain and its place in the world. Indeed, it’s the lack of such a vision that has been one of the key factors fuelling Scottish separatism and the nationalism that feeds UKIP.

Posted in Op-eds | 28 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…Working with the new European Commission

Charlemagne is back in EuropeWhile the UK media has been focusing on Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle and what it means for the Tories’ 2015 election strategy, an even bigger shake-up has been taking place in the running of the European Union. A bit like during the Lib Dem European election campaign, the most frequently heard words this week in Brussels and Strasbourg have been “jobs, jobs, jobs”, and this time it is all about our own.

The last time we were in Strasbourg two weeks ago the Parliament sorted out who got what …

photo by: e³°°°
Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

Catherine Bearder writes … Back to work in the European Parliament

European Parliament, StrasbourgIn May’s European elections, it was liberals across the EU who stood up against the growing tide of nationalists, anti-Europeans and populists. Today, the newly elected MEPs met for the first time in Strasbourg to officially open the 8th European Parliament.

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the political group with which Liberal Democrats sit in the European Parliament, took a big hit when we lost all of my hardworking Lib Dem colleagues and nine German FDP MEPs. But it is not all doom and gloom. Liberals topped the polls in the Netherlands, and our numbers have been boosted by new liberal parties from Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic, meaning we are still the fourth largest group with 68 MEPs.

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Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes … The British media is in love with the Euromyth

The invented tales about European Union policy have the ability to amuse and terrify the public.

But Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP for South East England, explains why she has launched her Euromyth Buster campaign to make sure fact is not substituted for fantasy.

Let’s face it, is it any surprise people in the UK get exasperated by the European Union? They are swamped with erroneous tales of alleged devious directives and barmy plans from ‘meddling Brussels bureaucrats’. I have my favourites.

  • There was the ‘fear’

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…The simple Lib Dem approach to aviation

Why was I not surprised?

The knee-jerk, short-sighted reaction of Tory backbenchers to dwindling airport capacity was simple: Bung another runway onto the sprawling tarmac at Heathrow.

The airport already pumps out pollution and noise affecting hundreds of thousands of people and a moment’s respite lasts 90 seconds until the next jet swoops from the skies.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 58 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes… Lib Dem MEPs kill ACTA

After careful consideration, Lib Dem MEPs have decided to reject the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the European Parliament. There is now a majority in the Parliament that will reject the ratification of this plurilateral treaty originally designed to establish international standards for intellectual property rights.

So why do we reject ACTA?

In principle, Lib Dems support the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and the fight against counterfeiting – in particular when it comes to dangerous counterfeit medicines, electronics and toys. But we are also champions of fundamental rights and freedoms and we must weigh up carefully between the need to …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Lib Dem MEPs help expose draft ACTA text

The secrecy surrounding Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has concerned me and many of my constituents as it has many MEPs. As a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, I met the European Commission in early March to discuss the unacceptable level of secrecy in which these negotiations are shrouded, and demanded that we in the European Parliament, as the only directly elected representatives of the public at European level, be given immediate access to the final draft of the consolidated negotiating text. You can view my question here.

Following severe criticism from myself and a number of my …

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Opinion: Climate change – a final chance to act

Catherine Bearder MEP at the Wave climate march

So it has finally arrived, the first day of the Copenhagen Climate Change summit. We have been led to believe that it’s going to fail, then it’s going to succeed and then it will fail again, it’s been quite a rollercoaster. This has really tested the participating countries’ resolve to tackle this issue. This is made tougher because of the economic crisis which has caused hardships for so many people and so it’s understandable that the economy …

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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 24th Oct - 1:28pm
    @ MT - "There are plenty of people who push market solutions and favour reduced regulation and state spending without believing or claiming that “politicians...
  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 24th Oct - 1:22pm
    @Matthew -thanks for your reply, which basically means " orange bookers havent said this but i though i would throw in a bit of random...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 24th Oct - 1:21pm
    for "west" read "east" #typo (look how down with the kids i am!)
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 24th Oct - 1:21pm
    @ JT - "Although it must have been difficult on his bike carrying a bag of newspapers whilst dressed like Darth Vader." I have long...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 24th Oct - 1:18pm
    @ Simon - "Like California might help out Arkansas in subsiding the Federal Government, right? One European Union, one common good. One wonderful Commission." Quite....
  • User AvatarJohn Critchley 24th Oct - 1:11pm
    We could take a look at VAT exemptions (zero rated) and cancel a lot of them. On foods retain the exemption for only basic fresh...