Author Archives: Chris Davies

Chris Davies was Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West from 1999-2014.

Chris Davies writes…Brexit: .not a roar but a quack

VInce Cable set the ball rolling a month ago with a simple remark: “I’m beginning to think that Brexit may never happen.” It brought into focus the reality that our deeply divided government is failing to progress the Brexit negotiations and doesn’t even know what it wants to achieve as an outcome.  (Nor, for that matter, does the Labour opposition).

Within a fortnight the talk was all of the need for a ‘transitional arrangement’.  Even Brexiteers who once told us that Britain’s separation from the EU could be achieved within six months now appear happy to endorse Philip Hammond’s suggestion that it will take till 2022.

It almost seems indelicate to point out that no-one has yet explained what might be the terms of this ‘transitional arrangement’.  The government has not yet mentioned it to the EU negotiators, and indeed they cannot because the EU has made clear that it won’t talk about any such matters until sufficient progress has been made in determining the future rights of EU and British citizens, the financial arrangements for the divorce, and the future of the Eire-Northern Ireland oirder.

Maybe even the more extreme Brexiteers have been cowed by the words of former Tory leader William Hague, a man not afraid in the past to play to Europhobic sentiments, who has warned that “there is the clear potential for Brexit to become the occasion of the greatest economic, diplomatic and constitutional muddle in the modern history of the UK, with unknowable consequences for the country, the Government and the Brexit project itself”.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 35 Comments

Chris Davies MEP writes…Britain betrayed

European Union flagIt’s good to know who your friends are, and when it comes to combating climate change they don’t include Britain’s Conservative MEPs and their UKIP collaborators.  In a European Parliament vote yesterday they tipped the balance, securing the deferral and probable abandonment of attempts to ensure that the carbon market continues to function, and sending out a signal that the EU is no longer interested in promoting low carbon investments.

Europe’s emissions trading system is the largest in the world and is driving down CO2 emissions from power stations by …

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Chris Davies MEP writes: A view from the North (2/3)

You can read the first instalment of Chris Davies’s View from the North here.

It will some as no surprise to members in the North West that I asked them some questions on issues relating to the environment and reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

I have led on environmental issues for the pan-European Liberal group in the Parliament since 1999, but since being re-elected in 2009 I have made sustainable reform of the CFP my biggest policy priority.

I asked whether members agreed with the majority of the world’s scientists that the climate is changing. 88% agreed and only …

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , and | 12 Comments

Chris Davies writes: A view from the North (1/3)

From time to time I try to find out what my party members in the North West think about the issues that most concern me.  We do our best to make sure that the questions are serious and that we do not try to ‘lead’ members into giving particular responses.

Of course I always hope that my own views will be generally reflected amongst the membership, and I also note that the answers we get do not always reflect preconceived views.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 3 Comments

Chris Davies MEP writes… To tithe or not to tithe?

Money is tight. The party is far from being flush with cash and there is not enough in the coffers to fund the level of campaigning we need. We rely heavily on voluntary donations, and equity demands that we dust off a recommendation of the 2008 Bones Report – the one calling for Lib Dems at every level of government to give a proportion of their income to support activities that can enhance the effectiveness of the party.

Most councillors already do this, donating 5-10% of their allowances. ALDC even provides model standing orders that require each voting member of a …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 19 Comments

Chris Davies MEP writes… Wallis succession: It just doesn’t sound right

This is a shortened version of a blog post on Chris Davies’ blog. The full version can be read here and contains complimentary comments about Diana Wallis’ parliamentary career.

The resignation of Diana Wallis, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, came as a complete shock to her colleagues, and not least to the MEPs from across the political spectrum, including myself, who were with her 10 days ago when she handed in her nomination paper to stand for the presidency of the European Parliament.

On Tuesday morning Diana Wallis was campaigning to lead the Parliament, to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 11 Comments

Chris Davies MEP writes… Assisted dying is a liberal issue

It was a Liberal Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt (now the leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament) who ensured that legislation to permit medically assisted dying was brought forward in Belgium a decade ago.  Publication of the report by the independent commission on assisted dying, chaired by Lord Falconer, should be a reminder to our Liberal Democrat leadership of our own very similar party policy on the subject.

Medically assisted dying (the patient self-administering) or euthanasia (the doctor providing direct assistance) are very definitely liberal matters.  They are about respect for individual wishes when the frailty or immobility of the individual …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 15 Comments
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  • User AvatarMatt (Bristol) 25th Sep - 5:30pm
    Peter, Richard -- I'm not entirely sure about 'continual' plebiscites, but neither am I sure about Richard's dictum of the primacy of the businesses who...
  • User AvatarJulian Tisi 25th Sep - 5:14pm
    What an excellent article and what a debate it has generated! There's an interesting article in the Times today which suggested that the decision to...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 25th Sep - 5:12pm
    paul barker 25th Sep '17 - 3:40pm "This issue raises one of the clearest differences between Liberalism & Labourism & affects mostly younger people." If...
  • User AvatarRichard Kilpatrick 25th Sep - 5:01pm
    Thank you all for your contributions. Ian and Maureen - Tees Valley Region (which includes Darlington) is in a much better position than the North...
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 25th Sep - 4:54pm
    @Paul Ankers I simply said that EARS had now produced a tool called EARS lite which does all that minivan can do and more PLUS...
  • User AvatarJoeB 25th Sep - 4:52pm
    Why no mention of the happiness index http://worldhappiness.report/ed/2017/. The index is based on social foundations - caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance...