Tag Archives: fiona hall

What your Tory and UKIP MEPs do for you (1): press for more expensive phone charges

Liberal Democrat MEPs have spent years at the forefront of plans to cut the cost of using your mobile phone while travelling in the EU.

There is a crucial vote coming up on 27 February where a plan to abolish fees for incoming calls this year and data roaming fees by 2016 is being discussed. This isn’t quite fast enough for Liberal Democrat MEPs who have put down an amendment bringing it forward to the start of the Summer holidays in 2015:

With effect from 1 July 2015, roaming providers shall not levy any surcharge in comparison to the charges for mobile

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Fiona Hall MEP backs Nissan over jobs risk if UK leaves EU

Nissan LeafThe Journal, which publishes in the North East, quotes Nissan’s chief operating officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, who says that, as a foreign investor, he hopes that the UK will remain as an EU member.  He claims that if the UK decided to leave the EU, the company could potentially experience two ‘obstacles’, namely, UK-specific regulations and standards, and EU imposed import duty.

Nissan’s UK manufacturing plant, which employs over 6000 people, is based in Sunderland.

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EU funding helps UK punch above its weight on science

Yesterday, MEPs and national ministers in Brussels agreed on the new EU research and innovation programme “Horizon 2020″.

Horizon 2020 is structured around three ‘pillars’;

  • ‘Excellence in the science base’ – aims to strengthen the EU’s world-class excellence in science, particularly through a significant strengthening of the European Research Council, which mainly focuses on frontier research
  • ‘Creating industrial leadership and competitive frameworks’ – aims to support business research and innovation. Actions will cover: increasing investment in enabling industrial technologies and support for innovation in SMEs with high growth potential
  • ‘Tackling societal challenges’ – aims to respond directly to challenges identified in Europe

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This week in Europe: 20-23 May

As attention turns towards next year’s European Parliamentary elections, Liberal Democrat MEP’s continue to work for jobs and growth, and against some of the more ludicrous bureaucratic excesses…

“EU must get tough on tax” says Sharon Bowles MEP
 
Ahead of yesterday’s EU Summit in Brussels, the European Parliament backed a common European strategy to combat tax fraud, evasion and havens.
 
UK Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:
 

It is totally unacceptable that corporate tax avoidance is now the norm in Europe, aided and abetted by aggressive tax planning and tax consultancy firms.
 
I have been fighting

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LibLink…Fiona Hall MEP: Lawson’s EU lunacy is a recipe for economic disaster

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament Fiona Hall has responded to former Chancellor Nigel Lawson’s call for Britain to leave the EU.

Writing in the Independent, she spelled out some of the economic consequences of such a move:

We are currently on the cusp of a game-changing trade deal between the EU and the US, which will bring billions of pounds to the British economy and create tens of thousands of jobs. The US has also made it quite clear that our ‘special relationship’ would cease to be special were the UK outside the EU. Major trade agreements with India and

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Liberal Democrat MEPs lobby for fair distribution of EU funding

Lib Dem MEPs have welcomed the Coalition Government’s commitment to ensure that cuts to European funding from 2014 onwards will be shared in a fair manner across the UK.

The Coalition Government has announced that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be subjected to an equal percentage cut of around 5% compared to the current 2007-2017 EU funding levels.

MEPs and national governments are currently negotiating the next long-term EU budget for 2014-2020. Although a final deal has yet to be reached, the EU’s budget is expected to be cut in real-terms for the first time in its history.

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This week in Europe: 17-20 December…

EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement signed

Catherine Bearder, the Liberal Democrat European spokesperson on international trade, has welcomed the EU trade deal with Singapore as a potential gateway for the UK’s insurance and banking sector into the Asian market.

This free trade deal with Singapore will bring huge benefits to the UK’s financial services sector in particular. Negotiating as a block of 27 countries with the biggest single market in the world has given Brussels the necessary weight to insist that European banks will enjoy a level playing field with US competitors. Britain on its own would have struggled to achieve

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Ed Davey MP writes … There will be no public subsidy for nuclear

Liberal Democrats were at pains in the negotiations for the coalition to insist that if nuclear power stations were to be built in the UK that there should be no public subsidy. This position was reiterated by Chris Huhne in a statement to the House of Commons on October 18th 2010 as reported in his article on Lib Dem Voice. So I would  like to allay Fiona Hall concerns expressed on Lib Dem Voice yesterday by clarifying that there has been absolutely no change in this position.

As Chris Huhne outlined in October 2010 this means that “there will …

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Phil Bennion MEP takes up seat in European Parliament

Phil Bennion has been officially confirmed as the new Lib Dem MEP for the West Midlands region at the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg this week.

The Staffordshire farmer and economic policy expert takes over from Liz Lynne who stood down from Parliament earlier in February after more than 12 years due to the extensive travelling required in the job. He was elected to second place on the Lib Dem list of candidates at the last European elections in 2009.

Phillip Bennion said of his new role,

I am determined to fight for the vital interests of the whole of the

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Spring Conference 2012: registration now open

I am pleased to announce that registration for Spring Conference 2012 is now open.

For the first time, conference will be hosted by NewcastleGateshead. The Liberal Democrats have a proud history in the North-East. We control Northumberland County Council and Ian Swales MP, Sir Alan Beith MP and Fiona Hall MEP represent the Region in London and Brussels respectively.

Fiona said, “Conference is going to be a great boost for the area ahead of vital local elections in May. The region is gearing up to make it a fantastic weekend for everyone. I hope representatives also take …

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LibLink | Alan Beith: “Road safety is not an optional extra”

Sir Alan Beith MP, who is presenting the Road Safety Bill to the House of Commons today, has a piece over at ePolitix urging the Government to do all it can to reduce the number of road deaths – because of their social, emotional and financial cost:

I want to see better protection for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users, along with better support for HGV drivers who face being involved in fatal accidents because of blind spots on their vehicles. A family in my constituency approached me for help after the death of their much loved daughter and

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“Conservative MEPs have consistently voted against a string of measures to protect women’s rights”

So reports the Independent on Sunday:

Conservative MEPs have consistently voted against a string of measures to protect women’s rights.

Analysis of the record of 25 Tory members of the European Parliament this year shows they voted against, or abstained, eight times on issues relating to sexual equality, family-friendly working hours, maternity leave and reproductive health – often in clear defiance of official Conservative Party policy.

The MEPs also failed to back an EU resolution expressing concern about homophobic attacks in Croatia, which is seeking EU membership…

On 25 February, 22 out of 25 Tory MEPs voted against a resolution calling for the EU

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Tories send advance party to reassure Brussels

The Telegraph reports that shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke is going to Brussels tomorrow for “secret talks” with members of the European Commission:

Mr Clarke, who will be accompanied by Mark Prisk and John Penrose, junior shadow business ministers, is expected to seek concessions on financial and employment regulations during the meetings, which are not listed on the European Commission’s official diary.

Fiona Hall MEP, Leader of the European Liberal Democrats, said,

The question is what deal will he do? Will he sell out his own beliefs or those of his anti-European colleagues?

and suggested that such secret talks meant that “the …

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Leading Lib Dems’ approval ratings, as voted by party members

A week ago, Lib Dem Voice invited the members of our private discussion forum (open to all Lib Dem members) inviting them to take part in a survey, conducted via Liberty Research, asking a number of questions about the party and the current state of British politics. Many thanks to the 200 of you who completed it; we’ve been publishing the results on LDV over the last few days.

LDV asked, How would you rate the performances of the following leading Liberal Democrats? And here’s what you told us (with results from September 2009 – the last …

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D-Day in Copenhagen: Fiona Hall MEP’s update from Denmark

Well, it took a little longer than expected to get here. Being of a green disposition I opted for the overnight train from Strasbourg to Copenhagen, but heavy snow meant that it was more of a overnight-and-through-the-day train. Never mind – I’m here now, and we’ll soon know if the trip was worth the effort.

Today is – at least officially – the final day of COP 15. This evening we are due to find out whether the world’s leaders are prepared to go the extra mile and put in place the measures needed to keep global warming …

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Fiona Hall says: “Time to get out of the ghetto”

The new leader of the Liberal Democrat MEPs, Fiona Hall, has said that its time for MEPs to have an increased profile in the party and for the European angle to have a greater role in Liberal Democrat policy making.

In an interview with me on behalf of the Lib Dem European Group, Fiona said,

“We need to get MEPs out of the ghetto of “Europe”. MEPs do not do “Europe”. MEPs do crime, security, civil liberties, finance, climate change, energy, biodiversity, agriculture, fisheries, international development … with a particular emphasis on the European level of decision making in these areas. At …

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LDV pre-conference members’ survey (2): leading Lib Dems’ approval ratings

Over the last week or so, Lib Dem Voice has invited the members of our private forum (open to all Lib Dem members) inviting them to take part in a survey, conducted via Liberty Research, asking a number of questions about the party and the current state of British politics. Many thanks to the c.250 of you who completed it; we’re publishing the results on LDV over the next few days. You can catch up on the results of our exclusive LDV members’ surveys by clicking here.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the satsfaction ratings with the Lib Dem shadow cabinet; but today we’re going to focus on those leading Lib Dems beyond Westminster.

LDV asked, How would you rate the performances of the following leading Liberal Democrats? And here’s what you told us (with results from April – the last time LDV asked the question – in brackets):

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Jonathan Fryer’s Diary of a Euro-candidate

Saturday
Most of the day is spent at the Keynes Forum Policy Conference at LSE, at which one of the sessions is specifically about the European elections, or at least the interlinked campaign themes of the economy and the environment. Both Sharon Bowles (South East) and Fiona Hall (North East) are MEPs who know their briefs intimately, which is reassuring and underlines the value of electing people willing to specialise in specific fields. But through conversations during coffee breaks it becomes clear to me that local activists are really thirsting for simply-worded, bite-sized Euro-items they can just slot into their Focuses. …

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