Author Archives: Phil Bennion

Defending the Human Rights of Parliamentarians at the Inter-Parliamentary Union

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global club of national parliaments, so one might ask why Liberal International (LI) has signed up to the organisation as an Observer Member. The clearest reason is to further the work of LI’s highly active Human Rights Committee, which already has recognition and speaking rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The IPU has its own human rights committee specifically defending the rights of parliamentarians across the world. Many of its cases involve liberal politicians in places where opposition politics is fraught with danger. A second reason is to develop stronger collective identity and action between liberal politicians from our member parties.

Dhaka was a controversial choice of venue, as Bangladesh has itself seen considerable political strife in recent years and the last election was boycotted by the opposition. Whilst I was there their student leader in Chittagong was picked up by police then found dead hours later. A high profile court case involving the suspension from office of the opposition mayor of Sylhet was dismissed by the High Court, only for new proceedings to be instigated before he had gained access to his office. I met the opposition leader off site to discuss democratic progress.

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Phil Bennion MEP writes: It’s time we had a sensible, evidence-led debate on EU freedom of movement

Freedom of movement is one of the EU’s most cherished achievements. It has given millions of people the opportunity to work, study and retire across the continent and has brought huge economic and social gains.

But the recent debate has taken a serious turn for the worse. Both the Conservatives and Labour are dancing to the tune of UKIP.

It falls to Liberal Democrats to set the record straight and defend the benefits that freedom of movement brings, including for the 2 million or so British citizens who live across the EU. These are not just retirees in Spain or Portugal, but …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 40 Comments

Phil Bennion MEP writes… Anti-Bullying Week: The EU has a duty to share best practice on Autism-related bullying

This week is Anti-Bullying Week, now an annual UK event. It aims to raise awareness of bullying of children and young people and people with conditions such as autistic spectrum disorders which make them particularly vulnerable to abuse. Organised by the Anti Bullying Alliance (ABA) in England, which is made up of sixty member organisations, the week is an important opportunity for policy-makers to take stock of efforts to stamp out this social evil and evaluate new approaches.

As MEP for the West Midlands region, I have always believed that the European Union has an important role to play in …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Phil Bennion MEP writes: Manufacturers say Britain must stay in the EU

 EU flag - Some rights reserved by European ParliamentOn Monday, the UK’s manufacturing sector gave us a clear message. In Europe, in work. In a landmark report by the EEF, a trade association representing 6000 companies, manufacturers emphasised the importance of being part of the EU for their exports and business plans. 85% of firms surveyed would vote to remain in the EU.  One third said that they would be less likely to increase investment in Britain if we were to leave the EU.

Politicians across the political spectrum

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 15 Comments

Taking stock – 20 years of the Single Market

In the current “debate” over Europe, “loss of sovereignty”, and “power grabbing by the Commission” are the central themes… what an irony on the 20th anniversary of the single market – the key achievement of the EU which was spear-headed by a British Conservative European Commissioner, and cemented by a Conservative Government in 1992 under the Maastricht treaty.

Commissioner Arthur Cockfield in 1985 published a list of 300 recommendations needed to eliminate the barriers to real free trade within Europe, to make the (then) European Community more competitive and profitable for Member States.

Since 1992 the focus has been to “complete” this …

Posted in Europe / International | Tagged , and | 34 Comments
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  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 21st Jun - 12:28am
    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jun - 12:19am
    Michael BG, the reference I have given above is the difference in trend growth after five years. GDP is between 7¾% and 10½% lower than...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 21st Jun - 12:13am
    A really fabulous piece from Caron, that, includes the reference to the article from before, familiar to some of us, that explains and leads some...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 20th Jun - 11:22pm
    She's since deleted the photo of the message she had received which basically told her she was a disgrace and should get out of the...
  • User AvatarGwyn 20th Jun - 11:11pm
    I'm confused. (Not least because only one of the three relevant links actually works) A Conservative MP (unidentified) sent Sandbach a message which she felt...
  • User Avatarfrankie 20th Jun - 10:53pm
    Christian, I wouldn't be to concerned about Labour pivoting, at the moment they are reminiscent of a clown car, any attempt to pivot will lead...