Tag Archives: liberal democrat european group

European health policy and the Conference on the Future of Europe

On the 23rd of October, the Liberal Democrats Abroad and the Liberal Democrats European Group held a discussion session with Irish Senator Timmy Dooley about the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe’s contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe. Mr Dooley underlined the importance of hearing British views on Europe’s future, to help learn the lessons from Brexit, meet citizens’ expectations, and shape the EU into an organisation that the British people would be excited to rejoin.

In health, he mentioned the disillusionment caused by an initially slow response to vaccine procurement. Things have vastly improved since then, although, this is an important opportunity to take stock of what Europe does in health – and what else we might like it to do.

Firstly, on pharmaceuticals. Manufacturers can apply to the European Medicines Agency for EU-wide marketing authorisation for their products, but that doesn’t  automatically mean they’ll be available across the EU. Medicine pricing and reimbursement decisions are up to the Member States of the EU. Some have joined together to evaluate the impact of these newly available medicines and decide pricing, such as the Beneluxa group. Is there more Europe can do in this area? Should such coalitions expand to include other EU members – and could the UK get involved?

Europe also offers manufacturers incentives, based on market exclusivity for their new product for a period of time before competing medicines can come into play. The European Commission is examining changes to the rules, which could make these incentives conditional on EU-wide product availability or meeting health needs not yet addressed by existing products. At the same time, it seeks to make the process of getting market authorisation more efficient and less expensive, while maintaining high standards. Should it reform these incentives to influence manufacturers’ behaviour, and if so, how can the EU balance those two issues in a way that works for manufacturers and patients?

The Commission is also reviewing the rules on children’s and rare disease medicines, for similar reasons – how can we incentivise these treatments and make sure patients can access them?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The Liberal Democrat Conference on the Future of Europe

As we head into the Autumn conference and debating season, for those of us for whom Europe is still the most defining issue of our time, the next couple of months are going to be very exciting. As a member of the Liberal Democrats you are going to have the opportunity to have your say.

In June the European Union launched its “Conference on the Future of Europe”, whose purpose is to generate ideas and set out a vision for how the EU should develop and improve in the future.

Posted in Europe / International and Events | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

The campaign against Brexit continues

So far a majority in the House of Commons supports the advice of the British people to leave the European Union (EU). The Government, elected by 25% of voters, continues to impose its destructive hard Brexit vision on the 48% and many leavers who wanted to remain in the Single Market. We also made a decision in the 1975 referendum, and then by a far larger majority, to remain. Taken together this suggests there is no ‘settled will’ as to how we wish to associate with our European neighbours and largest export market. Democracy is much more than just one or two votes. There is no finality in any democracy. When a political party loses an election, it does not stop arguing for what it believes in. Given the losers of the 1975 referendum did not stop trying to reverse that decision, why should remainers, who are also patriots, be asked to stand down now?

We have an unelected Prime Minister speaking outside Parliament proposing what she knows to be a half-baked sketch for Brexit which is not best for Britain. The White Paper isn’t a plan either – it’s a poorly drafted wish list of desired outcomes. She says she wants a good deal with the EU. Yet Lib Dems know any deal the Government does or doesn’t conclude will not be good enough. If leaving the EU were such a good policy, the Government wouldn’t have been so afraid to subject it to full Parliamentary scrutiny.

Brexiters perpetrate a misleading, if not self-delusional, narrative on the economy and particularly trade. It is true the “sky has not fallen in” on the economy. However, the past is no guide to future performance. The last 7 months is a short time frame, and shows we are still benefiting from being in the EU Single Market. But much investment in the UK is on hold, and some financial firms are already relocating some operations out of the UK. Brexiters downplay the 15% depreciation in the pound but let’s see how the Just About Managing (JAMs) and others enjoy the resulting 3% inflation, higher energy prices and forecast decline in real living standards as Brexit bites.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 37 Comments

All welcome to the first Liberal Democrat European Group Conference

ldeg-logoThe next 5 years will be amongst the most important for the Liberal Democrats, for Britain and for the European Union.

Liberal Democrats face three important European challenges, to:

  1. Elect, or re-elect, Liberal Democrat MPs to ensure, as far as we can, that the UK government is constructive about the European Union as a means to advance the UK public’s interests.
  2. Win any referendum on Europe.
  3. Return a large group of Liberal Democrat MEPs in 2019 to fight for the interests of our constituents and a more liberal and democratic Europe.

These challenges are all important. All the people we care about in our communities will be affected by these three events. None of these three challenges will be easy to meet.  Nor can we wait.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 10 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • matt
    @Lorenzo I thought about writing an article about it for LDV, but I am not that articulate and besides, I think after the last couple of years, people are we...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Matt Terribly poignant descriptions, you need to present these as articles or testimony of what you see, to the NHS, it may be govt that funds and leads, it ...
  • Neil James Sandison
    if they want to go down with Boozy Boris and the drinks club thats up to them ....
  • Charley Hasted
    Referring to people who ask you questions because they want to understand your opinions and stances on issues they care about as plastic liberals is not how you...
  • James Fowler
    I think this article is interesting and I applaud it. A year or so ago not many dared to challenge the dogma that the rules were there for everyone's benefit. N...