This week my thoughts are with everyone caught up in the dreadful events in London. I wish to join with the president of the European Parliament and extend my deepest sympathies to the victims (twitter.com/EP_President/...)
Though everything else seems to pale to insignificance in contrast to the loss of life, there have been some more developments this week. Notably, that we have a date. Article 50 will be triggered on the 29 March 2017 which is next Wednesday.Read more
MEP Alyn Smith has welcomed the European Parliament’s formal approval of a regulation to stop the trade of conflict minerals.Read more
Alyn Smith MEP has publicly reiterated his backing to 'End the Cage Age' for farmed rabbits, citing deep animal welfare concerns. MEPs voted in Strasbourg today 410 to 205 to demand a new law to protect the animals.Read more
The tension is clearly rising as we approach Theresa May’s deadline for triggering article 50. It is not yet clear when the back and forth between the House of Lords and the House of Commons will end. I hope Theresa May will at least have the decency to avoid initiating the UK’s withdrawal from the EU near the 25th March 2017 as that marks the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community.Read more
The EU has begun to get down to the nitty gritty details and has confirmed that they see the UK paying about €60 billion before leaving. It is not a simple process (the explanation from Politico that I have included covers it well) but remember this is just the first step. Nothing else can be discussed until this is agreed to by the UK. That means that for now all talk of trade deals, discussion over cross border healthcare, farming, environmental regulation, workers’ rights or consumer rights are just pipe dreams.Read more
Joan McAlpine, Member of the Scottish Parliament and Alyn Smith, Member of the European Parliament, today expressed concern over the impact of Brexit on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
World First’s Global Trade Barometer is based on a YouGov survey of 515 senior decision makers in UK SMEs. They concluded that “over a third of UK SMEs have been negatively impacted by Brexit” and that “almost half of all businesses admit to being worried about currency volatility”.Read more
Last week was a rough one, I don’t mind admitting. Having to watch the House of Commons debate how, when and if the UK Government should begin the withdrawal process from the EU was horrible.
So many lies, so many half-truths, so many unapologetic proven shysters getting away with it. The SNP MPs, and plenty of others, tried their best but the die was cast. The Tories in the UK Government have been given a blank cheque. It turns out “taking back control” actually meant “give control to the Tories”.Read more