One of the key arguments repeated time and again by Brexit supporters is the idea that Britain will ‘take back control of our waters’. The notion that the UK could run a completely different national policy, increase its catch by reserving all rights to fish in the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
Proceeding with Brexit involves difficult choices. The Johnson deal does not “Get Brexit done”. In fact, it’s simply the end of the first, easier, and less important part - the exit arrangements. Now come the negotiations on the future relationship. It means years more wrangling, arguments and divis
I recently caught up with Alex Sobel, Labour candidate for Leeds North West, and Mike Galsworthy, activist and campaigner for Scientists in the EU. We recorded a video of our discussion (divided into three sections) which you can watch by clicking on the links below.Part 1Part 2Part 3
1 December 2019 marks 10 years since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. With MEPs and the new European Commission now preparing the Future of Europe conference due to start in early 2020, it is a good moment to look back on what the Lisbon Treaty achieved and what it didn’t achieve.Lisbon
The 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall brings back some personal memories. Three in particular are amusing but illustrative.The first is from when I hitchhiked to Berlin in 1973 as an 18 year old, getting a lift from inside West Germany and going along the “corridor” road through East G
The EP fisheries committee today voted to give a mandate to its negotiating team to start negotiations with the Council on the next European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.The European Parliament Fisheries Committee today voted to give a mandate to its negotiating team to start negotiations with the Co
In the light of the the collapse of Thomas Cook and the loss of jobs and inconvenience to thousands of holidaymakers, it is worth reflecting on the safety nets and support that our EU membership entitles us to in such terrible situations.Last month, around 21,000 workers in 16 countries, including 9
Speaking in the chamber on the Withdrawal Act bill, the need for a confirmatory referendum and Labour’s position on a Brexit referendum in any circumstances.Click here to play video.
Addressing the Labour and Left bloc near Hyde Park at the start of the Let Us Be Heard march.Click here to start video.
In the referendum in 2016, the Brexit promised by Leaver politicians was one that would be easy to negotiate, would save lots of money (that would all go to the NHS) and would benefit Britain’s economy, security and prosperity. Several key campaigners told us that we would remain in the EU’s single
I recently visited MAP Charity in Leeds where silk screen printing, rooftop aquaponic gardening, creative media and sound engineering are just some of the activities that re-engage young people with learning important skills.Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting MAP (Music and Arts Production) C
My contribution to the Brexit debate on Monday 23 September at Labour Party Conference in Brighton.
Writing in Labour List I explain why Labour cannot afford to be ambiguous about the next EU referendum.
Last week I chaired a conference on Kashmir in Brussels. This week I spoke in the debate in the chamber, calling on the EU and its member states to put pressure on India to address the situation it has created in Azad Kashmir.
There are, yet again, several possible Brexit scenarios in the weeks ahead:Johnson sits on his hands, allows the clock to tick down until the 31 October deadline, and Britain leaves the EU without a deal, despite what Johnson previously promised and despite the fact that Parliament has voted against
The Kashmir issue has long been neglected by the international community, despite the very clear UN Security Council resolutions that require the issue to be settled by a referendum of the Kashmiri people themselves.But, now, the world cannot ignore the situation. India’s unilateral measures changin
It was a pleasure to join the “No to Boris. Yes to Europe” rally in London today. What was expected to be a small midsummer rally turned out to be a much bigger event as thousands flocked from across the country to send a clear message to Johnson as he prepares to take the leadership of the Tory par
My response to an article in Thursday's Labour List which criticised the EPLP's decision to vote in support of the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen as the next European Commission president.Steve Hudson is right to ask why Labour MEPs voted, along with the bulk of our socialist comrades in the Eur
Knowing that they are losing the support of public opinion back home, the new Brexit Party MEPs have decided to focus their efforts on denigrating, ridiculing and demonising the institution they chose to stand for.Not for them the nitty-gritty work of actually scrutinising European policies or shapi
There is much comment at the moment on how the EU goes about choosing the President of the European Commission, the EU’s executive/administration.The procedure is as follows: the European Council (the elected PMs/Presidents from all EU countries) nominate the Commission President who then needs to s
The shift of emphasis of Labour’s Brexit stance to demanding a public vote on any Brexit outcome may be taking a long time, hopefully in order to get (almost) everyone on board, but it is happening. Moreover, it is fully justified.Two years ago, Labour had said in its manifesto that it respected the
This week I was interviewed by France24 on the European elections and Labour's Brexit position. This week I was interviewed (twice) by France24 and talked about the European elections and Labour’s Brexit position.Click here to watch the English interview.Click Here to watch the French interview.
In my latest article for Labour List, I argue that while the European election results were not good for Labour, nor were they good for the Brexit supporting parties. Labour must move to a wholehearted backing of a public vote on Brexit in order to stop haemorrhaging votes.
Socialists and other pro-European parties did far better than had been predicted in last week's elections. Below is an overview of what the new European Parliament is going to look like. Socialists and pro-European parties did far better than expected and the far-right will stay a (divided) minority