Rule-Takers vs. Rule-Makers: The EU-Norway Fisheries Agreements for 2020

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)

Brexit: Now The Real Problems Start

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

Three Labour Remainers (in a pub)

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

Berlin: 3 snapshots

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 vexed issue of subsidies for building new fishing vessels 

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

Thomas Cook’s collapse shows why EU protections are essential

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

Why I’m Marching for a Final Say

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

MAP Charity: Inspired by a sense of responsibility

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

European Parliament Debate on Kashmir

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.

What Next in the Brexit Saga?

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

Tensions in Kashmir

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

“No to Boris. Yes to Europe.” Rally 20 July

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

Why the EPLP voted for Ursula von der Leyen

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

The sad delusions of Brexit Party MEPs

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

The welcome shift of emphasis of Labour policy on Brexit

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

Interview on France24

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.