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The European Parliament voted today for new laws that will allow consumers to access online subscribed content, like Netflix, while temporarily in another EU country - something the UK government must ensure British citizens continue to be able to benefit from after Brexit, Labour MEPs have said.

Under the new regulation, which comes into force in nine months, EU consumers will be able to access online content they have subscriptions to, when they are travelling outside their home country with their laptops, note-pads and mobile phones. Currently, access to these subscriptions is geo-blocked.

Mary Honeyball MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on legal affairs, said:

“These new rules are great news, and will enable people who travel abroad to be able to access their online subscribed services like Netflix throughout the rest of the EU. It is therefore vital that British citizens - be they holidaymakers, students, or those who go abroad temporarily to work - are able to benefit from these new regulations after Brexit.

“This is just the latest in a series of EU laws that benefit consumers - next month, from June 15, mobile phone roaming charges will be completely abolished throughout the EU, ending rip-off holiday phone bills. In the upcoming talks, the UK government must work to ensure British citizens continue to benefit from these great developments after Brexit.”

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Labour MEPs: UK govt must ensure Brits will benefit post-Brexit from new rules enabling EU-wide access to online services like Netflix

The European Parliament voted today for new laws that will allow consumers to access online subscribed content, like Netflix, while temporarily in another EU country - something the UK government...

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Labour MEPs have warned that Theresa May and the Tories still haven’t answered any of the questions about what they would be looking for in the Brexit talks, as the European Parliament today debated the conclusions of the recent EU-27 summit, at which the EU set out its negotiating priorities - something the UK government has yet to do.

Richard Corbett MEP, Labour’s Deputy Leader in the European Parliament, said:

“The European Union guidelines, agreed at the recent summit, highlight the issues at stake and the EU position with far greater clarity than the UK government has done. We still don't know, eleven months after the referendum - and two months on from the triggering of Article 50 - what the government wants to aim for in these negotiations.

“What kind of relationship do they want with the Single Market and how do they realistically expect to achieve that? What actually does the government want in terms of the Customs Union?

“What solution do they envisage for farmers if they are no longer part of an agreed common EU system of subsidies?

“What happens to Britain's participation in the various EU technical agencies, such as those for air safety, medicines, chemicals, and so on - whose certifications are a requirement for selling in the European market? What about security cooperation and the UK’s role in Europol?

“There are literally thousands of issues that require clarification, ranging from the future of the pet passport scheme - a quarter of a million Brits take a pet on holiday to the continent every year - to data protection rules, to emergency health care when travelling.

“On most of them, the intentions of the UK government are still not clear.”

Richard Corbett MEP added:

“Tomorrow the Tories are expected to unveil their manifesto - maybe they’ll reveal all then? Don’t hold your breath.

“The prime minister has said next to nothing on policy during this election campaign, while her ministers have been hidden away. Is she scared they’ll give the game away, and reveal the unpalatable truths behind their plans, or confirm that there really is no plan?

“Far from providing "strong and stable leadership", Theresa May is offering "desperate and deluded leadership".”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Labour MEPs: The EU has set out its priorities, but when will May answer the questions posed by Brexit?

Labour MEPs have warned that Theresa May and the Tories still haven’t answered any of the questions about what they would be looking for in the Brexit talks, as the...

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Unless mechanisms like ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) are excluded from any post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal, it will be harder to reach agreement, Labour MEPs warned today after the European Court of Justice ruled the EU-Singapore trade deal must be ratified by forty-three parliaments across Europe because of its inclusion of ISDS and non-direct foreign investment.

David Martin MEP, Socialists and Democrats Group spokesperson on the EU-Singapore trade deal, said:

“Today’s ECJ ruling provides welcome clarity on the European Union's internal procedures and will have a significant impact on its current and future trade agreements, including a post-Brexit EU-UK deal.

“Any agreement containing investor to state arbitration will have to be ratified by more than forty different parliaments across the EU before entering into force. This process could take up to a decade, and that's on top of the time needed for negotiations in the first place.

“As we saw with CETA, the EU-Canada trade deal, this extended ratification process also creates opportunities for smaller regions like Wallonia to block the whole agreement, thereby increasing the risk of failure and a catastrophic 'no deal' scenario.”

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, member of the international trade committee, added:

“The main reason the European Court of Justice has ruled the EU-Singapore trade deal must go through forty-three national and regional parliaments is because of the provisions on investment, notably ISDS.

“Throughout negotiations for CETA and TTIP - the proposed EU-US trade deal - we have been told that ISDS is essential to securing a free trade agreement. This ruling proves that it actually makes it harder. Any EU-UK trade deal will face similar obstacles if controversial and unpopular clauses are included.

“Today’s ruling also provides a broader warning to the UK government. If the Tories want a stable and strong future trade deal with the EU, then the government will have to start engaging constructively with parliamentarians across Europe now, setting the right tone for the negotiations.

“Theresa May, Boris Johnson and the rest of them must stop attacking our neighbours and start courting them. Only Labour is proposing to reset the negotiations to rebuild the bridges needed to get 43 parliaments on-board, while the Tories continue their strategy of insults and isolation, which has led us to this point of chaos and shows no sign of ever working.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Labour MEPs: ECJ ruling on Singapore means inclusion of ISDS will make any EU-UK trade deal more difficult

Unless mechanisms like ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) are excluded from any post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal, it will be harder to reach agreement, Labour MEPs warned today after the European Court...

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