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Labour MEPs have urged the UK government to heed the latest warnings from the aviation industry that unless there is a UK-EU Open Skies deal with ECJ oversight there is a very real risk that from April 2019 there will be no flights – not just to Europe but the USA as well.

Representatives of airlines, airports and travel operators, including Heathrow, IAG Group (BA’s parent company) and TUI, gave the warnings of Hard Brexit disaster at a meeting today of the European Parliament transport committee on the impact of Brexit on aviation.

Lucy Anderson MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on transport and tourism, said:

“Today’s warnings of aviation chaos are the latest nail in the coffin of Theresa May’s ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ mantra, and should be a further warning to Hard Brexiters that total withdrawal from the ECJ will have consequences they probably have not even contemplated thinking about.

“Unless there is a deal, there is a risk that British holidaymakers will be unable to fly to Europe or even the US, with whom we would need to negotiate a separate agreement from scratch. During the referendum, there were warnings this might happen, which were dismissed by Leave campaigners, who will now have a lot of explaining to do.

“It would be plane stupid for the UK government to continue on their current path – leaving the EU without a deal will be like jumping off a plane without a parachute.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Labour MEPs: Plane stupid for UK govt to ignore latest warnings from aviation industry of Hard Brexit chaos

Labour MEPs have urged the UK government to heed the latest warnings from the aviation industry that unless there is a UK-EU Open Skies deal with ECJ oversight there is...

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Labour MEPs have warned that unless Britain secures a Brexit deal with the fullest possible access, it will not enjoy the benefits of the new EU-Japan trade deal, the initial agreement of which was signed in Brussels today. The deal will remove tariffs from 99 per cent of goods traded between the European Union and Japan, and contains no mention of the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

David Martin MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on the EU-Japan trade deal, said:

“This is good news for the EU as the deal will guarantee new opportunities for EU exporters in Japan especially in the agri-food sector by eliminating tariffs on exports of EU dairy products and the protection of more than 200 geographical indications, making it harder to pass off cheap knock offs as originals.

“At the same time this is bad news for the UK as, under the hard Brexit we seem to be heading towards, we will be outside the customs union and not part of the deal, and in the absence of any future EU-UK free trade agreement, we will receive a much worse treatment in the EU market than Japanese goods.

“This will be the case in particular for cars - while the Japanese will pay zero duties after a transitional period of seven years, the UK would pay the WTO duty of 10 per cent. If that happens if will greatly disincentivise Japanese car companies from investing in Britain.”

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, member of the European Parliament international trade committee, said:

“As a result of growing opposition to EU trade policy and falling trust in negotiators, the EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström promised greater transparency in the EU-Japan negotiations, disappointingly they have been conducted in ‘radio silence’ without the publication of the EU’s mandate or basic negotiating texts. This should now be done urgently to allow full scrutiny of the agreement.

“However, it seems that one positive development is the full exclusion of investor-state dispute settlement from the talks. If true this would be a big step forward in ridding trade deals of privileges for multinational investors to sue governments.

“Now we'll wait to see the detail of the deal and hope the UK will be able to benefit from its promise of increased market access in the future. If the UK does not remain part of this trade deal after Brexit, it will have to negotiate one from scratch, and in the meantime British businesses will lose out and jobs will be at risk.”

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Labour MEPs: EU-Japan trade deal is yet more proof UK must secure the fullest possible access post-Brexit

Labour MEPs have warned that unless Britain secures a Brexit deal with the fullest possible access, it will not enjoy the benefits of the new EU-Japan trade deal, the initial...

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The Tories’ vote this week against a report calling for EU action on zero-hours contracts shows they cannot be trusted to protect workers’ rights after Brexit, Labour MEPs have warned.

Siôn Simon MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on employment and social affairs, said:

“Theresa May claims workers’ rights will be safe under the Tories, but by voting against this report, they have shown they cannot be trusted to protect the rights British workers currently enjoy that are underpinned by EU law, and will not extend those protections.

“Unlike the Tories, Labour MEPs have been at the forefront in the fight for workers' rights, and we will continue to fight to keep what we have and work to ensure people who are currently being exploited, such as those on abusive zero-hours contracts, suffer no more.

“Zero-hours contracts offer no guaranteed hours or income, and are a problem across Europe. They prevent people from having any form of financial security - it is completely unfair that some employees don't know how much they will get from week to week.

“The failure of the Tories to support action on zero-hours contracts once again shows that, post-Brexit, workers’ rights will not be safe for as long as they’re in government.”

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Labour MEPs: Tory vote against EU action on zero-hours contracts shows they can’t be trusted to protect workers’ rights after Brexit

The Tories’ vote this week against a report calling for EU action on zero-hours contracts shows they cannot be trusted to protect workers’ rights after Brexit, Labour MEPs have warned....

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