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Labour MEPs have condemned the government for failing to put forward legislation in the Queen’s Speech today that will guarantee EU citizens’ rights after Brexit – as UK and other EU citizens petitioned the European Parliament to safeguard their rights.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on petitions, said:

“It is absolutely disgraceful that the government has failed to put forward legislation in the Queen’s Speech that will guarantee the rights of EU citizens after Brexit. The three million EU citizens currently resident in the UK, and the 1.2 million British citizens living in the rest of the European Union are still being used as pawns in the Brexit negotiations.

“It must be a priority of the negotiations to ensure there is an early deal on the rights of citizens abroad - Brexit is about more than politics, it's about people, and it is unbelievable that Theresa May and the Tories are still treating them as bargaining chips. Were the government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in Britain, it would not only be the right thing to do, but would almost certainly be reciprocated by other EU countries, giving peace of mind to the many British citizens facing similar circumstances in the rest of the EU.

“We have seen a high volume of petitions from British citizens who worry that an important part of their life will be taken away from them when Brexit is completed. Understandably so, as the UK government continues to do next to nothing to allay these concerns; it had been hoped the start of Brexit negotiations will provide more clarity and some concrete answers on life after Brexit, yet we are still waiting.

“Labour MEPs will continue to represent the voices of ordinary people and push the agenda in the European Parliament, so that not a single right is revoked. But the UK government must now follow suit, so that a deal that works for everyone can be secured. Theresa May says ‘no deal’ is a viable option – make no mistake, this would be disastrous, for the public, for the economy, for everyone.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Labour MEPs: Disgrace that Queen’s Speech fails to guarantee EU citizens’ rights after Brexit

Labour MEPs have condemned the government for failing to put forward legislation in the Queen’s Speech today that will guarantee EU citizens’ rights after Brexit – as UK and other...

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Speaking on the conclusion of the first day of Brexit talks, Labour's leader in the European Parliament Glenis Willmott MEP said: "David Davis has begun some of Britain's most important negotiations for a generation, yet the British people still have no information about what he intends to negotiate.

"Britain needs a government that will proudly declare it will do what is best for jobs and the British economy. We need a government that understands the anguish of people whose homes and livelihoods depend on the outcome of the talks. Instead, we have a weakened Prime Minister who can't even publicly say what she wants to achieve.

"It is in the country's interests for there to be a real change of tone from the British government in its approach to the negotiations. But the real test of David Davis is not just one of tone. With the clock ticking on Britain's membership of the EU single market and customs union, on which so many British and EU jobs depend, we need to start seeing progress on the substance of the negotiations, not just timetables and procedure."

Monday, June 19, 2017

Labour MEPs: Clarity still lacking from government after first day of Brexit talks

Speaking on the conclusion of the first day of Brexit talks, Labour's leader in the European Parliament Glenis Willmott MEP said: "David Davis has begun some of Britain's most important...

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The UK government must continue to work with the EU in leading the fight against climate change, now and after Brexit - and not follow the DUP and Donald Trump down the climate-denial road, Labour MEPs warned as the European Parliament voted today for new limits on greenhouse gas emissions in the transport, agriculture and building sectors.

MEPs voted for a report that improves the European Commission plan for reducing carbon emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions in the transport, agriculture, waste and buildings sectors across the EU will now be cut 30 per cent by 2030. There will also now be more regular compliance checks, every two years instead of five as the Commission proposed, and the review cycle will be aligned with the global stocktake of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Euro-MPs also debated President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the COP21 climate agreement. Signed by 195 countries, the COP21 Paris Agreement was the first deal in history to unite the world’s nations on tackling climate change and keeping the rise in global temperatures to well below 2° Celsius.

Seb Dance MEP, Labour's European Parliament spokesperson on environment, said:

"Once again, the EU is leading global efforts to combat climate change. Today's vote shows that the European Parliament takes seriously the task ahead of us to reduce emissions and live up to our commitments under the Paris Agreement.

"Meanwhile, back in the UK, we have a Tory government scrambling to do deals with the climate-denying, science-denying DUP, led by a prime minister in thrall to Donald Trump. Britain cannot follow the DUP/Trump policy of inaction and flat-earthery - both now and after Brexit, we must work with the EU and wider world to bring down our emissions and fight climate change.

"Every day, the world pumps out more than 112m tons of CO2; if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, we need to take action, drastic action, and we need to act now."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

As Euro-MPs back new limits on emissions, Labour MEPs warn UK govt must be more like EU and less like DUP and Trump

The UK government must continue to work with the EU in leading the fight against climate change, now and after Brexit - and not follow the DUP and Donald Trump...

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