Labour MEPs to back calls for minimum EU-wide tourism safety standards to prevent holiday tragedies

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Labour MEPs will vote this week for a report calling for minimum tourism safety standards across the EU, making holiday accommodation safer and preventing future tragedies.

MEPs are expected to back the report, which includes Labour amendments calling for urgent action to address carbon monoxide safety across Europe in tourism settings. It calls on the European Commission to come forward with proposals for minimum standards for tourism safety in the European Union, particularly on fire safety and carbon monoxide safety in holiday accommodation.

Many consumer groups, fire safety organisations and tourism sector organisations support action at EU level on accommodation safety.

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

"Labour MEPs welcome this report, which recognises our call for European legislation on tourism accommodation safety, and highlights the need for a European tourism sector that is sustainable, responsible and accessible.

"We will continue to work with consumer groups, safety organisations and industry representatives to prevent rare but devastating cases where inadequate health and safety rules have led to tragedies including deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning."

Labour MEPs are also calling on the UK government to work with the Commission to come up with an EU-wide carbon monoxide strategy, and work to legislate for higher tourism safety standards.

Linda McAvan MEP, Labour MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, added:

"Two of my constituents, Bobby and Christi Shepherd, went on holiday to Greece and didn't come home - killed by carbon monoxide fumes in their hotel in Corfu. Bobby was just six years old. Christi was only seven.

"We need action now to prevent future tragedies like this - we cannot just shrug our shoulders and carry on.

"The Coroner, in his report of the inquest into the Shepherd children's deaths in May this year, said there should be a 'renewed initiative for EU legislation requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors' - yet Sajid Javid, the then culture minister, said European Commission efforts to draft new legislation were 'not a good use of EU time'.

"The government needs to reflect on what has happened, look at the proposals and work with the Commission to come up with measures to reduce the likelihood of such tragedies happening again - and it is only at EU level that this can be achieved."

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