Euro-MP wins another fish fight

Chris Davies MEP

Chris Davies MEP

Our local Euro-MP Chris Davies won support from MEPs for beleaguered fish stocks in a marathon voting session today in Strasbourg.  MEPs from France and Spain attempted to put aside large amounts of taxpayer money for fleet renewal – effectively giving fishermen cash for better boats that could catch more fish.

Chris, who founded the cross party Fish for the Future group of MEPs, led the fight to prevent more subsidy cash being wasted on measures that would encourage overfishing and the further decline of fish stocks.

The European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will provide €6 billion towards the fishing industry between 2014 and 2020.  MEPs approved payment of subsidies to help fishermen adjust to change but not to catch more fish.

Chris welcomed the decision as proof that the EU was serious about improving its fisheries policy, saying “We still have too many boats chasing too few fish, so to use public money to pay for building new boats would only make the problem worse. Grants of this kind were scrapped a decade ago, when 90% of the money was going to France, Spain and Portugal.  To have reinstated them would have been a massive step backwards.”

“Fishermen only have a future if we can help fish stocks to recover.  That is why Lib Dem MEPs supported investment based on sound science rather than subsidies for the few.”

The Parliament supported the use of funds to help fishermen buy more selective gear, to improve port facilities, and to obtain more scientific data about the state of fish stocks.

Not too far. Not too fast.

Tameside MEP Chris Davies writes in his blog today about the plan to reduce Britain’s deficit:

“Most people know that the country is in a very bad situation. But I don’t think many of them realise just how bad things are, or how much worse they could get if the Government gets the strategy wrong.

To understand you have to go back to 1997.”

Read the full story here on Chris’ website.

UK signs up to fight human trafficking

Police forces across Europe will have more power to crack down on human traffickers after the UK signed up to support tougher measures today.  Tameside’s Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies, who has campaigned for the UK to sign up to the new anti-trafficking directive, said:

“The UK has long been a leader in the fight against human trafficking and today’s announcement sends a powerful message that we intend to maintain that position.

“Along with fellow MEPs I helped to lobby the Government to opt in to this directive after they initially decided against doing so. Certain issues are more easily tackled by 27 countries acting together than by each acting alone. Had the UK failed to opt in, efforts to curtail this abhorrent practice would have been hampered.

“EU involvement in this issue may have caused arguments within the coalition but as a Lib Dem I welcome this as a victory for the protection of vulnerable people.”

No need for the Pied Piper

Fears that an explosion in rat and mice numbers could result from a new EU law intended to curb the use of dangerous chemicals have been calmed.

A meeting called by Tameside Euro-MP Chris Davies to give public health and safety experts the chance to explain their concerns to Brussels officials has paid off.

In a formal response to a parliamentary question, EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potonik has now promised ‘open discussions’ to ensure that rodenticides can continue for essential uses.

Davies said: “Problems such as the damage that rats and mice can do to electrical wiring in buildings had been overlooked by the Commission when it drafted its proposal. Good law making requires listening and learning.”

Make Brothels legal, says Tameside MEP

Tameside’s Lib Dem Euro-MP is calling for brothels to be made legal to provide greater security for prostitutes who work from them. Chris Davies claims that the killings of Suzanne Blamires, Susan Rushworth, and Shelley Armitage in Bradford highlight the urgent need for a new approach.

He said: “It is appalling that two or more prostitutes cannot work together under the same roof for their mutual protection without fear of criminal prosecution.

“The law does nothing to help keep them safe.” (more…)

Local MEP casts key vote against ‘meat glue’

Tameside’s Lib DemChris Davies MEP MEP has cast the key vote to reject a bid by the food industry to use ‘meat glue’ to enable meat from different sources to be stuck together in products.

Liberal Democrat Chris Davies says that he was not satisfied that consumers would be told the whole truth about what they were being invited to buy.

The proposal to authorise the use of an enzyme preparation based on thrombin was this week rejected by MEPs in the European Parliament by just one vote. (more…)