Welcome to my latest enewsletter.
The political agenda continues to be dominated by Brexit. The EU is now extremely frustrated that a UK government fighting against itself is still unable to say what it wants out of negotiations.
In March the EU will agree its position ahead of discussions on the framework for future relations. It is likely the EU will say due to the UK’s red lines the only option available is a Canada-type agreement.
The other big development has been the leaking of the Government’s analysis of the economic impact of Brexit. It has confirmed what we already knew, that any option outside the EU will make us worse off. It is therefore not surprising that opinion polls are shifting towards having a vote on the final deal. We also know a big majority of Labour members and supporters agree with this.
The European Investment Bank
With my Labour colleagues, I voted in favour of the annual report on the financial activities of the European Investment Bank. The report calls for urgent clarification on the impact of Brexit on the EIB, in particular the UK's contributions and future economic participation. The report also says the EIB is right to condition investment in UK projects on assurances that investment eligibility criteria, notably on environmental standards, will be met for the full duration of such investments.
Combatting social inequality
Also, social inequality is on the rise in Europe and around the globe. While wages of ordinary people have stagnated, an ever greater share of wealth is flowing to the richest few. Part of this is a result of policies that allow the rich to avoid taxes while driving down wages and cutting public services. Together with my socialist and democrats colleagues, we called for a topical debate to look at new ideas on how to reverse this trend.
Member of the European Parliament