Welcome to the final enews before a momentous once in a generation decision for the South West region and the nation.
With just a week to go until the EU referendum, polls suggest the result will be very close. Molly says:
“I am so proud of the way we have run our GreenerIN campaign in the South West. We have been honest and positive throughout and have clearly communicated the Green view of our future in Europe. But the polls show that the Leave side have gained momentum towards the end of the campaign and the result is still undecided. We have two important jobs to do in the final week. We need to convince our left-wing friends why everything they value would be threatened by enhancing the power of the Brexiteers and undermining our ability to work with our European partners. And we need to make sure that people who agree with us about the need to Remain actually go out to vote.
“And remember that personal conversations could make all the difference in the final week. Finally, please let me share with you the huge wave of affection, support and hope I am receiving from my fellow Green MEPs across Europe while I am in Brussels. They value our role in the EU so much and are willing us to stay with them. Please do what you can to help.”
*Molly has a busy week ahead of media interviews, public speaking engagements and visits to local groups. Keep up to date with what Molly is up to across the constituency here. The page is regularly updated.
Panama papers inquiry
Molly has been appointed to the European Parliament’s Panama papers committee of inquiry and has said Chancellor George Osborne must be called to give evidence. The special inquiry will probe member states to see if they failed to enforce EU rules on anti-money laundering or failed to alert each other and share information when they suspected tax evasion. Molly says:
“This investigation needs to follow the money right to the top. The Panama Papers revealed the UK to be at the centre of the global network of tax havens that facilitate tax avoidance and crime. The chancellor must be made accountable for this, particularly in light of hollow promises he has made to be cracking down on tax avoidance.” Full story
Brexit and make-believe politics
Responding to an announcement from leading Brexit MPs that £550 million in EU funding for Devon and Cornwall would be matched by the government if the UK were to leave the EU, Molly says:
“This is more make-believe from the Leave camp. Brexit MPs have no authority to make such a pledge as they may not be part of the government decision-making process. What we do know is that it was the Tories that seized control of the latest round of Cornwall money from the EU and took it away from Cornwall.”
Molly also believes if we leave the EU there will be a ‘bonfire of regulations’ that benefit workers and the environment in the South West. She said:
“We have the EU to thank for enshrining minimum standards on part-time work and fixed term contracts, which benefit many workers in the South West. Our tourism industry also benefits from EU directives that protect our beaches, bathing waters and valuable habitats. With leading Leave campaigners keen to remove ‘red tape’ and barely mentioning the environment during the campaign, we have to wonder what will happen to these safeguards if we leave.”
EU targets contributing to river protection
Molly visited Marlborough recently to see for herself a site that is being managed to protect the local river, guided by European Water Framework Directive targets.
The Stonebridge Wild River Reserve in the heart of Marlborough and is a good example of a chalk stream, which are unique and rare habitats. There are about 200 in the world, and 85% of these are found in the UK. Molly says:
“Creating this new wetland system will be of massive benefit in improving the water quality of the river. Regulations that protect the environment, when enacted with thought and care, can have huge benefits to the local environment and quality of life of local residents.” Full story
Last week was a good plenary session for the Greens, and demonstrated the positive difference the group is making in the European Parliament.
Standing with African farmers against a corporate land grab
Green MEPs hailed a vote on a ‘misguided development initiative’ as evidence of how the European Parliament can help protect the poorest communities from corporate exploitation. A huge majority of MEPs voted in favour of a report by Green MEP Maria Heubuch, which heavily criticises a G8 initiative aimed at levering in private investment in agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. While the ‘New Alliance’ plan aims to improve food security and nutrition, Greens say it favours large-scale farming, fosters landgrabbing and marginalises small-scale producers. Full story
EU governments have again failed to reach agreement over re-approving the toxic chemical glyphosate, the world’s most popular herbicide. Greens have been pushing for a Europe-wide ban on the chemical dues to its potential health impacts and known serious impacts on biodiversity. More details
No to GMOs!
The plenary session saw five different votes related to GMOs and on each occasion the result was a resounding ‘No’. Molly has written an article for the Ecologist on this and further information can be found here.
Interview on New Alliance
Speaking on the BBC World Business Report, Molly outlines why Greens oppose the the G8’s “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition” initiative in Africa in its current form.
TTIP and agriculture
Speaking to BBC Farming Today Molly outlines why Greens are against the controversial TTIP trade deal.
Interview on EU Fisheries policies
Speaking to BBC Radio Cornwall, Molly outlines how EU fisheries policy works, and lays the blame on our government for devastating our local fishing industry.
Articles and opinion pieces
Brexiters’ faux-populism is a sham. They don’t want to ‘take power back from the elites’ Molly writes for Left Foot Forward responding to Leave campaigners accusations of ‘unelected, unaccountable elites’ in Brussels making decisions.
Brexit and the art of the possible The referendum campaign has seen politicians selling dreams and fantasies so Molly applies the ‘art of the possible’ test to the claims.