e-news 11th September 2015

Welcome to the first update after the summer break. During the last week Molly has attended a plenary session in Strasbourg. This takes place once every four weeks and is the time MEPs debate and vote on resolutions and legislation. The refugee crisis has of course dominated proceedings inside and outside the European Parliament in recent weeks. But there have been plenty of other important issues on which MEPs have voted.

Refugee crisis
This week the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the refugee crisis, with a large majority, calling for the creation of a permanent binding scheme for distributing asylum seekers across the EU. The UK has refused to be involved in such a scheme. Molly said:

“The wave of compassion that has swept through our country in response to this crisis is something that has impressed and moved me. The response by David Cameron and his government on the other hand has been inhumane and has failed to live up to our historically high standards. We are one of the richest and largest countries in the EU yet we are failing to play our part. We should follow Germany’s lead by taking a much larger number of refugees and securing safe routes for them to travel so bringing an end to the deadly business of refugee smugglers.”

Molly has been highly vocal on the refugee crisis. She penned a much discussed article, published in New Statesman, in which she compared the language and attitudes towards refugees with that shown towards Jews fleeing persecution in 1930’s Europe. There was also coverage of her comments on the crisis in The Independent newspaper as well as in regional papers. She signed a cross party letter to David Cameron urging him to take part in an EU resettlement scheme to address the crisis.
Tories kick out Navitus Bay wind farm
Molly has said the decision by the government to block the Navitus Bay wind farm off the coast of Bournemouth is another example of the government’s ‘ideological obsession against renewable energy’. The scheme would have involved 121 turbines 10 miles off the Dorset coast and generated enough renewable electricity to power 700,000 homes. Molly says:

“Opponents have argued that Navitus Bay would threaten the Jurassic Coast. The rising sea levels and storm surges associated with climate change are a far greater threat to this wonderful coastline. Projects like Navitus help to reduce the carbon emissions responsible for changing the planet’s climate. This Tory government is stuck in a dark age, attached to dinosaur industries, with an increasing risk the lights are going to go out. The solution is clear but one the government is making harder and harder to realise: renewable energy projects that can help us transition quickly to energy security in a clean and green way.”
Full story

Parliament backs ban on cloning
The European Parliament voted on draft EU legislation on the cloning of animals. Molly welcomed the vote, which would introduce a comprehensive ban on cloning, and on the placing on the market of food from clones and their descendants. Molly says:

“Greens in Europe are deeply committed to animal rights issues and have been at the forefront of the campaign for a European ban on the sale of meat and dairy products from both clones and their descendants. I support a complete exclusion of clones and their offspring from the food chain, and for a ban on imports of clones and of food derived from cloned animals.”
Full story

Molly helps launch Exeter Pound
Molly was a key speaker at the launch of Exeter’s own local currency, the Exeter Pound, on the 1st of September. The launch was also attended by European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey, who appears on the £20 note. The Exeter Pound joins other local currencies in the South West, including the Totnes Pound and Bristol Pound. Molly says:

“Every time you spend a local currency you are changing the way the economy works and making a statement against what’s wrong with our global economy. It’s not a radical, weirdy green thing – it’s an eminently sensible and practical way to build strength in the local economy.”
Full story with photo gallery