e-news April 2019

This is the final enews for this mandate of the European Parliament. The next session will begin in July after the European elections. These are elections that the UK now looks set to take part in.

Molly writes:

I couldn’t be more delighted that we are now in the campaign for European Elections and that I have been chosen as the first candidate for the Greens in the South West. I am also pleased to say that when I shared my pleasure at still being EU members with my colleagues in the European Parliament there was an enthusiastic round of applause! [See video, right] We are turning back the tide of Brexit and the momentum is with us.
But the rise of Farage’s new Brexit party, accompanied by threats of political violence, is terrifying to many of us. You will know that I’ve done a lot of work on studying the far right and how it works so I know that its main weapon is fear. Fear of the Other, fear of violence, fear of loss of identify, fear of the breakdown of our communities. They create the conditions for fear and then feed on the fear they create.
Our response must be one based on courage and optimism. We can and will defend our democracy. We can and will address the fundamental problems with our society and our economy that persuaded people to trust Nigel Farage, the chancer without a plan. Together, we can rebuild our society and restore our democracy.
The most important thing you can do is to make sure as many people as possible vote in the European Elections. 
I am glad that many of you on this enews list have followed me for a good length of time. You will be aware of the difference a dedicated and hard-working group of Green MEPs have made in the European Parliament. This enews provides further evidence of how Greens Change Europe. Which is a fitting strapline for the Greens European election campaign: #GreensChangeEurope  
I look forward to seeing you on the other side of the election!
Further information on the European election
There are six MEPs representing the South West of England and Gibraltar. Molly tops the list of Green Party candidates. A full list and details of the campaign priorities – which are clear on Brexit, strong on climate and fair on the economy – can be found on https://molly4europe.co.uk/. This site will be regularly updated with the latest news.

Watch a video in which Molly says that Greens will use the European elections to celebrate the values of the EU >


Climate to the core
Molly has pledged that climate change will be at the core of all Green policy in the next European Parliament. European Greens announced 10 priority measures to save the climate to coincide with a visit by teenage climate hero Greta Thunberg to the European Parliament a couple of weeks ago. 
Molly had an article published in the Independent this week in which she explains why the diverse approaches to solving our climate crisis all have their place.

Oil giant continues to stalk parliament
A request by Molly to remove Parliamentary access badges of ExxonMobil lobbyists, after they refused to attend a hearing on climate denial, has been denied by authorities. Molly responded:

“This oil giant will continue to haunt the corridors of the Parliament, spreading their disinformation about climate change and blocking the action we need to take to protect the planet for future generations. It’s ironic that this decision was taken on the very same day that climate hero Greta Thunberg was receiving the acclaim of MEPs.” Details here 

‘Mandatory disclosure’
The EU has agreed to the world’s first ‘mandatory disclosure regime’ for a major financial market. Molly explains:
“Citizens should expect the same transparency when buying financial products as when we buy food. When people found horsemeat in their lasagne it was a scandal, but we have not had the right to know whether our pension fund was invested in a windfarm or cutting down a rainforest to plant a palm-oil plantation. That is set to change, and consumers will now be able to learn where their money is being invested.”   

See a video of Molly’s speech to the European Parliament on greening finance >


A vote against the free internet
Molly has expressed huge disappointment that a majority of MEPs backed new copyright laws ‘against the free internet’. Greens opposed the new laws and supported over 5 million people who signed a petition against them. In particular, Greens had repeatedly presented alternatives to the controversial Article 13 on upload filters and Article 11 on ancillary copyright for press publishers. However, a centre-right coalition, including UK Tories, and many socialists supported the new laws.
Molly said:
“Many people have contacted me to raise deep concerns about this legislation. I am hugely disappointed that so many MEPs have let them down. This deal will protect corporate publishers rather than allow creativity to flourish. Greens do not believe we should risk the freedom of the internet in this way.”
More on this here
Government turning its back on Cornwall
Molly has accused the government of failing to announce a replacement for European structural adjustment funding to support small and medium sized enterprises and shift towards a low carbon economy. The government has previously pledged to replace EU funding with a ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’ but no plan has been issued and a promised consultation has been repeatedly delayed. More on this story here.
Competing for the rich
A new Green report identifies Brexit as one of the factors pushing a race to the bottom on personal tax rates. It suggests around 160,000 people are currently benefitting from special schemes within the EU to avoid paying their fair share of personal income tax.

Molly, who has been a member of the European parliament committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, said:

“Personal income tax is the largest source of EU revenue for funding our vital public services and important infrastructure. If we leave the EU, countries in the EU27 will be encouraged to entice financiers and other wealthy elites away from the UK while our country will try to stem this through tax regimes which further undercut EU rates. So Brexit stands in the way of putting a stop to tax injustice.
More on this here. Read the full report here

More transparency over pesticides and GMOs
Parliament has approved a more transparent procedure for authorising pesticides, genetically modified organisms and food additives. The European citizens’ initiative “Stop Glyphosate!” with around 1,400,000 signatures helped achieve these changes. Details here.