In the December plenary session of the European Parliament, Julie spoke out on the floods that have hit the north of the UK. Together with fellow Labour MEPs, Julie called out on the UK government to apply for EU solidarity funds.
As homes across the north of England are evacuated once again in the wake of flooding, and many more remain at risk ahead of the New Year, getting that much needed support is crucial. Our thoughts go out to all those communities and individuals affected by this tragedy over the holiday season.
The EU has an important positive role to play in supporting those that have been affected by the floods, and could provide much needed funds. However, it is Cameron's government who must apply for these funds, and it is important for elected representatives and citizens alike to pressure the government to do so.
Here is what Julie said, in two seperate speeches:
Calling for the UK government to apply for EU funds to support those affected by flooding:
"On 5 December, Storm Desmond, an extra—tropical cyclone, hit the coast of Cumbria in the north-west of England, where my office is based. Over the next two days torrential rainfall in excess of 300 millimetres, the highest levels in recorded history, fell across the county and beyond, causing river levels to rise, drains to overflow, bridges to collapse. Thousands of homes and businesses were flooded, many for the third time in ten years. Whilst world leaders argued over a climate deal in Paris, thousands of people in my constituency were bearing the brunt of global warming. Many are now homeless climate refugees, just before Christmas. Infrastructure is damaged and local businesses are suffering.
My constituents have demonstrated enormous resilience and community spirit but we are still missing significant financial support. We need David Cameron and the UK Government to act now to provide both immediate help, through accessing the EU solidarity funds, and by investing in long-term environmental solutions."
Speaking on the need for a sustainable European Energy Union:
"Achieving agreement in respect of an Energy Union that acknowledges the importance of tackling the unsustainable use of fossil fuels and increased use of clean, green renewables instead is ever more important.
I have just spent three days back in my North-West England constituency witnessing first-hand the devastating and costly effects of Storm Desmond, an unprecedented extra—tropical cyclone which has made thousands homeless, rendered property uninsurable and already resulted in job losses, with 1 000 people immediately laid off at the famous McVitie’s biscuit factory in Carlisle just before Christmas. The real cost of failure in agreeing a progressive, sustainable Energy Union will be more of the same. We must act now, for the benefit of everybody’s future."