A round up of what your Labour MEPs voted for in the European Parliament, 1st - 4th February.
Labour MEPs respond to Cameron's EU renegotiation deal:
- Labour MEPs have responding to the publication of the draft deal between David Cameron and Donald Tusk on the EU renegotiation by warning that remaining in the EU is vital for our economy, our rights and our security.
- During the European Parliament debate looking ahead to the next European Council summit (18-19 Feb), at which the deal is expected to be finalised, Labour MEPs said that the way to face our future challenges was not through isolation but cooperation.
Undeclared work: EU and government must act to regularise UK's 600,000 cash in hand workers:
- Labour MEPs have voted for the creation of a new European Platform to tackle undeclared work, which sets in place different tools to enhance cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of such work.
- It will be composed of national enforcement authorities and will aim at enhancing cross-border cooperation on undeclared work through the development of common measurement tools; the development of a permanent training capacity; the introduction of a system of peer review; and the adoption of strategies and campaigns to raise awareness.
- In the UK, there are an estimated 600,000 undeclared workers - two per cent of the workforce - with the shadow economy making up 10 per cent of UK GDP.
Labour MEPs call for Commission to introduce stronger Real Driving Emissions tests:
- Labour MEPs have voted for an objection calling on the European Commission to come back with stronger proposals for a swift introduction of Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing - but the objection fell by 323-312 votes, with Tory MEPs voting against.
- The objection called for more stringent emission tests for cars, reflecting pollution emitted on the road and not just in laboratories.
- Labour MEPs have been calling for the introduction of a new RDE test procedure for years so that cars comply with emission limits set by the EU almost ten years ago - yet the proposed draft Regulation agreed in October by the Commission and national governments, including the UK, will allow manufacturers to bring to the market vehicles emitting more than double the amount of nitrogen oxides set by current standards.
TiSA: EU Trade in Services Agreement must exempt public services and protect workers' rights:
- Labour MEPs have voted for the exemption of public services, protection of workers' rights and greater transparency and data protection in the EU Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).
- The European Parliament is voting on a resolution setting out a series of demands from MEPs to the European Commission, which is negotiating TiSA on behalf of EU national governments. These include the full exclusion of all public services; strong safeguards for workers; a new binding clause to guarantee data privacy; and greater transparency.
- TiSA is currently being negotiated between 23 WTO parties, including the EU. It is intended as a tool to reform the rules surrounding global trade in services, which have been in force since 1995 through the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
China's new market economy status: EU and UK government must stand up to China and demand a fair playing field for our industries:
- Labour MEPs have called on the European Commission and the UK government to use China's rise to market economy status as an opportunity to pressure the WTO to demand Beijing plays fair and stops uncompetitive practices like the dumping of steel, which is devastating Britain's steel industry.
The European Commission must come up with new gender equality strategy:
- Labour MEPs have voted for a resolution calling on the European Commission to urgently present a new EU strategy for gender equality. UKIP MEPs voted against the resolution.
Key questions remain over EU-US Safe Harbour data transfer agreement:
- Labour MEPs have welcomed the progress made in the ongoing talks between the European Commission and US government on a new Safe Harbour framework, but warned that there remain a number of unanswered questions over safeguards for data collection, an independent complaints mechanism, and access to judicial redress for EU citizens.