21 Jul 2014

News from Molly

Keeping you up to date with what your Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, is going...

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, challenged the candidate for the presidency of the EU Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, over David Cameron’s expressed wish for the UK to be exempt from EU regulation on the financial and banking sector.

Molly said: "David Cameron has made clear that he wants a 'British Exception' for the financial sector from EU banking and finance regulation. Creating a financial Wild West in London, where reprobate financial institutions could avoid regulation, is not in the interest of UK taxpayers, nor is it in the interest of Europe and its taxpayers. Jean Claude Juncker must stand firm on this and not use it as a bone to throw David Cameron in his rapprochement efforts with the Prime Minister.

As the financial crisis has shown, the implications of an ineffectively regulated financial sector have no respect for borders. A loosely-regulated financial sector in the City of London would ultimately have consequences across the continent, with taxpayers ultimately left to foot the bill. This cannot be a bargaining chip for the new Commission and its president."

She’s not been impressed by Junker’s attitude to Green issues, his lack of interest in protecting fish stocks, and if you’re following her on Twitter, you’ll know already that she didn’t vote for him.

Greens have been warning for months that a new EU-US trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could undermine agriculture in the South West, and in particular have a devastating effect on the region’s many small scale farmers.

TTIP is a proposed ‘free trade’ agreement between the US and the EU, the negotiations around which are currently taking place behind closed doors. However, information that has emerged about the proposed deal shows that if successful, the agreement could result in the harmonization of food standards between the EU and US. This would mean that, for example, food products such as chemically washed poultry, livestock treated with growth hormones and genetically modified crops – all allowed in the US – could be sold in the UK. This would severely undermine farmers in the South West who adhere to the higher European standards on animal welfare and on a GM crops ban.

The Green Group is the only group in the European Parliament that has been actively opposing the TTIP negotiations. Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West said: “The potential race to the bottom on environmental standards, employment rights, and animal welfare is one of the key concerns Greens have about these secretive trade negotiations. TTIP is a huge threat to hard-fought-for European standards on the quality and safety of our food and on animal welfare. This could severely affect small scale farmers in the South West, many of whom are leading the way in implementing sustainable farming practices.”

Greens say that TTIP would also grant corporations the power to sue governments and lock-in the privatisation of public services including the NHS.

“The proposals to protect corporate investors against the democratic interests of citizens must not be allowed to stand. Together with my Green colleagues in the Parliament I pledge to do everything in our power to prevent TTIP from being agreed” concluded Dr Scott Cato.

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