The mainstream media rarely tell you much about what a party’s plans and intentions are. They’re often more interested in petty squabbles than in the real meat of policy.
As you prepare to vote on 22 May, you need clear information about what parties’ plans are, and what their achievements have been.
This is the first of a series of posts in which we will give you just that – for the Labour Party and Europe.
They will include
– a digest of Labour’s 2014 European manifesto
– – including plans for reform of the EU
– and a digest of the achievements of Labour MEPs in Europe.
We begin with statements from Ed Miliband, and from Glenis Willmott, Labour’s leader in Europe.
‘Labour’s position on Europe is clear and principled: we strongly believe Britain’s future lies
at the heart of a reformed EU. The benefits of being in the EU are strategic, economic and are about the character of our country – an outward looking, confident Britain. But if Britain’s future in Europe is to be secured, we know that Europe needs to work better for Britain. That is why Labour is working for change in Europe so that it works for the hardworking people in Britain.
In addition, Labour believes that the public should have a guarantee that no future transfer of powers should take place without the public having their say. That is why we have announced that the next Labour government will legislate for a lock that guarantees that there cannot be any transfer of powers from Britain to the European Union without an in/out referendum.
Our position offers the British people a clear choice at the next election. A choice between
a divided and ungovernable Conservative Party that threatens to inflict huge uncertainty on business and undermine Britain’s influence on the international stage or Labour MEPs whose priority in the European Parliament will be creating more and better jobs; helping British business succeed; protecting our national interest; and raising living standards for all – not just the few at the top.’
Glenis Willmott, Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party
We have fought hard to regulate the finance sector, tackling the dangerous risk-taking culture and big bonuses that contributed to the financial crisis.
We have championed new initiatives to reduce youth unemployment and challenged rip-off credit card charges.
We have cracked down on the underhand marketing of cigarettes to children and stood up to the food industry to demand more openness about where our food has come from.
‘Labour MEPs are proud of these and many other successes, but we want to go further. Europe needs to change if it is to win back the confidence of the British public and to better reflect the issues that matter to hardworking people up and down Britain.
We are proud to have secured new funding to help young unemployed people find a job or training, but more must be done to reform the EU so that its primary focus is boosting jobs and economic growth.
We are proud of our efforts to block those who seek to weaken the European safeguards that protect working people and consumers, but there are still loopholes that must be closed.
On trade, we are proud of helping the EU to boost our economy through the European Single Market and new international trade agreements. But, we must remain vigilant to ensure that the Government does not use these deals as a tool to undermine our public services, including the NHS.
And we recognise that at a time of tough choices at home, we must argue not just for restraint of the EU budget but also for reform. There are further savings and institutional changes that must be made.
Of course we are also proud of the work we do at home in our constituencies, backing local projects to support jobs and investment, helping local businesses trade with Europe and supporting constituents who have had problems dealing with another EU country.
These elections are about who you want on your side representing your interests in the European Parliament. Time and again Labour has voted for progress to help hardworking Britain. Yet all too often the Tories have tried to block our efforts, choosing instead to stand up for vested interests.
From getting the European economy working, to tackling climate change, from equal rights to the pound in your pocket, decisions made in the European Parliament matter. That is why Britain is better off with Labour MEPs. ‘
Britain – and Europe – Will be Better with Labour
Vote Labour on May 22
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