New plans to help pedestrians

I have always enjoyed walking. While others cycle, drive or take a bus, I have preferred to walk on short journeys. I find that walking helps me to think. It is also a great way to see what is going on in your neighbourhood, allowing you to stop and chat with neighbours and shopkeepers. It also keeps you in touch with the changing seasons, as recent chilly weather has demonstrated.
I’m lucky in that my flat in Brussels is only a mile or so from the Parliament so I usually walk. If it is throwing it down with rain, there is always the Metro [2 stops]. 
But walking is not always trouble free. In rural areas there is often the risk of mud – though you can wear boots to cope with that. In urban areas the problems are more complex – thoughtless motorists or speeding cyclists are an ever-present pest, while poorly designed drop kerbs, badly maintained pavements or dodgy lighting all have their perils.
That is why I was so please to hear there was a new two-year action plan to improve the saf…

The EU single market in services remains ‘a mirage’

As we approach the end-game in the Brexit negotiations, it is worth remembering that the Single Market is not as comprehensive as some would make out. This was shown starkly recently, after the European Commission’s report on the Single Market which exposes the reluctance of some countries and political groups to support the EU’s flagship project.  My colleague, ECR Internal Market co-ordinator Daniel Dalton MEP, described the report as an issue the ECR Group has been advocating for some time, the single market in services is just a mirage. Mr Dalton said: "While the EU single market in goods is well developed, for services it hardly exists and any attempt to develop it is blocked by member states and parliament.  "Many EU governments don’t really want it despite their protestations during the Brexit negotiations. If we did not already have the Services Directive, does anyone really imagine it would be passed in this current climate? "In the European Parliament it is not j…

Supporting Marginalised Women

The battle for women to achieve equality has been a long struggle and achieving equality for women is incredibly important for our society to remove these limitations that some may encounters. Ensuring that these issues do not become stagnant comes to light on the centenary of women being allowed to stand for Parliament.
In respect of this centenary the Minister for Women and Equalities will outline our next mission to support marginalised women. We will be building a country where anyone can achieve as much as their talents and hard work takes them without any restrictions.
Included in the new mission we will investigate the best ways to help women who are economically inactive, in low paid and low skilled jobs, on legacy benefits or facing multiple barriers to become independent.
Therefore, I was delighted to learn that there will be a £600,000 fund to help these marginalised women, especially those who are vulnerable to return to work when they are ready. Organisations across Englan…

Positive news for British fishermen

Within months of Britain entering what was then the European Economic Community it became clear that a high price was being paid by British fishermen, and the on-shore businesses that relied on them. The Common Fisheries Policy [CFP] not only allowed foreign fishing boats access to our rich fishing grounds, but also introduced policies that resulted in the collapse of fishing stocks – especially in the North Sea. 
One of the major benefits of Brexit is that the UK will regain control of our fishing grounds, allowing us to rebuild our fish stocks, our fishing industry and our on-shore industries. During my recent visit to Grimsby Fish Market I saw where our fishing industries are today and discussed what could be possible once we are outside the CFP. Therefore, it can only be positive news for the UK that The Fisheries Bill will return to Parliament to ensure that we have flexibility to negotiate with other countries and ensure stocks are fished sustainably.  The Conservatives, unlike Lab…

Tackling CSE

As a father myself I have my own concerns about children’s safety online and can understand my fellow parents worries. Therefore, I was delighted to hear the Home Secretary announce new actions to tackle online child sexual exploitation ensuring that more is done to keep our families and communities safe. 

The Home Secretary is making progress on this issue by travelling to America to visit tech giants to be updated on what has been done to tackle child sexual abuse. He will also urge all companies to do all they can to response to the evolving threat. We are all aware at the speed which the internet is progressing and it is imperative that we take charge of our own and our children’s safety. Ahead of the Home Secretary’s trip to America he will announce that the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has been commissioned to look at how advertisements are funding CSE activity.  The work by the IWF is crucial in outlining the scale of the problem and how Government and industry should respond. …

The Armed Forces Statute of Limitations Bill

Being from an armed forces family I have always had military interests at heart. While I didn’t join the army myself I still take interest in the operations of our brave soldiers who do; this is why I am so glad that Sir Nicholas Soames MP has put forward an important Bill.  The Armed Forces Statute of Limitations Bill would bring an end to ‘lawfare’, where individuals such as Phil Shiner line their pockets with vast amount of public funds while pursuing veterans into old age.If implemented, this Bill make it impossible for people to be brought to trial for an allegation that took place while they were serving in operations over 10 years ago. Later this month Dennis Hutchings will face charges including attempted murder for allegations relating to 1974 while he was serving in Northern Ireland. Hutchings now has a heart condition and is suffering in poor health. Bringing allegations against someone who fought bravely all those years ago is unnecessary. If an individual did commit a crim…

The Dyson case

For several years our Conservative MEP leader Ashley Fox has helped shape EU legislation on energy labelling. This issue has been brought forward to stop the miss-sale of products to consumers, Mr Fox has pushed new legislation regarding the Dyson case.

Conservative Industry Spokesman, Ashley Fox said about these matters: "We drew up the rules to ensure consumers are able to make informed choices about the products they buy. "In the case of vacuum cleaners, the European Commission has been aware since 2014 of concerns that its testing methods do not accurately reflect the energy use of vacuum cleaners.  "It's a shame that it has taken four years – and James Dyson's dogged persistence - to prove this is the case and that countless consumers have potentially been misinformed. The Commission must now urgently design new tests that properly inform shoppers, promote a reduction in energy use and are fair to innovative entrepreneurs like Mr Dyson." I could not agree …