Conservative Transport Spokesman and Deputy Leader, Jacqueline Foster MEP, welcomed today's agreement to “Stop the Clock” to allow time for a global agreement to cut aviation emissions to be negotiated.

The EU currently operates an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for internal flights, but could not extend its scope outside the EU following international opposition. Today's decision will give the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) until December 2023 to finalise a new global scheme called CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation).

Mrs Foster, who authored (as rapporteur) the European Parliament Transport Committee's report, said: "I am delighted that ICAO will now have time to implement and complete the new CORSIA scheme to cut aviation emissions. This challenge has continued for the last ten years, and in my view pursuing an international agreement is the only realistic solution to tackling CO2 emissions globally.”

 

She continued: "More than 70 countries, including key players such as the US, China, India and others, have already signed up to the new ICAO scheme, and between them they emit approximately 88% of aviation CO2 emissions worldwide. Therefore, by fully backing the ICAO negotiators, we can secure a deal that will do more to protect the environment than any other option.”

 

Local MEP and Consumer Spokesman Dan Dalton has welcomed a new report on boosting digital trade passed in the European Parliament today.

The report calls for customs simplifications to eliminate problems many internet shoppers experience when buying from abroad, and for support and a reduction in red tape for SMEs entering the world of digital trade. Furthermore, it calls for unrestricted data flows, and elimination of unjustified localisation requirements, often used as disguised protectionism, a key priority for the UK government.

Mr Dalton, who authored the Parliament’s Consumer Protection Committee opinion to the report, commented on the vote:

“This report is very timely as we hit the peak Christmas shopping period, when many consumers are experiencing unreasonable customs demands whilst purchasing goods from abroad.”

“Customs simplification will help small businesses seeking to expand as well as shoppers, providing a boost to e-commerce in the UK, one of our biggest future growth industries.”

“Free flow of data is also a key priority for the UK, and important to aiding export of services, as we seek to push for a more global Britain.”

Tough new measures to prevent a repeat of the vehicle emissions scandal have been approved by the European Union.

Piloted through the European Parliament by Conservative Internal Market spokesman Dan Dalton, they will see a minimum of 500 models of cars of various ages being tested by Member States each year.

National authorities undertaking the work will be reviewed by the European Commission  to ensure the tests are consistent and effective.

Speaking after agreement was reached today in talks between the Parliament, Commission and the European Council, Mr Dalton said: "This is the final step in fixing a broken system which let down millions of people around Europe."

"It is good news for car owners, who can be sure their vehicles perform as they are supposed to; for manufacturers, who can be sure that competitors aren't cheating the regulations; and for air quality."

"No longer will illegally polluting cars make it onto our roads undetected."

Other measures featured in the new legislation include:

·         Owners will be reimbursed if they make repairs on vehicles to fix issues later subject to a manufacturer's recall.

·         Independent garages will have access to information on vehicles they need to compete with dealers and help drive down prices.

·         If there is any repeat of VW-style cheating of emissions tests, national governments and, if necessary, the Commission, will be able to levy fines.

·         The testing system will be much more transparent, with third parties able to access the data.

Mr Dalton added: "It has not been easy to secure agreement but I am delighted that we managed to include in the final text almost all the recommendations made by Parliament's committee of inquiry into the emissions scandal."

 

"Make no mistake, in future any manufacturers trying to cheat the system will be found out and properly punished."

Today Conservative MEPs voted to call on the EU to spearhead a global ban on the testing of cosmetics on animals.

The European Parliament's Environment committee backed the call today and has also asked the European Commission to ensure the EU's current ban on the sale of  cosmetics tested on animals is fully enforced. 

Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament's Animal Welfare Intergroup, Jacqueline Foster MEP, said: "Testing cosmetic products on animals is immoral and unjustifiable. We should be proud that the UK and the EU have strict rules prohibiting it, yet it is unacceptable many countries still allow it. That's why Conservative MEPs are calling on the UK and the EU to spearhead efforts to secure an international convention that brings this cruel practice to an end."

In 2013 the EU banned the sale of cosmetics which have been tested on animals. However, 80% of the world still allows such testing to take place.

Conservative MEPs' Deputy Leader, Mrs Foster added: "Now is the time to make a determined effort to ban this practice worldwide. At the same time we must be vigilant to ensure these goods cannot be sold into our market."

The success of a crackdown on internet sites selling counterfeit goods proves more EU legislation is not always the answer.

Conservatives Internal Market spokesman Dan Dalton welcomed figures published today by the European Commission on the performance of its voluntary agreements with online platforms such as Amazon.

They show that in May and June 2017 platforms, on their own initiative, took down 97.4 per cent of listings which allegedly infringed a rights owner's intellectual property rights, up from 86.3 per cent in November and December 2016.

Mr Dalton said:  "When the European Parliament considered this issue back in June it voted to penalise everybody, especially consumers, by demanding heavy-handed regulation of platforms. That makes it difficult for new companies to enter the market and challenge the US-based giants, which in turn reduces consumer choice.

"We believe in the evidence and these latest figures show cooperation with online marketplaces can deliver results.

"Although more counterfeit items have been found, removal rates have increased too. This means overall that fewer fake watches, sports goods and electrical items are being sold online in the big marketplaces, which is good news for consumers and good news for rights holders.

 

"Instead of reaching for the regulation button every time, the Parliament should adopt a more innovation-friendly attitude to the benefit of all players in the market."