MEP, Anthea McIntyre, was pleased to be able to take part in the Conservative Party’s social action project at Conference this year, despite having broken a bone in her foot earlier in the week.

She went to the ‘Social Action Zone’ within the conference venue, and packed a box to be sent to a soldier serving in Afghanistan, in partnership with the charity Support our Soldiers.

Miss McIntyre joined a number of Ministers, Members of Parliament, Party Staff, journalists and representatives who also packed a box, with an accompanying note thanking the soldiers for their service and wishing them well.  The parcels will be sent out in time for January, bringing ‘a little cheer for the New Year.

Anthea McIntyre, MEP for the West Midlands Region, said, “I was delighted to be able to take part in this year’s Social Action project at the Conservative Party Conference.  Support our Soldiers has delivered over 100,000 parcels to our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2003. It is an admirable organisation and it’s great to have the chance to send a parcel and a note thanking the troops who do so much to keep us safe.“

Further information:

Support Our Soldiers: www.supportoursoldiers.co.uk

Support Our Soldiers is a national charity, which has been creating care parcels for serving soldiers since 2003.  It was set up by two mums whose sons were about to deploy to the Gulf.  It became a registered charity in 2007 and is now a major force in the Military support network.

Conservative commitment to Social Action: To underline our commitment to Social Action we have undertaken a different project at every Party Conference since 2006.

We make it clear that we are there to inject financial and voluntary action into the organisation as a one-off, and that we dedicate our team and resources to a different scheme at each Conference.

We are delighted that each project that we have supported has continued to prosper, including our first Social Action scheme in Bournemouth, which has even been awarded a £200,000 lottery grant for further development.

Local MEP, Anthea McIntyre, has welcomed Britain’s decision to opt-out of 130 European law and order regulations from 2014 but warned that the story doesn’t end there.

Speaking to a supper organised by local Conservatives on Friday, 19th October, Miss McIntyre explained:

“When Labour signed up to the Lisbon Treaty, they agreed that Britain would opt into the entire Justice and Home Affairs area of the EU or into nothing at all.  The UK is no longer be able to choose to adopt EU laws in these areas on a one-by-one basis.

“The effect is that Labour has left another mess for us to sort out.

“Had we agreed to continue along the path set by the previous Labour Government we would have to adopt a common European asylum and immigration area, and sign up to the future possibility of a common criminal justice system, and a European Public Prosecutor which would be controlled by the European Court of Justice.

“Accepting the authority of the European Courts would be incompatible with the UK's Common Law system and legal traditions which have been developed over hundreds of years. We simply do not have a legal system which is based on the Napoleonic and Romanic codes, like the rest of Europe.

“So it is right that we opt-out but it is in Britain’s interests to co-operate with our partners in Europe on many issues.  Our task, and it won’t be easy, is to work to create arrangements that allow us to share intelligence and other resources with other EU nations where it is beneficial but avoid allowing our traditions and domestic laws being  trampled.

“This is another example of Labour failing the British people and failing to appreciate the consequences of their actions.”

Local MEP, Anthea McIntyre, hosted a working lunch in Brussels to launch a report showing that the number of self-employed professionals has doubled in the last ten years.  The report found that employment rates had generally stagnated during the same period.

Prepared by French economist, Stephane Rapelli, on behalf of the European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP), the report suggests that the nations with the healthiest number of ‘independent professionals’ are also those that display the most resilience during times of economic hardship.

Britain has 1.6 million ‘independent professionals ‘ – more than Germany or France – and the number is growing rapidly.

Miss McIntyre, who is the Conservative Employment Spokesman is Brussels, said: "The fact that there is growth in freelancing despite tough economic conditions is encouraging for both the sector and for the economy as a whole. The report not only provides evidence of growth, it also presents policy makers with crucial insight into the makeup of the sector, which is why I was delighted to host the launch.

“The diversity of professions that attract self-employed entrepreneurs is staggering and their important contribution to the economy cannot be underestimated.  It is crucial that policy-makers understand this growing  form of employment better and avoid imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens on those who are driving our economy forward.”

A copy of the full report can be downloaded here:

http://www.efip.org/efip-news/efip-press/the-growth-of-european-independent-professionals-1350380409

Local MEP, Anthea McIntyre, has welcomed news that the Presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians have warned that the restrictions on hours for doctors need to be changed.

Under the Working Time Directive the number of hours doctors can work in a week is limited to 48 and means they cannot work long shifts followed by long breaks.

The Royal College Presidents, Professor Norman Williams and Sir Richard Thompson, are supporting government efforts to negotiate a change on a European level because of the damage it is doing to health care in Britain.

Miss McIntyre said: "By restricting doctors' working hours to 48 hours a week, these rules do no good for patients, nor for the clinicians themselves.

“Pity the poor hospital patients who now see a string of different men and women in white coats passing their bedside, none of them there long enough to develop a meaningful doctor-patient relationship or perhaps even to achieve a truly comprehensive grasp of their case.

“Hospital administrators know this is a bad arrangement and a costly one.  Doctors know it is a bad arrangement and a dangerous one. Patients and taxpayers are the ones suffering the consequences.”

Miss McIntyre went on to stress: “Obviously nobody is advocating a situation where doctors are too tired to do their work properly but the inflexibility of the Working Time Directive causes real harm.

"The Working Time Directive is an unnecessary and unwanted measure that does no good for patients, doctors or taxpayers."

Prof Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "There is little doubt that the EU working time restrictions are having an impact on patient care.

"Instead of seeing familiar faces at their bedside, the patient gets a conveyer belt of doctors on different shift patterns.

"The rotas brought in to keep hospitals compliant with the legislation leave senior doctors and juniors little time to establish working relationships which are vital for passing on valuable knowledge.

“Moreover, the fact that so many young doctors are compelled to break the hours limit and work voluntarily, if they are to do a proper handover properly or take on night shifts, shows how failed this legislation has been.”

West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre has condemned a raft of proposals which would make it much harder for companies to restructure their operations in difficult times that has been adopted by the European Parliament today (Tues).

The report from the parliament's Employment Committee recommends new rules which would require any company with more than 100 staff go through a lengthy and complicated process before any restructuring - and would even make the firm responsible for retraining employees facing redundancy.

In her role as Conservative employment spokesman Anthea McIntyre has consistently opposed the proposals as a "socialist wish list" which would destroy the ability of struggling companies to stay afloat. She believes the proposed rules would leave them hamstrung at the very time they need to move promptly and effectively to restructure and save their businesses.

After today's vote in Strasbourg she said: "It is a disappointment that a majority of MEPs have chosen to back proposals which are unrealistic, impractical and self-defeating. These measures would not save a single job but could instead push struggling companies into collapse.

According to the proposals the legislation would become applicable if restructuring operations would affect at least 100 employees in a single company or 500 employees in a company and its dependent companies in one or more member states over a period of three months. As “dependent companies” could include any sub-contractor or supplier the proposal would lead to a very high degree of legal uncertainty for almost any employer in Europe.

The proposals specify that the restructuring company would be obliged to give an early explanation and justification to “all relevant stakeholders”. It would then be obliged to follow a checklist of alternatives which would have to be considered before a restructuring would take place.

The employer would also be made responsible for retraining redundant employees for employment in new jobs with other employers. Companies would be obliged to negotiate social plans and to monitor on a permanent basis the "psycho-social health" of redundant staff.

Another clause insists that "relevant measures should be taken several months prior to the proposed restructuring" and should "include the prompt provision of retraining courses".

Miss McIntyre said: "Fortunately these are not legislative proposals. They are in a so-called own-initiative report so the vote does not make them law. The European Commission is, however, obliged to respond to the suggestions and MEPs voted to urge the Commission to come forward as soon as possible with a legal act.

"I hope the response will be a sensible and practical one and will take note of our very grave fears about the thrust of these proposals."