MEPs from across the political spectrum have poured scorn on a new political party which is campaigning for Ireland to leave the EU and will field candidates in this year’s European elections.
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the endorsement by the European Parliament of an investor court system governing the EU-Singapore trade agreement.
Speaking from Strasbourg after Wednesday’s vote to approve an arbitration scheme to compensate corporations for public decisions that threaten their expected bottom lines on foot of the free trade agreement provisions, Ms. Childers said:
“I am disappointed to see a majority of my colleagues persisting with this model that grants big business an exclusive judicial forum to challenge government policy-making whenever they think decisions taken in the public interest will interfere with their profits.
“The Investor Court System, which the EU executive champions as an important reform to a dispute settlement, actually maintains the all the perverse features of this flawed approach.
“We are willingly taking our own governments hostage to a maximalist doctrine of ‘legitimate expectations’ from the business sector which can and does chill regulation, on pain of extortionately expensive litigation.
“By pushing this model, particularly among developed countries, we are effectively undermining our own legal and judicial institutions, where the same legal standards should apply to all under the same conditions.
“There is a groundswell of frustration and anger against the unequal dividends of globalisation among the general public.
Those who claim to defend it are actually undermining open societies by turning a deaf ear to their legitimate concerns.”
MEPs scoff at new Irish party’s Brexit aspirations
Photo Credit: Press Association
The new Irish party, called Irexit Freedom to Prosper, was founded by Hermann Kelly, Director of Communications for the Eurosceptic EFDD Group in the European Parliament.
Kelly told this website he did not want to comment but, speaking at the founding meeting of the party, he confirmed the party will be running candidates in the European elections.
The elections are due to take place alongside local elections in Ireland in May.
Kelly spoke at the meeting of “the benefits and the necessity of leaving the EU”.
“Why? So we can take back control over trade policy, money and borders, and be a free country once again. We were a free country for a short period after we left the last political union we were in, which was the British Empire.”
He reportedly said: “The relative advantages of being in the EU have decreased and now that we are a net contributor of €400 million a year to old, drunk men who make our laws, I think we’re crazy to stay in.”
About 350 people attended the opening conference.
“A political formation led by a UKIP spin-doctor has nothing to offer to Ireland other than empty promises based on nostalgia for a mythical past that has no relevance to our citizens and their best interests” Nessa Childers MEP
In its political programme, the Irexit Freedom to Prosper party says exit from the EU will “permit the Irish people to take back control” over a range of issues including law-making, human rights, borders and immigration policy, currency and foreign and security policy.
It sets out 12 principles, including to “support all efforts to strengthen the Irishness of Ireland, in particular its language and distinctive cultural and historical traditions”, and to promote a “society of liberty with a free and diverse media which supports free speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion”.
Several MEPs have been quick to dismiss the new party.
They include SNP deputy Alyn Smith, who told this website, “I’ve seen these slippery shysters in action for years and have confidence that my Irish friends will, pardon the language but I think it is quite justified, know shite when they smell it. This dishonest and dodgy bunch deserve no more comment nor attention than that.”
Irish Socialist MEP Nessa Childers said, “A political formation led by a UKIP spin-doctor has nothing to offer to Ireland other than empty promises based on nostalgia for a mythical past that has no relevance to our citizens and their best interests.”
Elsewhere, Catherine Stihler, Labour MEP for Scotland, was also scathing, saying, “Brexit will be an unmitigated disaster and I am fighting hard to stop it.”
“The overwhelming majority of MEPs in Brussels, including our friends in Ireland, want the UK to remain – apart from UKIP MEPs. Any members elected from Irexit Freedom to Prosper will find it very lonely, and they will also find themselves on the wrong side of history.”
NO-DEAL BREXIT LOOMS LARGE
Meanwhile, a few days out from a crucial Westminster vote on whether to adopt Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal, the British Department for Exiting the EU has assured EU citizens that they can remain in the UK if there is no deal.
The likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has increased as a large number of Theresa May’s own party have indicated that they will vote against her deal on Monday or Tuesday next week.
If this happens, it is not certain what the next step is: Brexiteers have indicated that they could renegotiate another Brexit deal with the EU – but the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, as well as May herself, have repeated that this is the only deal on offer.
To add to the confusion, a top advisor to the European Court of Justice has said that the UK would have the power to unilaterally revoke Article 50 and reverse Brexit – that means they would not need the consent of the other EU 27 member states. If this were to happen, the UK would most likely have to pay for the cost of two years of negotiations.
In a report on citizens’ rights, the Department for Exiting the European Union (or DExEU), wished to reassure citizens: “To remove any ambiguity about their future, the UK Government wants to reassure EU citizens and their family members living in the UK that they are welcome to stay in the UK in the unlikely event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.
World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to:
- Be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year.
- Be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.
The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.
Every year, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on a dedicated theme that runs for one or more years. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018-19 is Family and Diabetes.
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the lack of support for universal access to water from a majority of conservative MEPs.
Speaking from Strasbourg after yesterday’s vote on the review of the Drinking Water Directive in the European Parliament, Ms. Childers said:
“Everybody agreed that decades-old EU water quality and safety standards had to be brought up to date with scientific knowledge and environmental goals.
“Unfortunately, not everybody in Parliament agrees that vulnerable groups such as the homeless have a right to access to water
“The first successful European Citizens’ Initiative ever called precisely for European action to ensure water remains a public service and a public good.
“About a million people in 21st century Europe lack access to water, with close to ten times more lacking sanitation.
“This review was a wasted opportunity to listen to the voice of our citizens and enshrine universal access to drinking water in European legislation.
“I was part of progressive, cross-party coalition which pushed amendments to strengthen this proposal, and counted on the efforts of many colleagues such as my Dublin counterpart, Lynn Boylan, and the UK’s Rory Palmer.
“It is unconscionable to see cornerstone of those efforts scuppered by the commodifying mentality that, in Ireland, cost us millions in consultant fees that could have gone to works on atrocious leakage rates.”