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European Round Up from your Lib Dem MEP

August 15, 2005 4:07 PM

Here is a round up of news stories from Andrew Duff, Liberal Democrat MEP for Bedford and Kempston.

Blame Westminster, Not Brussels!

A new report shows that many new rules which are blamed on the European Union, are actually made up by Britain's own civil servants in Whitehall. Bedford and Kempston Lib Dem MEP Andrew Duff said "This report blows the gaff on British civil servants who take sensible proposals from the EU, and add on a whole load of other more onerous rules of their own. Many other EU countries manage to implement exactly the same European rules in far less detail. It's clear that too often when Brussels gets criticised, we should actually be blaming civil servants in Whitehall."

Lib Dems Back Equality!

Liberal Democrat Members of the European Parliament have given their backing to groups which will work to tackle discrimination. Lib Dems voted to support the work of the cross-party 'Intergroups' in the European Parliament, on anti-racism, disability and lesbian and gay issues. Andrew Duff, Lib Dem MEP for the Eastern Region, said "Liberal Democrats are fundamentally committed to equality, and this move will see us taking steps to tackle discrimination even further."

European Action On Justice And Security

Liberal Democrat Euro-MPs have backed plans to get European governments to work closer together to tackle terrorism and organised crime. Andrew Duff, MEP for Bedford and Kempston, said "When criminals are crossing easily from country to country, the law must not just stop at national borders. Effectively combating many serious crimes means co-operation between different governments. But of course the measures taken must still be open to public scrutiny by the European Parliament, and not just allow bureaucrats to stitch up deals behind closed doors."

Europe Protects Hundreds Of Special Natural Sites

Liberal Democrats are celebrating after action by the European Union to protect hundreds of sites of special natural interest in the UK. Andrew Duff, Lib Dem MEP, said "Many places in Britain of unique scientific and natural interest will benefit from this move. Although the British government initially proposed to protect some, it is only action by the EU which has forced them to go further and protect more than 600 key sites. Among the species that will benefit are stag beetles, Ram's horn snails, Fisher's estuarine moths and the Lady's slipper orchid, in sites from the Scilly Isles to the north of Scotland. It will now be illegal to do anything to endanger their habitats."