Theresa May ridiculed in European Parliament for claiming credit for EU regulations

Theresa May has been ridiculed in the European Parliament after her Government took credit for two major EU regulations in the space of a week – without mentioning where the laws had come from. The Prime Minister spent part of last week hailing the introduction of a ban on credit card charges, as well as mandatory fees for plastic bags in shops, as a win for consumers and the environment.

The Prime Minister spent part of last week hailing the introduction of a ban on credit card charges, as well as mandatory fees for plastic bags in shops, as a win for consumers and the environment.

But despite Conservative-branded publicity being prepared for social media and a major set-piece speech about the environment off the back of the latter policy, the two laws were in fact EU regulations and directives.

“I see the confusion is a little bit widespread in Britain at the moment. Michael Gove for example has forgotten that the ban on plastic bags is an EU regulation,” he said, speaking on Tuesday morning in Strasbourg.

“The Prime Minister, Ms May, doesn’t know, apparently that the abolition of charges on credit cards is a consequence of a directive of the EU.”

Mr Verhofstadt also made light of the “whole hilarious thing about passports” in Britain – which it turns out are not stipulated to be any particular colour by EU regulations, despite claims by Brexiteers and pledges to bring back blue covers after Britain leaves the bloc.

He also joked about Nigel Farage’s meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, arguing that the former Ukip leader seemed “disorientated” after the event.
Source: Theresa May ridiculed in European Parliament for claiming credit for EU regulations

Keeping Scotland in Europe

“Next few months are a window of opportunity” says First Minister.

Source: Keeping Scotland in Europe

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today that the first few months of 2018 are a window of opportunity for all those working to protect Scotland’s place in Europe and particularly our membership of the European Single Market.

The First Minister said the Scottish Government will this month publish an analysis of the economic impact of each of the likely post-Brexit trade options facing the UK. The analysis will be included in a forthcoming paper from the government on Scotland’s future relationship with Europe.

Ms Sturgeon said talks on the UK’s future relationship with the EU are expected to start at the end of March.

The First Minister said:

“The UK Government had to give up on all of its hard-line positions in phase one of the talks which ended in December. That shows that they can and should be forced to adopt a more sensible approach going into the next stage.

“The Scottish Government believes that continued membership of the EU is the best option for Scotland and the rest of the UK. However, if the UK Government is intent on Brexit, it must ensure that the damage to our society and economy is minimised. Quite simply, that means staying in the European Single Market.

“Now is therefore the time for all those determined to keep Scotland and the UK in the Single Market – the world’s richest marketplace, of 500 million people – to speak up and work together. These next few months are a window of opportunity.

“The Scottish Government will shortly set out the realistic options facing the UK outside the EU – reverting to World Trade Organisation rules, a basic free trade deal or remaining within the Single Market and Customs Union.

“We will detail the impact each will have on incomes, economic growth,  investment, productivity and other economic measures that will determine our prosperity.

“Over the coming months we will also set out the new opportunities for Scotland if we stay inside the developing Single Market and Customs Union, and why it is essential that we have the ability to continue to attract workers to Scotland.

“The decisions taken in the next few months will be crucial for jobs, wages and opportunities for future generations.”