This is a Climate Emergency, Dirty Air Knows no Borders!

Judith Bunting MEP, in European Parliament, delivering her speech to the European Parliament on Climate Change.

Following her speech in the European Parliament last month, Judith Bunting MEP highlights the case for calling a Climate Emergency.

“Ill health caused by air pollution costs the economy billions in lost working days. Causing 400,000 premature deaths per year in Europe alone, it is currently the number one cause of premature deaths. We need to work smarter, we have the technology to do this and we should embrace that.”

The Government has passed a Net-Zero target for Carbon emissions by 2050 whilst also making chaotic decisions that will undermine this target. They have slashed subsidies for solar power, banned the cheapest form of renewable onshore wind energy generation and ended the ‘Green Deal’, which aimed to improve the energy efficiency of people’s homes. As well as these cuts, there is a policy of pursuing fracking to access fossil fuels throughout Britain, including areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the Weald Basin in the South Downs covering Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent, to further compound their policy of supporting expanding the airport provision in one of busiest Airports in Europe, London Heathrow.

TrafficJudith continues, “Unfortunately Dirty Air knows no borders, the problems in the South East will affect the nearby areas of the country and impact the health of the world. We can do better than this and the South East deserves better.”

Judith Bunting calls for a stop to meaningless targets on sales of new petrol and diesel cars and a reversal of the cuts to incentivise a change of approach for each and every citizen. Instead we should adopt meaningful policies, which can make a difference to climate change from day one.

Air pollution from carsThe Liberal Democrats demand better and have set out a way of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. We are fighting for a net-zero EU by 2050 across the 28 member states of the European Union. Dealing with carbon emissions will not only deal with the climate emergency but cut air-pollution, reduce fuel poverty and create thousands of jobs in the renewables sector. These targets can be positive for our health, our economy and the planet.

**Lib Dems WIN in Brecon!**

Fantastic news today. Jane Dodds and the local Liberal Democrat team just WON the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election!

This result proves again that the Lib Dems are back and are a huge force to be reckoned with in British politics. 

We have burst Boris Johnson’s bubble in the first week of his premiership. We have reduced his majority in Parliament to just one vote.

I am also delighted that Brecon and Radnorshire are now being represented by an excellent woman. Jane was the first Council candidate I ever delivered for. She was excellent then, and will be an excellent MP now.

The Liberal Democrats have a positive vision for a richer, greener and safer future – within the EU.

Hundreds of people have joined the Lib Dems this morning on seeing the news that we can take on Boris Johnson and win.

Will you join us today?

   

Brecon & Radnor – Tomorrow, Weds 31st July

Jane Dodds

The Brecon and Radnorshire by-election is this week 
Thursday, 1st August.

 

Can you join us to help get out the vote TOMORROW, Wednesday 31st July?

 

There is a real chance that we can steal this seat away from the Conservatives – but only if we get the vote out.

Jane Dodds is a terrific candidate – and the first Councillor for whom I ever campaigned. She is Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and will make a brilliant MP.

I am taking a car of activists on WEDNESDAY 31st July to join the work to Get Out the Vote. If you would like to join us, please message me via Facebook messenger (Judith Bunting MEP) to arrange where to meet. Or contact me by text, if you already have my phone number. 

Pick up:

  • Reading area: ~08:00
  • Newbury/Thatcham area: ~08:30
  • Hungerford area: ~09:00

Please message or text before 8pm TODAY Tuesday to arrange pick up.

I look forward to seeing you. 

An eventful week in politics- MEP Life – week 5

MEP Life

They say a week is a long time in politics, well they are not wrong!! From the London march through to two new party leaders, this week was super-eventful. Thanks to all who attended the March for Change in London, the many photos and videos from the day are just brilliant. We must keep up the pressure and be vocal of our need to Stop Brexit.

Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal DemocratsMonday saw the Liberal Democrat leadership announcement, with Jo Swinson elected as the first female leader of the party. Jo gave a barnstormer of a speech that was powerful and motivating and she was clear: “I stand here as a candidate for Prime Minister”. 
And if you have any doubts about how realistic this is, take a look at the latest You Gov polls on Westminster voting intention.

Jo’s election continues the LibDem surge and we have seen well over 20,000 new members join us after our successes in both local and European elections. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to join us. This is the fightback for liberal Britain.

Judith Bunting officeArriving back in Brussels I have recorded another MEP Life podcast with Caroline Voaden, where we discussed everything from travel, pollution, elections, and the heatwave. In Brussels, this was a week of committee work. Committee weeks come twice a month and are where the real legislative and policy work gets done. On the Education and Culture committee, the Renew team is currently campaigning to increase the budget for Creative Europe, Erasmus Plus and other educational schemes by 10%. On the Industry and Science committee, I was involved in proposing a visit to the fascinating Chalk River Research Facility in Canada, where they do a lot of good work from which I believe the EU could learn, The suggestion was welcomed and the visit may well go ahead in 2020. 

Outside of committees, our MEP delegation joined colleagues in co-signing a letter to the Polish Prime Minister in response to the attacks on the Pride March in Bialystok, and distribution of ‘LGBT-free zone’ stickers. This goes against the Liberal Democrats fundamental principle of a ‘free, fair and open society’. We firmly believe in tolerance, respect, and anti-discrimination for all.

We also met with the group ‘British in Europe’ and counterpart campaigners, the3million, to talk over what will happen to the 1.3 million Brits currently living in Europe and the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK if Boris Johnson goes ahead with a no deal Brexit. These citizens are our friends, family and neighbours. They set up cross-border families and working lives in good faith, while no one had any thought of the UK leaving Europe. If our government chooses to break that contract, they should receive special dispensation to live as Europeans for the foreseeable future. We also discussed the ‘Denied my vote’ movement is raising money to take the UK government to court over the electoral chaos which surrounded the most recent European elections. They have the lawyers and a great case, now they need the cash.

This week saw the launch of my monthly newsletter, you can sign up here. Other ways to keep in touch are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Podcast, Website, or email.

Crowd funding, the3million and electoral chaos

Yesterday I met with the British in Europe Group to talk over what will happen to the 1.3m Britons living in Europe if Boris Johnson goes ahead with a no deal Brexit. This situation is a living nightmare for so many people. British and EU citizens abroad are being used as bargaining chips without regard for their lives, their families or their children.
 
Many people have set up cross-border families and working lives in good faith and are now left in a worrying situation. No deal will rip families apart, shred basic rights, and destroy lives.
 
Thousands and thousands of EU citizens were unable to vote in the European elections in May, and the #deniedmyvote movement highlighted a national scandal. As a group of MEPs we have called on the Venice Commission for intervention over this electoral chaos. Our Government has ruled out a public inquiry, but the group the3Million is crowd funding a legal challenge to take them to court.  
 
With only 7 days left please share, donate and get involved if you are able to. 
 

New Liberal Democrat Leader Announced

Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Today we announced Jo Swinson as the first female leader of the Liberal Democrats. Her acceptance speech was both powerful and motivating, reminding us that Liberalism is alive and thriving and the UK’s future lies in the European Union.  

Judith was at the announcement in London today and comments that “Jo Swinson gave a terrific speech. She will make a fantastic leader and is clearly ready to lead the party to a strong and successful future. Not only is Jo now the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, but she is ready to lead our country as a future Prime Minster of a fine and liberal Britain.”

Our first priority must be, of course, stopping Brexit, and as our new leader, Jo has vowed that this is at the top of her agenda. Brexit in any form is a disaster for our country and we’ll do everything in our power to stop it. Our country needs a strong, liberal movement more than ever, and that is what we are need to build together. 

Judith Bunting continued, “We have a lot to thank Vince Cable for. His ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ leadership steered the Liberal Democrats to many excellent council victories across the country and won 16 MEP seats in Europe. Under Jo, we will take forward the Stop Brexit movement until we win a People’s Vote.”

Judith joins calls to halt Japanese commercial whaling

Judith Bunting MEP

Newly elected Liberal Democrat MEP Judith Bunting, has today signed a letter to the Japanese Ambassador to the European Union, expressing her deep disappointment and revulsion at his Government’s decision to return to commercial whaling this month. The entire LDEPP group has co-signed the letter demanding a reversal of this decision, which follows on from Japan’s departure from the International Whaling Commission at the end of June.

Speaking earlier today, Judith Bunting MEP for South East England said:

Judith Bunting MEP“I am saddened and highly disappointed by the decision of the Government of Japan to return to commercial whaling, following their departure from the International Whaling Commission. Whales are killed with exploding harpoons, some requiring a second shot, or a round of rifle fire. Some whales suffer for up to 25 minutes before they finally die. There is no need for commercial whaling, it is a cruel trade that provides nothing that the world really needs.”

Under the recently signed EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, the EU and Japan both committed themselves to conserving and sustainably managing natural resources and addressing biodiversity. In the context of this agreement, the strongly worded diplomatic letter co – signed by the entire Liberal Democrat European Parliamentary Party, calls on Japan to review its whaling policy.

Judith shares: “The horrific and haunting scenes of bloodied whales are an outrage. In a changing international order, Japan and the European Union have rightly built a close relationship, but as close friends it is time to have a frank discussion about these worrying developments. I am determined to use my new role to leverage Britain’s influence as part of the world’s largest trading bloc to fight for positive environmental action. We do not need to place any more animals on the endangered species list.”

Letter_Voaden_Ambassador Kazuo KODAMA signatures[1]

“Newbury Talks” with your MEP

Rounding off her time as co-organiser of Newbury talks, MEP Judith Bunting reflects; “I have really enjoyed meeting so many people through Newbury Talks, both the audience and speakers. The sessions have been engaging and eclectic, covering a wide variety of subjects.” Since being elected as an MEP for the South East of England, Judith’s time is now taken up with focussing on her role in the European Parliament, which officially started on Tuesday.

Sunday’s talk featured Alom Shaha
discussing ‘How to be your child’s first
science teacher’. Teacher & author
of Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder, Alom spoke about how to introduce science to children, and how parents can help their children learn using their natural curiosity about the world and taking the step from “wow!” to “how?”.

 


Attending her last session, Judith comments; “I am pleased to say that I will be sitting on the education and culture commission, and as Alom said at ‘Newbury Talks’ – science is one of our greatest cultural achievements, humans make science.”

 

Organised with Trevor Mathers, and supported by his family, Newbury Talks was established in 2016. Trevor says; “Newbury Talks has been organising free talks to educate and entertain since March 2016. In that time, we have covered an eclectic range of subjects from genetics, telling the future using crowd sourcing, making music from data, all the way through to political corruption in the UK!”


Speaking of what the future holds for Newbury Talks, Trevor explains “We are currently putting together the next programme of talks, there are some exciting things in the pipeline, watch this space.”


To keep updated with upcoming ‘Newbury Talks’ events, you can contact the team here: info@newburytalks.org.uk

 

Armed Forces Day remembered at Brookwood Military Cemetery

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the open day of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) at Brookwood Military Cemetery, near Woking.

Showing me around the site historian Lynelle Howson told me first-hand about the work of the CWGC and their determination to treat every deceased soldier as an equal. Headstones are of equal size and shape, no matter rank or regiment.

Only when you get close can you make out personal details such as religion, regiment, names, and ages. Some headstones include quotations, chosen by the soldier’s family. Walking along a row of headstones for young men who died together, aged 19, 20 and 21 years … well, what can I say?

The CWGC cares for 1.7 million casualties of the first and second world war, from Britain and the Commonwealth, in over 150 countries and territories across 23,000 locations.

The largest CWGC cemetery in the UK, Brookwood contains the graves of over 1,600 servicemen of the British Empire in the First World War and over 3,470 from the Second World War.

It is a fascinating, stunning reminder of the sacrifices made for us in the first and second world wars. The men and women resting here are well looked after.


HE WILL NOT AGE
HIS SONG IS SUNG
AND HE REMAINS
FOREVER YOUNG.

(From the grave of J.V.Eliis,
Canadian navigator, age 26)

 

Photo credit to Megan Maltby

Three years on – now is the time to Stop Brexit

Marking the third anniversary of the 2016 EU referendum, Brexit has made no progress. For three years we have been fighting to give the people the final say on the deal with the option to stay in the EU.

Judith Bunting, MEP for South East England, attended a number of rallies and events across the region to mark the anniversary. Speaking at Reading and Wycombe, she called on people to unite and work together to #StopBrexit:

“After three years the whole process is dying on its feet, with even Brexit supporters no longer able to point to any potential benefits. Left and right are coming onside to support a People’s Vote. We must work together to save Britain, and everyone can help”.

Judith continued, “We all know someone who voted leave. We should talk with them. Explain why we want to save the future of the UK, and bring them onside so that we can work together to stop Brexit.”

Enough is enough, Brexit must be stopped.