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Reading Festival

Love music? Brexit will be a lose-lose for British bands, artists & festivals. Musicians need free movement rights & full Single Market access
especially on tour.

Don’t Let Brexit Steal Your Future.

This weekend, was enormous fun at Reading festival talking with festival goers with their whole life ahead of them to find out what they think about Europe and Brexit.

What a complete pleasure. We met lively, positive kids who are completely clear: They want to Stop Brexit.

Everyone we spoke with who was over 18 was already registered to vote. Those I met who are 16 or 17 are looking forward to the opportunity to do so. One young woman, indeed, asked if we would kindly hold off any general election until after September 9th so that she can take part.
Jo, Jeremy, Johnson … if you wouldn’t mind? 

It was terrific to meet Femi from Our Future Our Choice. If you haven’t seen his videos about Europe yet, try this – one of my favourites.

This is cross-party campaigning, organised by  #OpenBritain and #BerkshireforEurope, and it is going on all weekend – Great work, guys! Saturday, I was with Rachel Eden from Reading’s Labour Council and Adrian Betteridge, one of the campaign organisers, who until recently was a convinced Conservative. I am pleased to report that Adrian has seen the light and is now a signed up Liberal Democrat. Welcome, Adrian. It is great to have you on board.

If you would like to join us – sign up here. 

Finally, thank you to EVERYONE who stopped to talk to us and tell us what you think. And to everyone who took a sticker or signed the petition to help spread the message:

#StopBrexit

Don’t Let Brexit Steal Your Future!    

Bunting talks Business in Chesham- MEP Life 8

This week I have had a short break after visiting all over the South East over the past few weeks. However, I managed to squeeze in a couple of things over the weekend which I wanted to tell you about.

I was invited to speak at an event in Chesham, by the group Chilterns 4 EU, about Brexit (whether no-deal or bad-deal) and the effect that it has had so far on small businesses as well as the likely effect it will have should it go ahead.

I want to reinforce to everyone reading this that Brexit is NOT inevitable! Negotiations are afoot behind the scenes to force a vote of no confidence and form a government of national unity. The only job of this government will be to seek an extension to the Article 50 deadline and organise a ‘People’s Vote’ which offers one specific BREXIT option and the option to Remain in Europe.

And so, back to Chesham; this Town Hall event sold out within a few days. Chaired by Walid Marzouk of Chiltern Lib Dems, the meeting went ahead with 115 people attending, all of them people who wish to remain in the EU and many of them running local businesses which are being damaged already. The popularity of this session was a surprise to me. It shows how even in areas which are represented by Brexit-supporting MPs, the strength of feeling and understanding of what a disaster Brexit would be, is growing.

Ian Slaney was an attendee who told the meeting; “I was a businessman during the early 1970s. I dealt with imports and exports for major manufacturers of motor cars.  I remember shipping cars through a freight ship and the paperwork and the delays and the complications we had to engage in. When we finally joined the EU and this was probably about the turning point of my responsibility, in 1973, things suddenly changed completely and the world became so much easier.”

I was joined on the panel by Sonali Parekh, an Independent Expert from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) who leads their research into the effect of Brexit on small businesses. Sonali told the meeting; “A lot of our [FSB] members are concerned about preparedness within the smaller business community for a potential no deal on 31st October. When we polled last year, only 14% of smaller businesses were prepared for a no-deal scenario.”

“A total of 66% of our members that trade with the EU felt that a no-deal could have a detrimental impact on their short-term business continuity.”

“1 in 5 of our smaller businesses have at least 1 EU member of staff. Since the outcome of the EU referendum, 40% felt that recruitment from the EU had become more challenging.”

“For those of our smaller businesses that have a supply chain that criss-crosses the EU and the UK, they are giving serious consideration to moving more of their operations to the EU.”

As well as taking about business, I met Yasmin, who passionately wants to remain part of the EU so that she and her generation can enjoy the opportunities that the rest of us have enjoyed for almost sixty years.

Brexit, especially leaving without a deal continues to be doggedly pursued by the Prime Minister and we hear daily about the horrible effect that this would have across the whole of the UK including Agricultural Business;

We still have a chance to make a difference and push for the MPs to get involved in blocking a no-deal scenario. 

I have one further week before I return to Brussels and will be visiting Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. I look forward to getting back to representing you in EU parliament. Have your say by making contact with me

My newsletter will be concentrating on Apprenticeships and the impact Brexit will be having on these, do sign up before the end of August to hear about some exciting news about supporting Apprentices across the UK.

 

Summer in the South East- MEP Life 7


For the last couple of weeks, I have been back for the Summer, working in the UK, meeting and campaigning with local groups in the South East. It has been great to meet new members and old, as well as other Remain supporters who are part of the fantastic Grassroots for Europe network.

Attending a meeting of West Berkshire for Europe  (formerly West Berkshire Stronger Together EU), this week, I enjoyed some encouraging and positive cross-party discussions about how Remain parties can work together to stop Brexit. If you have a ‘for Europe’ group in your area, please do get in touch with them. 

Have you listened to the Our MEP Life’ podcast yet? In this week’s episode our conversation ranges from reforestation to Erasmus+ and Creative Europe, to girls in science and many things in-between. If there is something you would like us to discuss or if you have feedback for us, please get in touch: MEPLife@judithbunting.co.uk. The podcast is now available on Spotify (which for some reason makes me feel madly cool!). 

On Saturday I joined an EU street stall in Basingstoke where we proudly flew the EU flag. I spoke with many people about the EU and Brexit and had a number of great conversations. We had new stickers to hand out, “Bonkers to Brexit’, as well as the classics, so many conversations end with the priceless question: ‘Would you like Bonkers or B*llocks?’

 Next weekend, on Saturday, I will be at Chesham Town Hall in Buckinghamshire, on a panel with the Head of Brexit Research at the Federation of Small Businesses, Sonali Parekh. If you are in the area, please come along.

Don’t forget you can keep updated with all of my activities and news in the following ways TwitterFacebookInstagramPodcastWebsite, or email and, of course, you can:

SIGN UP TO MY newsletter, HERE.

 

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.

Campaigning, Councillors and Congratulations- MEP Life -Week 6

The big event last week was, of course, the by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire. What a fantastic result! Jane Dodds is a hugely welcome addition to the Lib Dem team in Westminster. Most importantly, right now, her presence in parliament reduces the Conservative majority to just one vote.  

The European Parliament closed down for the Summer at the end of July. Most MEPs take their annual leave at this time but, for Lib Dem MEPs, this year the story is different as we continue to campaign to stop Brexit. 

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of going to Brecon and Llandrindod to campaign for Jane Dodds in the by-election. Jane was the first Council Candidate that I ever delivered for, and it was great to meet her team in Wales as well as so many terrific people, including June Davies, an important part of the Remain Alliance. It was a brilliant day of campaigning in a truly beautiful part of the world.

Jane’s win in Brecon sends a clear message to Boris: Brexit is not a foregone conclusion. With only one vote in hand, and with pro-EU Tory MPs considering whether to defect, the government’s Commons majority could be wiped out at any moment.

Continuing the LibDem surge, more than 35,000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats since May. We demand better for Britain. We need to use our time as MEPs wisely, and as Liberal Democrat MEPs we are working hard to stop Brexit.

On Saturday I joined local councillors and the newly announced Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate, Councillor Lee Dillon, in Newbury. The street stall was a great opportunity to meet with people and discuss some of their concerns with Brexit. 

Later that day I attended an event in Whitchurch and Overton where I met the fabulous Gavin James and Lucy Sloane Williams, as well as newly elected Councillors Ryan Hickling and Andy Koniecko. If you are holding any local events or street stalls in your area, over the summer, please let me know at judith@judithbunting.co.uk .

In this week’s podcast Caroline Voaden and I discuss our committee work and what it has involved so far. My areas of responsibility are education, industry, research and energy – with a little culture thrown in for good measure. We also talk about pilot projects, STEAM, climate change and so much more!

If there is something you would like us to discuss please let us know at MEPLife@judithbunting.co.uk .

**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.

Dirty Air Knows No Borders

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

Giving my maiden speech in plenary at the European Parliament, I addressed the Clean Air debate. Air pollution directly causes both chronic and serious diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular problems and lung cancer. 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 death. Poor air quality has more than ten times the health impact of road traffic accidents. In this age of innovation and advanced technology this is simply unacceptable. I demand better, and we must do better.
 
The EU has a solid framework in place which includes Ambient Air Quality Directives, with low emission zones and incentives for cleaner transportation starting to be implemented across cities and regions in Europe with encouraging results. To combat dirty air, we need ambition, we need to work together. 

We need to work with member states to enforce Ultralow Emissions Zones in our small towns, our market towns, as well as in our cities. Every small town has a road or junction where locals know that the air pollution is out of control. There is a clear case, to charge dirty drivers on health grounds and we can. There is a need for targeted clean air zones in our towns across the UK.
 
As a British Liberal Democrat, I was elected to keep Britain in the European Union – and one of my main reasons for wanting to be here is to help protect our shared environment.
 
Dirty air knows no borders. 
 
What are your thoughts on clean air and ULEZ? Do you live in an area where air pollution is excessive? Please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

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.