Bill Newton Dunn - Our man in the EU Parliament (2)
December 1, 2019 10:45 PM
Update from Bill in Strasbourg (November 2019)
The new EU Commission was voted into office by MEPs this week (and will serve for the next five years). The UK has not proposed a Commissioner.
World Trade Organsation:
Following the USA's lack of appointment of judges to the WTO's Appellate Body and its blocking of the replacement of any members, the Appellate Body will cease to be operational after 10th December, when the mandates of two of three remaining Appellate Body members will expire. This means that world trade disputes can no longer be adjudicated by an international court. (So much for Conservative claims that they will trade on WTO rules, something which no other country in the world does).
Climate Change vs Climate Emergency:
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) begins on 2nd December. A major problem to be solved is that emissions by shipping and by aircraft are so far unregulated by any laws.
The European Parliament declared a Climate Emergency for the EU, (against the votes of Conservatives and Christian-Democrats who only wanted it to be designated as "urgent".)
The EU Council & Election Of the EU Ombudsman:
The European Council (the meeting of the national leaders in the EU) will meet on 12-13 December. It is not clear who will represent the UK.
In Strasbourg in December, MEPs will elect a new EU Ombudsman for the next five years. There are four candidates : an Irish Ombudsman with a 10 year record of service in Ireland, an Estonian judge at the European Court on Human Rights, a Swedish MEP, and a Latvian. One described the jobs as "you need a people personality and an elephant skin".
In the General Election, the Liberal Democrats are either first or second in 134 seats and in dozens of other seats are within ten points. Every single vote in these seats will count.