Clare Moody

MEP for the South West and Gibraltar

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Explaining why they voted in favour of a European Parliament resolution supporting progressing Brexit negotiations to the next phase, two South West MEPs, Clare Moody (Labour) and Molly Scott Cato (Green), issued the following joint statement:

Today we voted for a resolution to accept that sufficient progress has been made to move on to the next phase of the Brexit negotiations.

While it is clear that intractable issues such as questions around the Irish border and the Good Friday Agreement have been delayed, progress on those and other crucial issues such as citizen’s rights, cannot now take place until our future relationship with the EU has been negotiated. The resolution makes clear that there are a number of critical issues outstanding and that these need to be addressed thoroughly in the next phase of talks.

There is nothing to be gained by slowing down the negotiations. The incoherence and inconsistency of the UK government has already caused too much delay. We will keep fighting to protect those most vulnerable to the impacts of Brexit and to firmly anchor these rights in the next European Parliament resolution and the Withdrawal Agreement.

Vote for Brexit sufficient progress

Explaining why they voted in favour of a European Parliament resolution supporting progressing Brexit negotiations to the next phase, two South West MEPs, Clare Moody (Labour) and Molly Scott Cato (Green), issued...

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Tory MEPs voted today against calls for an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia - the day after Theresa May’s visit to Riyadh, during which she reaffirmed the UK government’s political and military backing for the regime.

Clare Moody MEP, vice chair of the European Parliament security and defence committee, said: 

“Today we have once again seen the true face of Theresa May’s Tory Party. Not only have Tory MEPs voted against an arms embargo, but under May the UK government is continuing to sell weapons to the Saudi regime - weapons that are being used in violation of international humanitarian law. 

“I was astounded to see the Conservatives voting with the likes of UKIP and the Front National in this motion to continue selling arms to Saudi Arabia, particularly as even our bumbling foreign secretary has called it the 'world's worst humanitarian crisis'. 

“Since the Saudi-led bombing campaign began three years ago, Britain has licensed more than £4.6bn-worth of fighter jets, bombs and missiles to Saudi forces, including Eurofighter Typhoon jets, central to the bombardment, and Paveway IV bombs, which are being deployed by UK-trained pilots. 

"It cannot be right that whilst the UK provides aid with the aim of alleviating the crisis in Yemen, it continues to sell arms to the Saudi regime. 

“The UN has declared the situation in Yemen the ‘largest food security emergency in the world’; seven million people face a ‘food security emergency’; 2.2 million children are suffering from severe acute malnourishment; a child dies of preventable causes every ten minutes; and there have been nearly 895,000 suspected cases of cholera - more than half of them children.” 

Clare Moody MEP added:

“We’ve seen it with Liam Fox’s cosying up to populists such as Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines earlier this year, and we’re seeing it again this week in the Gulf - in their desperation to secure trade deals to mitigate the disastrous economic reality of a Tory Hard Brexit, the government is wilfully turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in exchange for a bit of spare trade.”

Clare condemns Tory MEPs vote against EU arms embargo on Saudi Arabia

Tory MEPs voted today against calls for an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia - the day after Theresa May’s visit to Riyadh, during which she reaffirmed the UK government’s...

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Today marks the International Elimination of Violence Against Women Day 2017. Each year, this day is supported by politicians, charities, NGOs and activists across the world. But each winter as this day comes around, we are reminded of how much work we still have to do.

Sadly, when it comes to the fight to eliminate violence against women, progress is slow and frustrating. In the past 12 months, further dark clouds have gathered. As the digital revolution progresses, we are seeing a worryingly high increase in online abuse, the majority of which is directed at women. We have a US President who regularly objectifies women, and yet was still elected as President of the United States.

Globally, it is estimated that at least one in three women will be sexually or physically abused at some point in her life and in certain countries up to 70% of murdered women are killed by their partner. Almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday.

In recent months, we have read hundreds, if not thousands, of accounts of sexual abuse, harassment and assault from women working in Hollywood and far beyond, including in our own houses of parliament. Millions have rallied behind the hashtag #MeToo online, further exposing the sheer scale of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women suffer, daily.

But these stories are only the stories that women can bear to tell, and are only the stories of those who have access to our online global community. So against this backdrop, the message of this year’s Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is ‘Leave No One Behind’.

This campaign aims to raise awareness and spark a global conversation on the need for inclusive and sustainable programmes, policies, and resources. No matter where violence against women happens, whether it be in the home or the workplace, in war zones or in times of peace, it must be stopped. The promise of the Sustainable Development Goals—to leave no one behind—cannot be fulfilled without ending violence against all women, including the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Despite periods of darkness over the past 12 months, there is hope for a brighter, equal future, highlighted by this global campaign. Although we are faced with distressing stories in the press, and many barriers remain in our way, we must rally together to break this culture of silence and continue to fight for gender equality in all sectors of our societies, and put an end to gender-based violence for good.

International Elimination of Violence Against Women Day 2017

Today marks the International Elimination of Violence Against Women Day 2017. Each year, this day is supported by politicians, charities, NGOs and activists across the world. But each winter as...

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Cabinet resignations, a Government with no majority in the Commons, a make or break budget for the Chancellor and a fast-approaching Brexit negotiating deadline means it is easy for issues to slip out of the public consciousness. Amid all this Euratom and the UK’s future nuclear safeguarding regime risk being forgotten. 

 

As the Nuclear Safeguards Bill - one of the ‘Brexit Bills’ announced in the Queen’s Speech – makes its way through the Parliamentary process, nuclear experts were called to present evidence to MPs. The message from experts is unequivocal – there is no upside to the UK leaving the Euratom Treaty. 

Be it Prospect, the trade union representing civil nuclear experts, EDF Energy, or the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), the sector is united in its message to Government: leaving Euratom is complicated, and the potential consequences are disastrous for our country. Rupert Cowen, a nuclear expert at Prospect Law, claims the UK is “sleepwalking” to disaster. “If we do not get this right, business stops...no nuclear trade will be able to continue.” But this is not scaremongering or Project Fear. Analysis of the facts shows just how much is at risk by leaving Euratom, and how complex this process is, given the Government’s unnecessary, self-imposed deadline. This Government must start listening. 

Euratom, amongst other things, provides safeguarding inspections for all civil nuclear sites in the UK. Inspectors are employed by Euratom and many are EU nationals. It takes five years to train a nuclear inspector and there is currently a limited pool of qualified inspectors from which to recruit. As Sue Ferns, Deputy General Secretary of Prospect, said in her evidence to the Nuclear Safeguards Bill Committee, “this is a highly skilled, very specialist area, which is why there is such a premium on this source of labour” and this is why we must question the wisdom of the Government’s actions so far. 

The Government plans for the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to take over the role that Euratom currently carries out, but the ONR and the NIA have made clear that new arrangements will not be in place by the time we are due to leave Euratom in March 2019. Asked by MPs whether new arrangements could be put in place within the timeframe, Dame Sue Ion, chair of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board, said: “I do not think it is possible.” 

Should the UK fail to have its safeguarding regime in place by March 2019, nuclear trade would halt, as well as cross-nation technology sharing that some of our nuclear power stations rely on to function. Again, this is not an exaggeration of the problem, or political point-scoring. Put simply, if we don’t have our safeguarding regime in place, our nuclear industry will face major, potentially dangerous, disruptions.  

Despite protests from Government ministers, leaving Euratom at the same time as leaving the European Union is not necessary. Euratom is a separate treaty to our EU membership and it is time the Government treated it as such, rather than claiming the two are inextricably intertwined. 

Our civil nuclear industry and Euratom, like so much of the Brexit negotiations, is incredibly complex and it is absolutely vital that we get these negotiations right. Remaining part of Euratom for a transition period may act as a safety net, giving the industry the time it needs to prepare to leave Euratom, but the EU will demand that European courts oversee the arrangements, which of course crosses one of Theresa May’s negotiating red lines.

Releasing the impact assessment that the Government has carried out on our nuclear industry would be a step in the right direction, rather than rushing through policy with little scrutiny and condemning Brexit opponents as unpatriotic mutineers.

It is time for this Government to release itself from unnecessary self-imposed straight jackets, stop focussing on narrow party disputes and start listening and put the interests and the safety of the nation first.

This article first appeared in the Guardian on Tuesday 21st November 2017.

Clare's Guardian piece on Euratom

Cabinet resignations, a Government with no majority in the Commons, a make or break budget for the Chancellor and a fast-approaching Brexit negotiating deadline means it is easy for issues...

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This last month has been tinged with sadness following the passing of former Cornwall MP Candy Atherton. Candy was vital in securing EU Objective One funding for Cornwall whilst she was the brilliant MP for Falmouth and Camborne. She dedicated her life to public service in Cornwall and made a huge difference to people's lives. Her work rate and dedication on behalf of the Cornish people and the Labour Party will be sorely missed. Candy's kindness and generosity shone through. She could always be relied upon to stand up for Cornwall and stand up for Labour values. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her husband Brod, her mother Pam and all of her family and friends.  We miss her.

Brexit update

 

Another month passes by and we are still none the wiser as to what the Government actually wants. A transition deal, no deal, the Prime Minister and her Cabinet (whoever is in it when you read this) have being sending out mixed messages (to say the least) on what they hope to achieve and what they want and expect to be in place in March 2019.

Meanwhile, there’s fruit and vegetables rotting in the fields because of a lack or workers, the EU doctors and nurses who form the backbone of our NHS are leaving the country in droves, and the money that’s being spent on Brexit civil servants could be used to employ nearly 9,000 nurses. The Labour Party and Keir Starmer are absolutely right to be demanding that the Government release the sectoral analyses that they have carried out on the impact of leaving the EU. We are already seeing the damage being done to our businesses and our economy, although there are now fears that these analyses are not in depth assessments but glossing over the problems we are going to face.

The public and Parliament must be able to scrutinise this process so that decisions can begin to be taken in the interests of the country as a whole, and not just the Conservative Party. 

Out and about in the constituency 

 

This month has been particularly busy and interesting, attending meetings and events across the constituency.  The main theme, unsurprisingly, has been the impact of Brexit. This was most keenly expressed in a summit that I organised in Cornwall; I heard from residents, business, councillors, trade unionists and researchers about their fears and also how Brexit could evolve if the negotiations are handled with some competence.

You can read more about the summit here: http://www.claremoodymep.com/clare_reflects_on_cornwall_brexit_summit

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Whilst in Cornwall is was great to meet up with Labour Party members in the marginal seat of Camborne, Redruth & Hayle at their fund-raising dinner. Like other marginal seats across the South West, they have started selecting their candidate for the General Election and I look forward to working with their new PPC in the months ahead.  It was also a great pleasure to speak to members at the other end of the constituency in Christchurch ahead of their quiz. Whilst in Dorset, I also met young people at an event organised by the MyLifeMySay charity, which is organising a series of meetings, Brexit cafes, to give young people the chance to have their views heard. Many points were expressed but the main concerns were around upholding citizens rights.

It was a great honour to lead the march to a rally organised by Bristol for Europe. I was carrying the Bristol for Europe banner alongside my fellow MEP for the South West, Julie Girling.  Julie has had the Tory whip removed from her for voting in favour of a resolution which stated the fact that the UK had not made enough progress in the Brexit negotiations. We joined some fantastic inspiring speakers at the rally on College Green. You can read more about the rally here: http://www.claremoodymep.com/bristol_for_europe_rally

If you want to get more involved in Labour’s campaigning on Europe then why not join Labour Movement for Europe:-  http://laboureurope.eu/ 

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Finally, I was really pleased to meet up with a group of aspiring Labour women leaders.  We must encourage and support a wider range of people into taking leadership positions in politics.  But for me, the most  pressing need, is to ensure that 52% of the population, i.e. women, are more equally represented at the top of our Party and throughout public life.

Work in Parliament

Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committee 

In Strasbourg this month, in the wake of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal and press allegations regarding incidents within the European Parliament, MEPs debated tackling sexual harassment in this house. 

More than half of all women (55%) have experienced sexual harassment and 33% have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 15, according to a survey by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights carried out in March 2014. In addition, one out of five woman reported having been stalked at some point. 

The European Parliament opposes sexual harassment in society in general, but clearly, when this harassment involves its own members and staff, questions must be answered. During the debate, MEPs condemned such behaviour, but also called for measures to be put in place and for the inclusion of men as part of the solution. Members then voted on a resolution on combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU, which passed by 580 votes to 10, with 27 abstentions. 

The resolution calls for the setting up of a task force of independent experts with a mandate to examine the situation of sexual harassment and abuse in the European Parliament. It further spells out that the European Parliament will implement mandatory training for all staff and Members on respect and dignity at work with the goal that the zero tolerance approach becomes the norm. 

Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) 

This month the third annual EU Aeronautics Conference took place in the Parliament. The European aeronautics sector is facing great challenges including increasing competition due to excessive and well-hidden state subsidies and complex innovations in the field of security. The sector also must keep up with advances in digitalisation and the development of drones and other modern technology.   

The conference provided a platform for industrial stakeholders, labour unions, research centres and organisations from different sectors to take part in an important exchange of views and knowledge with high-level decision-makers from the Parliament, the Commission and the Council. 

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Strasbourg

At the latest Strasbourg session, the EU focused on some of the things that the EU does best; protecting workers, protecting the environment and striking trade deals that do the same. 

The Parliament revised rules on the so-called Posted Worker's Directive which allows, for example, a Portuguese workers to temporarily work in the UK on a Portuguese contract. The Parliament tightened up rules to stop undercutting by ensuring that workers in the same place should be paid the same wage. 

The parliament started discussions on what we expect from upcoming free trade deals with Australia and New Zealand. 

Finally, the parliament revised the rules on glyphosate, the herbicide which has been linked to causing cancer. MEPs demanded that the EU start to phase out the substance with immediate effect with a full ban in place by 2022. 

Monthly review - October 2017

This last month has been tinged with sadness following the passing of former Cornwall MP Candy Atherton. Candy was vital in securing EU Objective One funding for Cornwall whilst she was the...

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Friday (10th November) marked the day that due to the gender pay gap, women effectively stopped earning compared to men. That means there are 51 days where women, on average, are working for free.

Worryingly, the gender pay gap is actually widening for younger women. As a Labour politician I will do all I can to stand up for gender equality in the workplace. The gender pay gap has no place in society in 2017- we all must take urgent action today. Join me in making a #paygappledge now - and help to close the gap for good.

Equal Pay Day 2017

Friday (10th November) marked the day that due to the gender pay gap, women effectively stopped earning compared to men. That means there are 51 days where women, on average, are...


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