07 May

The unexpected election is upon us. Today, across the UK, local councils will be sending out postal votes for the European elections on Thursday 23rd May, an election the Prime Minister had promised the country we would not be taking part in.

23 April

“Still here?” has been the standard comment I’ve received from fellow MEPs from across the European Union over the last few weeks in both Brussels and Strasbourg.  Usually it’s delivered in a tone of bemusement and humour, but there’s an irritation lurking there too for Brexit has eaten deep into

09 April

If the answer used to be Norway but last year became Canada and is now Norway again, what was the question?

Could it be something to do with snow, or ice hockey or reindeer?

No, try again.  Forests?

Very good, you’re almost there.

27 March

This is a Brexit-free column.  Not because the issue is unimportant and not because it isn’t topical, but rather because I have to write this column by Monday morning ready for publication on Wednesday.  As we now all know 36 hours is a very long time in Brexit-land these days and anything writte

12 March

It was a moment of pure elation.  The three of us from the North East of England stood on top of the Berlin Wall next to the Brandenburg Gate and cheered along with a million others as the midnight hour struck and 1991 became 1992, the first year since 1961 without a physical divide between West

26 February

The wolf is an emotive animal whose presence in our lives - while not physical - is none the less real.  Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Peter and the Wolf all introduce us to the big bad wolf before we ever get to school.  Most of us can howl like a wolf despite never having seen

25 February

Today the North East England Nature Partnership (NEENP) announced the appointent of their new Chair: Paul Brannen MEP.  Paul’s skills and experience span political, environmental, social and economic sectors which will be of huge benefit to the NEENP and in providing the leadership required for t

14 February

The Environment Committee in the European Parliament voted today on amendments to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) regulation and I was pleased to see some of my own proposals pass.

12 February

It’s human nature to concentrate on today’s problem rather than tomorrow’s.  At a national level today’s problem is clearly Brexit, but tomorrow’s problem is a global problem – the destruction of our environment and all that goes with it.

29 January

Yes, I do lose my job if the UK goes ahead and leaves the EU.  You’d be surprised as to how many people are under the impression that the contingent of 73 UK Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will continue to sit in the European Parliament in Brussels to represent our country’s interests


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