Jude's Update

29 March 2015

A great week of trade and industry: working to ensure a fairer and more balanced economy!

Monday - started the week with a series of #‎TTIP related meetings: on health services with British Medical Association & on food safety & poultry rules with the British Poultry Council. Had a great meeting with UK Steel/EEF on industrial innovation & sectoral developments. Off we went as a delegation to the Commission, to meet with Corina Cretu to discuss the delays in EU funding to English regions... a chance to get things moving for the North East! A busy day was topped off by the launch of a Brussels branch of Labour Finance and Industry Group & a really interesting discussion with AgustaWestland's Graham Cole.

Back late and up & out early to host a breakfast meeting on building a #‎CircularEconomy & the role of our foundation industries (like cement). Was great. Then more TTIP with a specific working group on how labour standards will be addressed in the negotiations. That theoretical discussion was put into sharp focus at a lunchtime event on the importance of human rights clauses & action in our economic relations with developing countries - the event was focused on how climate finance is being used in projects in Central America. Some shocking stuff. Back to the Circular Economy, and I spoke in the industry committee on our draft position: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eim8AKzjcXE
Bangladeshi micro-finance leader Muhammed Yunus spoke to the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament - very powerful! Took a stand for action on World TB Day - www.letssavelives.org.And another busy day concluded with a UNI Europa event on quality services! 

Wednesday - was thankfully calmer - lots of work finalising amendments on the European Parliament's position on TTIP. A mini-plenary with votes on tax justice - UKIP & the Tories voted against measures on tax evasion #‎ForTheFew: http://www.eurolabour.org.uk/tory-ukip-meps-eu-proposals-ta

Thursday - started with a great meeting with peacebrigades.ch on their work in Guatemala... a frenetic but worthwhile collection of signatures for our TTIP amendments to meet the 12pm deadline (see video below). Showing a clear call from Socialist MEPs for the carve-out of public services, no ISDS and defence of good standards in any agreement. Nearly 1000 amendments have been tabled so the next few weeks are going to be fun (!) & the vote will be on 7th May!! What a coincidence! 

Friday - a rare trip to London to speak in a MEP panel on TTIP at @thercn - a great debate. Showed the real difference between Tories and Labour on our public services! Back up North on the train... & a lovely evening with Bishop Auckland Labour activists.

Saturday - My husband Ben & I joined hundreds in Jarrow protesting against the closure of the NHS walk-in centre & NHS privatisation. Here's what I said: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=topWjvzmFW8
A busy but really great week ended with a lovely tea by candlelight to mark Earth Hour in Northumberland.

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