WATCH: "We Want Our Country Back"

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Electric Mini is a huge relief for Oxford and the UK economy - Catherine Bearder MEP

BMW announced today its plan to build the new electric Mini in its plant in Cowley, Oxford.

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Repeal Bill will allow Government to erode legislation ‘by the back door’ says MEP

Today the Government has published its Repeal Bill.

The Repeal Bill seeks to enact all EU treaties and laws into domestic law.

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UK Butterfly population witnessing chronic decline

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has released statistics showing that the specialist butterfly population has fallen by 74% since 1976.

This statistic is part of the long-term and ongoing decline in butterfly populations across the United Kingdom with destruction and deterioration of habitats being cited by many as the prime cause.

Butterflies are increasingly being utilised as environmental indicators because of their rapid and sensitive responses to subtle habitat or climatic changes.

The EU’s Habitats Directive promotes the conservation of natural habitats and establishes the EU wide Natura 2000 ecological network of protected areas which are safeguarded against potentially damaging developments.

Catherine Bearder, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East said:

“This horrific statistic is just about the larger flying insects we notice. What may be happening to others that may be as important to our ecosystem is also extremely worrying.

“We have to keep working with our EU partners to defend our shared natural environment.

“MEPs will not sign off the Brexit deal if it weakens UK environmental protection.”

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Today is the day roaming charges across the EU end!

From today EU citizens traveling across the continent can use their mobile data without being hit by surprise charges.

The scheme, called “roam like at home”, let's Brits travelling abroad to the EU pay the same as they do in the UK when using mobile data.

However, if the UK continues down the track of a Hard Brexit and leaves the Single Market without a deal Britons will cease to benefit from this scheme.

The Liberal Democrats have called for the UK to keep this scheme as part of the Single Market once the UK leaves the EU.

Catherine Bearder, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East, said:

“The end to rip-off roaming charges is a fantastic European victory for consumers across the EU.

“‘This will make life simpler and cheaper for Brits going on holiday in Europe this summer.

“This is just one of the many benefits of UK membership of the EU and the single market.

"A Hard Brexit will throw many of these benefits out of the window, making travelling abroad once again more expensive and complicated.”

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Celebrate 30 years of Erasmus + by saving it!

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the European Erasmus + programme.

It marks three decades of supporting not just students in higher education, but schools, adult education, youth programmes, and vocational education and training.

There is much to be celebrated, and there are many stories of changed lives and adventures made while learning. Over 86,000 young people from the UK took part between 2014-2015 alone. But as with any of the European programmes we are currently involved in, our future participation now hangs in the balance.

We have heard some assurances from Mrs May that the UK government will seek to continue to participate in Erasmus + after Brexit, but her threats of a ‘no deal’ mean nothing is guaranteed.

If last week’s election has demonstrated anything, it is that the young people of the UK are no longer going to allow others to dictate their future.

So today I call on you to not only celebrate this brilliant programme, but to stand up for it too by writing to Mrs May with your Erasmus story - let’s show her Erasmus is still important to us all.

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MEPs call for EU clampdown on Norwegian whale hunting

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) set a worldwide ban on commercial whaling in 1986.

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Euro MP calls on the South East to stand up for nature this Natura 2000 Day

Sunday 21st May is Natura 2000 Day - a day to celebrate the EU and UK’s continued commitment to nature protection.

Natura 2000 is an ecological network of conservation areas across the EU and is crucial in halting species decline.

The South East is home to a number of threatened species, including the Turtle Dove, which depends on the Natura 2000 nature protection sites and funding.

Notable Natura 2000 sites in the South East are Arun Valley, Dungeness, and the Thames Estuary and Marshes.

A recent Eurobarometer survey showed that around 8 out of 10 people think biodiversity loss is a serious problem.

The Brexit negotiations will certainly put the future of the Natura 2000 sites into question.

Lib Dem Euro MP and RSPB Turtle Dove Champion Catherine Bearder said:

“The vote to leave the EU was not a vote to jeopardise Europe’s nature protection.

“It was Boris Johnson’s father who helped set up these nature sites when he was an MEP and since then other British MEPs have continued the work.

“We demand the new government protects these sites and other environmental protections in the Brexit negotiations.

“The Turtle Dove is a threatened species, its very survival depends on the UK’s commitments to EU nature protection long term.

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WATCH: EU nationals in the UK and Brits in Europe are distressed and anxious

Catherine Bearder MEP European Parliament speech 17th May 2017:

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Lib Dem MEP praises EU raw ivory export ban

Today the EU Commission announced that the EU will ban raw ivory exports from July 1st.

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WATCH: EU Citizens Hearing

Today the EU Citizens Task Force are delighted to host the hearing on the situation and rights of EU citizens in the UK.

Please see below the full schedule and the link to watch the hearing on European Parliament TV.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20170511-1500-COMMITTEE-LIBE

Order of business

15:00 - WELCOME WORDS                                

Claude MORAES, Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs,

Cecilia WIKSTRÖM, Chair of the Committee on Petitions

Renate WEBER, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

15:15 OPENING REMARKS

Mr Guy VERHOFSTADT, European Parliament's Chief Brexit negotiator

15:35 - PANEL SPEAKERS

Ms Anne-Laure DONSKOY, representative of « The 3 million » group

Mr Jan DOERFEL, Immigration barrister in the UK

Mr Charlie JEFFERY, Professor at the University of Edinburgh

Ms Julia ONSLOW-COLE, Partner, Legal Markets Leader and Head of Global Immigration, PwC, London

Mr Jonathan PORTES, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Department of Political Economy, King's College, London

16:45 - BRIEF PRESENTATION BY TWO PETITIONERS

Ms Leona Bashow (British) on the involuntary loss of EU citizenship following the result of the UK referendum

Ms Anne Wilkinson (British) on the Inalienability of EU Citizens' Rights.

17:05 - QUESTIONS AND ANSWER SESSION

18:00 - CLOSING REMARKS

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