I hope this month's update finds you well, as you're cosying up in front of a log fire with a mince pie and glass of Sherry in hand recovering from the chaos of Christmas Day. I'm all brussel sprout-ed out and it feels like the perfect time to share with you some good news from this month, and to look forward to the New Year.
Oxford's Air: Is it clean enough?
You will know by now how passionate I am about cleaning up our air. I took the fight to my home in Oxford and tested the air on St Aldate's to see if it was meeting EU Air Quality Regulations. At a time when we're out and about on our High Streets in the January sales, the quality of our air isn't top of anyone's worries - but soon it will catch up on us. Find out about Oxford's air in my blog post here...
Netflix, Sky Sports and Iplayer to be available abroad
It's been a bumper couple of months of good news for British tourists. We've seen an end to roaming charges in the EU and now it looks like you may soon be able to watch UK TV even if you're not in the UK. More good news that isn't widely talked about!
Unidade na diversidade - The European Union has a motto!
First used in 2000, the motto “United in diversity” sums up perfectly how the EU unites all our different cultures, traditions and languages.
When I’m sitting in the chamber with representatives from 28 different countries and our interpreters allow us all to communicate, I fully appreciate how much our forefathers achieved bringing us together to work for peace and prosperity.
United in diversity sums all of this up - see it translated into each language here.
It’s not “barmy” to want to make sure candles are safe…
Unlike the chaps at the Daily Express, I've read up on the facts.
They reported here that those ‘Eurocrats’ are beavering away deciding to add unnecessary regulations to candle production. What they didn't quite understand was that a) it’s just been proposed, there's been no decision made and b) the safety of chemicals used in candles varies hugely and reducing the number of incidents caused is surely in everyone’s best interests?!
They bang on about rules, but just making one decision now will reduce the number of hoops to jump through later down the line, improving all of our safety, and making it much simpler for each EU country to trade with each other.
I think we’ll put this down to a rare case of smoke without fire!
I'd like to finish off by thanking everyone for your kind support this year - let's make 2016 the year the UK votes to unanimously stay IN the EU!
Catherine Bearder MEP