David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

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What we are witnessing is an international humanitarian crisis. The EU urgently needs a cohesive plan to manage the reception and redistribution of migrants arriving both through the Mediterranean and now increasingly across land borders.

The EU must do what it was brought in existence to do - show solidarity between members, and show the rest of the world that the EU is a union of values - that it is capable of managing a migration policy with fair rules, compassion, and the rule of law. Ahead of the emergency migration summit on September 14, it is crucial that the UK shows international solidarity and opts-in to key measures to help refugees coming to Europe. 

Next week the European Parliament will vote on proposals made by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee calling for the equitable distribution of refugees across the European Union. Labour MEPs will continue to push for a critical upgrade of the EU’s response. Particularly in relation to reception conditions and responsibility sharing of refugees between member states and tackling people smugglers.

The Refugee Crisis

What we are witnessing is an international humanitarian crisis. The EU urgently needs a cohesive plan to manage the reception and redistribution of migrants arriving both through the Mediterranean and...

Labour MEPs voted today for the EU to do more to help developing countries clamp down on tax dodging, measures which will give governments resources to improve healthcare, sanitation and education.

The report calls for the European Commission to put forward an action plan on supporting developing countries in fighting tax avoidance and evasion and setting up fairer tax systems; financial and technical assistance to developing countries; enforce country-by-country reporting for multinationals; and ensure the UN taxation committee has teeth.

Action on tax dodging will help developing countries work to towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to complete the task of the Millennium Development Goals and provide healthcare and education to all children.

Linda McAvan MEP, chair of the European Parliament development committee, told MEPs:

"A recent report from Save the Children estimates the tax lost by misinvoicing in sub Saharan Africa, in countries with the worst maternal and child mortality rates, is around $15 billion per year.

"This is enough money to plug the gap in their health budget, and to deal with childhood malnutrition. Those who dodge their tax in this way are literally robbing food out of the mouths of babes.

"To tackle this and other illicit financial flows, we need more transparency about taxes paid by multinationals.

"We need tough new accountancy rules such as country-by-country reporting, which is one clear way to ensure companies pay their fair share of tax wherever they operate, and developing countries collect this tax to use for vital public services.

"It is already used in the European banking sector and in extractive industries, so the model is there and we know need the political will to extend it further."

Anneliese Dodds MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on taxation, added:

"Tax dodging doesn't just affect businesses and citizens in Europe; it can also be devastating for countries in the developing world. The amount of unpaid tax owed to developing countries is an unbelievable $104 billion every year.

"Just imagine what that money could pay for, and the difference it could make to the lives of the poorest people in the world. That's why it is essential we take action at European level to clamp down on multinational companies not paying their fair share of tax.

"A crucial first step towards achieving that is requiring all major multinational companies to report publicly exactly where they make their profits, and where they pay their taxes."
 

EU action to help developing countries tackle tax dodging will save lives

Labour MEPs voted today for the EU to do more to help developing countries clamp down on tax dodging, measures which will give governments resources to improve healthcare, sanitation and...

Labour MEPs have condemned today's formation of a far-right Group in the European Parliament, made possible by the defection of a former UKIP MEP.

Until now, Marine Le Pen's Front National have not been able to create a political group, but with Janice Atkinson - elected as a UKIP MEP last year - joining them they reach the threshold of having MEPs from seven different countries, required to form a group.
 
The creation of a group means that they can get access to more than €17 million over the next four years, and places on parliamentary committees.
 
Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour's leader in the European Parliament, said:
 
"This is a dark day for Europe. Extremists from across the EU have laced up their boots and marched into an alliance, securing funding and power.
 
"Only last week UKIP MEPs stood up in defence of Front National to block amendments calling for greater transparency in regards to party funding - and now their former MEP Janice Atkinson sits shoulder-to-shoulder with Le Pen and her axis of hate."

Note:

The parties making up the new Europe of Nations and Freedoms Group are: Front National (France, 20 MEPs); Lega Nord (Italy, 5 MEPs); Freedom Party of Austria (Austria, 5 MEPs); Party for Freedom (Netherlands, 3 MEPs); Congress of the New Right (Poland, 2 MEPs); Vlaams Belang (Belgium, 1 MEP); and Janice Atkinson MEP (UK, ex-UKIP).

Labour MEPs condemn ex-UKIP MEP's role in formation of new far-right Group

Labour MEPs have condemned today's formation of a far-right Group in the European Parliament, made possible by the defection of a former UKIP MEP.


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