July 2012

Sarah's bulletin: 29th June

Dear friends,

EU summit saves the euro?

Religious freedom must be safeguarded

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford spoke about her work as a Euro-MP to members of WIZO UK, one of the largest Jewish women’s organisations in the UK, at the invitation of Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel.  The lunch assisted WIZO's fundraising for projects in Israel caring for vulnerable families and children.


Sarah Ludford, who is also vice-President of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, commented:


Sarah's speech to Parliament on the EU-Israel Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA)

Sarah Ludford (ALDE ). – Mr President, I also thank Commissioner De Gucht for his very clear answers, though they only confirmed what we already knew. It is time to get on and vote on this agreement.

Two years of discussion in committee has been a delaying tactic. As Commissioner De Gucht said, the objective of the ACAA is to eliminate barriers to trade by reducing costs and delays. I am rather astonished that many on the Committee on International Trade want to constrain trade and keep up costs. You are doing consumers and patients no favours on choice and price of medicines.

fitting safety device could save London lives

Euro-MPs have backed a recommendation that all cars be fitted with a road crash alert system by 2015.


London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed the call for the European Commission to make compulsory by 2015 the fitting of the 'eCall' system, which automatically alerts emergency services to road crashes.


Sarah Ludford commented:


“Over 2,6OO people were killed or seriously injured on London roads last year, and installing this device could save many of them from death. Even if someone is unconscious, the system will let rescue workers know exactly where they are."


Sarah's speech to Parliament on Schengen border controls

Sarah Ludford (ALDE ). - Mr President, I would say to my domestic coalition partner, Mr Kirkhope, if he were here, that internal border controls do not play a major role in catching major criminals, or even terrorists, and nor would PNR collection on internal EU flights do that. What is needed for that purpose is not populist moves designed to impress voters that irregular migration is being curbed, but strongly cooperative intelligence-led policing.

Labour and Greens wrong to demand tachographs for smaller vehicles

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has criticised the call by MEPs including Labour and Greens, including their London MEPs, for tachographs on vans.

Tachographs ('spy in the cab') were introduced under an EU regulation of 1985 to save lives by ensuring proper rest periods for long-distance lorry and coach drivers. It only covers vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. But Socialist and Green groups in the European Parliament this week successfully pushed through a demand for installation of tachographs in vehicles above 2.8 tonnes in an anticipated revision of the law. A demand from Green MEPs for the weight threshold to be lowered even further, to 1.5 tonnes, was defeated.

Sarah Ludford commented:

London's World Pride showcases UK equality leadership

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford is attending this year’s World Pride march to show her commitment to LGBT equality.


She will be part of a Liberal Democrat group including LGBT+LibDem chair Adrian Trett and Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.


Sarah Ludford, who is Vice President of UK LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and active in the European Parliament LGBT intergroup, commented:


Sarah's bulletin: 6th July

Kingston’s Grove Ward victory

EU law set to assist justice for Britons abroad

The European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee has adopted its position for negotiations with the EU Council of Ministers on a new law designed to guarantee all criminal suspects the right to have a lawyer before questioning and during proceedings, although it does not cover legal aid.

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford commented:

“In the UK the right to have a lawyer present during police questioning is now firmly ingrained in our legal system, not least because of bad experience of people being 'fitted up'. Unfortunately, this right is not always respected in all EU countries."