Edward gets Certificate of Achievement from the Single Seat group: he is now Honorary Patron
Jan 28 2015: Edward has been made Honorary Patron of the cross-party campaign for a Single Seat for the European Parliament, which he founded in 2010 and which by 2014 under his chairmanship saw 78 per cent of MEPs voting to scrap their costly Strasbourg sessions.
At a packed meeting as the new European Parliament assembled for its first full session in its Brussels chamber, the new chair of Single Seat. Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, Sweden) gave Edward a framed Certificate of Achievement. The citation read "For his everlasting commitment to the Single Seat and for his determination in making the European Parliament more efficient and closer to citizens."
The meeting heard a detailed report from from the EU's Court of Auditors about the additional cost of the Strasbourg meetings - some €114 M per year - and laid out plans for future campaigning. The parliament's consititutional committee has decided to invoke Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty - a first - which allows MEPs to propose treaty change. This followed the recommendations in the 2013 Fox-Hafner report, which saw a massive majority of 483 - 141 calling for an end to the Strasbourg sessions.
Edward debates Hong Kong crackdown
Dec 3 2014: In a debate organised by the oldest society at the London School of Economics, Edward argued that Britain - and the EU - should take a resolute and principled approach to China's rough tactics against Hong Kong protests.
Speaking to the Grimshaw Club on the 30th anniversary of the UK-China agreement on Hong Kong's future, Edward laid out the diplomatic and commercial advantages of a reformed Hong Kong within a reformed China. A consistent critic of the Beijing regime since he wrote a ground-breaking report for the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee in 1996 - it led to the China-EU Human Rights dialogue - the former Vice-President of the European Parliament remains convinced that criticism of China's human rights record should be a universal policy for the free world. Read his views here
Edward debates growth of religious extremism
Dec 3 2014: Edward was a pannellist at a an event the European Parliament UK Office organised to mark the awarding of the Sakharov Prize. The debate addressed religious and human rights and brought together academics, policy-makers, interest associations and journalists. Details here
Edward voted Patron of European Movement
Nov 22 2014: Edward was voted a Patron of the European Movement at its AGM in London. He said: "I am honoured and pleased, and look forward to putting forward the facts about our EU membership in the coming period". The same meeting saw Laura Sandys MP (C) and Richard Corbett MEP (Lab) take over as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the cross-party movement.
Edward wins York Uni debate on EU by 84-22
Nov 11 2014: In a debate on Armistice Day organised by the Student Union at the University of York Edward defeated a 'get Britain out' motion proposed by UKIP speaker Gawain Towler by 84 votes to 22.
As the audience entered they registered opposition to the motion "That this House believes Britain would be better off outside the EU" by 67-37. Edward said: "This shows that peoples' instincts are that we should stay in the EU and that reasoned debate makes them even more convinced." Read more in student newspaper Nouse here
Scotland: an eye view By Edward McMillan-Scott
Polling day 18 September 2014: "Watching in Edinburgh the closing stages of the campaign for the referendum on Scottish independence it struck me as the strangest electoral process I have witnessed since Britain's In/Out of Europe poll in 1975." read more
Statement re 22 July Twitter/Board of Deputies of British Jews:
"I have offered a full personal apology for a derogatory Twitter post on 22 July - now deleted - which was a criticism of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. This arose because when I was attacked in the Daily Telegraph by Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, in 2009 as an anti-Semite, which I am decidedly not, the Board refused to distance itself from his remarks because of internal dissension.
"This issue arose because of my opposition to David Cameron's controversial new EU parliamentary group, described by Nick Clegg as a 'bunch of homophobes, anti-Semites and climate-change deniers'. I joined the LibDems in 2010.
"Pollard's article was a defence of the decision by the Conservative leadership to promote a Polish MEP - Michal Kaminski - to posts in the European Parliament. Kaminski's anti-Semitic past was easily discovered, not least by the Daily Telegraph itself. I protested by standing successfully against Kaminski as European Parliament Vice-President.
"However, I have opposed Israel's policy towards the Occupied Territories for some years and disagree with the position of the Board in its unqualified support of Israel today, the context in which these remarks were made [its attack on Gaza]."
Edward McMillan-Scott is a former MEP for Yorkshire & Humber and Vice-President of the European Parliament for Democracy & Human Rights. A relative of T E Lawrence ('of Arabia') he was a regular visitor to the Middle East and champions the cause of Arab democracy. He chaired the largest-ever observer missions by MEPs to the Palestine presidential and parliamentary elections in 2005 and 2006.
Edward wins Human Rights Medal of Honour
Edward was awarded the Medal of Honour in 2013 by the Venice-based European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation 'in recognition of his lasting efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights'.
Edward wins Parliament 2012 Outstanding Contribution Award
Edward has been given the Parliament magazine's 2012 Outstanding Contribution Award for his campaign to end the European Parliament's two-seat arrangement between Brussels and Strasbourg, costing €180 million and 19,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.Read more here
Edward raises concerns over Yorkshire's lack of lobbying for EU funds
Edward McMillan Scott, Lib Dem MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, said since the government's abolition the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward in 2010 there "is no longer a single voice speaking for the region's local authorities". Read more here
Edward welcomes Nobel Peace Prize for European Union
Commenting on the Nobel Peace Prize award to the EU for six decades of advancing peace in Europe, senior Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott (Yorkshire & Humber), who has been the European Parliament's Vice-President responsible for democracy and human rights since 2004, said: "The Nobel Peace Prize for the EU is recognition of the transformative power of the European project that brought a war-torn continent back to prosperity and through its enlargement process helped to spread democracy and freedom to the former Soviet bloc and is a model for reform worldwide." Read more...
Edward congratulates Taiwanese EU ambassador on appointment as country's new foreign minister
Edward said: "David Lin has been an outstanding ambassador for his country during his time in Brussels.He has displayed diplomacy of the highest standard and I'm sure he will be a credit to his country." Read more here
rats release pamphlet detailing achievements in Government.
Read the pamphlet here
Edward speaks with concerned residents in Grimsby
Edward visited Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire to talk to residents about their concerns for the neglected ward. Read more here
Counting the cost of flooding in the region
Following the terrible flooding especially in Calderdale, Edward visited the area to meet with business owners affected.
Fellow Lib Dem MEP Rebecca Taylor helped out at a temporary flood relief centre at Calder College. Together they are offering any help the EU can give.
Edward issues advice for holidaymakers
Edward stressed the importance of holidaymakers knowing how to access services if they get into difficulty abroad, from the 112 emergency number to health insurance cards. Read more here
Edward sees tourism champion EU funds winner
Edward at Bolton Abbey's very popular restored railway station, which won EU funding. Volunteers run the trains and station.
Edward is campaigning for a fair share of future EU funding for Yorkshire & The Humber in the next round of spending 2014 - 2021. Some £500M is earmarked for the region but there are likely to be calls for cuts.
Edward challenges Tory Shipley MP in BBC debate on death penalty
On BBC TV’s Sunday Politics Show Edward recently challenged right-wing Tory MP Philip Davies over his wish to see the death penalty reintroduced in Britain. Edward said: “Having successfully campaigned for the release of a young Leeds man from death row in Pakistan I have seen at first hand the horrendous nature of this
Edward hosts roundtable discussion on new EU human right strategy
As the House of Commons approved the EU's new human rights package, Edward organised a high-level roundtable at the European Parliament offices in London. Edward - Vice President for Democracy & Human Rights - was joined by Michael Connarty MP and Nicolas Berger of Amnesty International.
Edward campaigns to keep the EU investing in Yorkshire & Humber
Edward has launched a campaign to ensure that Yorkshire & Humber gets its fair share of EU funding
The UK Government is calling for an overall cut of the EU’s budget and Edward is fighting to make sure spending on frontline projects that make a real difference to Yorkshire & Humber is protected. At present some £500 million is earmarked for Yorkshire & Humber from 2014 onwards. Help Edward fight for a fair share of EU funding for Yorkshire & Humber by signing the petition or emailing him your support at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Read more here
Edward discusses declining bee populations with international expert
July 6: Sheffield: Edward hears at first hand from international bee expert Dr Steve Martin at Sheffield University how commonly-held theories about the decline of our bee population are not valid. Dr Martin recently published in Science his groundbreaking research into the real effect of the varroa mite – and associated viruses - on bees.
Edward releases pamphlet detailing his fight for democracy and human rights reform worldwide
Edward produced a pamphlet detailing his fight for democracy and human rights reform worldwide in response to his constituents' interest in his work. Read the pamphlet here
Edward presses for Yorkshire & Humber's fair share of EU funding
Edward is pressing the Coalition government for a fair share of EU funding for the region, dedicated largely to job creation and research, as negotiations begin over the £500 million earmarked for Yorkshire & Humber between 2014 and 2021. He met with Liberal Democrat Party President Mr Tim Farron MP in Leeds to make the region's case. Read more here
Edward challenges growing Euro-scepticism in the UK
Edward McMillan-Scott is a long-standing pro-European. Speaking to Liberal Democrats in Leeds on 22 June, he commented on growing Euro-scepticism in the UK prompted by the Euro crisis, but referred to a recent report by Open Europe, a think tank which is usually critical of the EU, which argues for continued British membership: in addition, an article by Boris’s younger brother Jo Johnson MP argues that the EU’s Single Market is critical to Britain’s economy. Lastly, he pointed to an analysis of the benefits of EU membership on his website. Read the analysis here
Edward slams 'meagre' fishing deal
Edward McMillan-Scott, who represents fishing communities from Whitby to Grimsby, slammed the fishing deal to emerge from European fisheries Ministerson 13 June as “meagre progress”.
Edward brought Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall to the European Parliament to launch his ‘Fish Fight’ to a wider audience. The campaigning super-chef wants an end to the practice of 'discards' which forces fishermen to dump dead fish back in the sea if they have reached their quota for that particular fish. Read more here
Edward joins last minute campaigning for local elections
Edward and two of his Assistants joined last minute campaigners for the local elections in Sheffield (left) and Hull). The dedicated teams on the ground ensured Lib Dems oversaw some great wins across Yorkshire &Humber.
Edward discusses Palestine and Kashmir in Bradford
Edward discussed Palestine, the Middle
Edward's 'Championing the North' fringe event draws full audience at Lib Dem Spring Conference
Edward organised a packed fringe event at conference with standing room only, to discuss how the Liberal Democrats are championing the North in Councils, at Westminster and in Brussels.
Edward is interviewed by the Parliament's Petitions Committee
Edward discusses the importance of citizens' petitions, his responsibilities as Vice-president, his unwavering support for human rights, the European Parliament's two-seat arrangement, growing euroscepticism in the UK with the Parliament' s Petitions committee.Read the interview here
Edward hosts roundtable on new EU Human Rights Strategy
On July 12, Edward will host a roundtable discussion on the EU's new human rights package together with NGOs, journalists and politicians. It will be held in the European Parliament London offices. See the invite here
Edward puts spotlight on China on International Day Against Torture
To mark the International Day against Torture,Edward released a video statement by one of his Chinese contacts, Zhang Lianying, who was tortured to the point of coma while in Beijing Women’s Prison. She had been imprisoned for her religious beliefs. Read the press release here and watch the video here.
Edward: Coherent EU strategy on human rights overdue
Edward welcomed the adoption of a strategic framework on human rights and democracy by the EU’s 27 Foreign Ministers as an overdue step towards enhancing the effectiveness and visibility of the EU’s human rights policy. Read more here
Edward: Pressure mounts on China as Dalai Lama heads for Yorkshire
On the eve of Tibetan Spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, speaking at the Yorkshire International Business Convention (15 June), the European Parliament has increased pressure on China by passing a resolution on Tibet, co-sponsored by Edward. Read more here
Edward calls for a European Parliament special co-ordinator on Tibet
Edward notes that the European Parliament has become the mouthpiece for Tibet in recent years, and highlights the need to strengthen the support of this region, sending a clear message to the Chinese government as well as the international community. Read more here
Edward backs MEPs pressing for EU-wide ban on fish discards
In a video interview, Edward backed chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Fish Fight' campaign, and said EU ministers would be failing their people if they don't ban fish discards. Watch it here
Edward discusses plight of Sawahari people with actor Javier Bardem
Edward met Academy Award wining actor Javier Badem to discuss Western Sahara and peace for the Sawahari people. Bardem is starring in new film examining this topic: Sons of The Clouds: The Last Colony.
Edward comments on EU progress on missing child mechanisms
Edward released a press statement on International Missing Children's day, saying he will call at a major conference in Brussels for EU countries to continue their efforts towards EU missing child mechanisms, including hotlines, an alert system and a research centre into child hazards like that in Washington. Read the press release here
Edward asks the Commission about latest self-immolations in Tibet
Following the self-immolation of 2 young men in Tibet, Edward asks the Commission whether this incident will be discussed during the EU-China Human Rights dialogue, taking place in Brussels May 29. Read the Question here
Edward speaks at LGBT rights event in the Parliament
Edward spoke in support of LGBT rights the European Parliament event: 'It gets better', which called for an end to homophobia across the world on the eve of the 'International Day Against Homophobia', and outlined the progress that has been made so far.
Edward co-hosts Roots & Shoots event with Dr Jane Goodall
Edward co-hosted an awards ceremony for children involved in Dr. Jane Goodall's Roots &Shoots project, which teaches children about the importance of green issues and conservation
Edward co-signs letter to stop 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship going ahead in Belarus
In light of continuous human rights abuses in Belarus, Edward joined other MEPs in urging for the championships to not be held in Belarus. Read more...
Edward writes letter to Ashton on repeated human rights abuses in Bahrain
Following the arrest of activist Nabeel Rajab, Edward joins other MEPs in urging the EU to take more decisive action as regards Bahrain. Read more...
Published on 7 January, Edward writes on Politics.co.uk on the 'Embarassing link between Cameron and Germany's anti-Islamist movement' Read here
Edward writes in Yorkshire Post 15 November 2014 "John Major adds new ingredient to EU debate" about the former premier's Berlin speech. Read here
Edward writes 31 May 2014: "Proud to have served our region in Europe"
THIS has been a turbulent week in British politics. The United Kingdom Independence Party insurgency was predicted –but the reality was even more striking. Read more here
Bernard Dineen writes 20 Mar 2010: "Own goal as Tories force out a decent man"
Edward writes in Yorkshire Post: We should end Europe's indefensible travelling circus
WHEN I was handed the 2012 MEP Award for “Outstanding Contribution” in Brussels last week – top recognition by the Parliament magazine, sister to Westminster’s House magazine – it was seen as a major boost to my campaign for a single seat for the European Parliament.
As the summer draws to a close, MEPs and assistants settle back into day-to-day life at the European parliament. We all begin to prepare for the laborious trek from our working base in the Belgian capital, to inaccessible Strasbourg. This anachronistic arrangement wastes some €180m every year, and 19,000 tonnes of CO2. But there are clear signs that the parliament and member states are ready to challenge the cost and inefficiency involved. Read more here...
Edward comments on cracks found in Brussels building
Edward reacted to the news that cracks have been found in the debating chamber of Parliament's Brussels building. Watch the segment here...
Edward writes in Lib Dem Voice: "Our voice on human rights is amplified by the EU "
The Coalition pledge to put human rights at the heart of our foreign policy is bearing fruit. Thanks especially to pressure from the European Parliament – where as Vice-President for democracy and human rights I have lobbied hard – and the Foreign Office, civil society, the EU’s 27 governments recently adopted a comprehensive new approach. Jeremy Browne, our excellent minister for human rights, and I co-authored a recent article published by the Independent explaining the background of the ambitious new EU Human Rights package. Read more here...
Edward comments on Cameron's EU dilemmas
David Cameron's referendum pledge is full of hedged bets. His article in the Sunday Telegraph says: "As we get closer to the end point, we will need to consider how best to get the full-hearted support of the British people whether it in a general election or in a referendum." He adds:"As I have said, for me the two words 'Europe' and 'referendum' can go together... but let us get the people a choice first." So it is the latter point that is more significant. In other words, Cameron wants a renegotiation of our commitment to EU social, home affairs and employment policies. Read more here...
Edward comments on the fading support for the Parliament's 'anachronistic' Strasbourg seat arrangement
As European Union leaders met in Brussels at last week's summit on the crisis, MEPs were preparing for this week's trek from our working base in the Belgian capital to inaccessible Strasbourg. This anachronistic arrangement wastes some €180m every year and 18,000 tonnes of CO2. But there are clear signs that the European Parliament, its staff and some member states are ready to challenge the cost and inefficiency involved. Read more here...
Edward McMillan-Scott and Jeremy Browne: "The EU can amplify our human rights pledge"
The Coalition Government's promise to put human rights at the heart of Britain's diplomacy is being fulfilled daily. The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Cathy Ashton, has unveiled a comprehensive new approach to human rights worldwide, with our full support. Read more here...
Edward McMillan-Scott: Politicians left in quandary as EU confronts its financial failure
David Cameron's warning of "stagnation" at the G20 summit is aimed squarely at eurozone leaders. Europe is in a state of suspended animation as its most significant joint project - the euro - apparently for now continues to create more problems than it solves. Read more...
Edward calls for increased transparency in the European Parliament
Edward writes a letter to European Voice, criticising the decision of a minority of MEPs to water down proposals to improve the transparency of MEPs' activities, and calls for The Parliament's leadership to review this decision prior to the European elections in 2014. Read the letter here
Edward comments on European Parliament calendar case in ECJ
5 June: As the European Parliament defended its vote to merge two October parliamentary sessions into one week in Strasbourg to save costs at a public hearing in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, Edward commented:
"The European Parliament's principal base of activity is in Brussels, now the administrative and political centre of the EU. The additional cost of meeting in Strasbourg is about €180 million and 19,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Since last year MEPs have consistently voted by large majorities for a Single Seat to cut costs and this case is a step on the way." Read more here
Edward writes article calling for a Single Seat of the European Parliament
11May: Members of the European Parliament are repeatedly voting by overwhelming majorities to end what was described in a front page article in The New York Times as a "travelling circus", and the European Parliament's staff also want a single seat. Voting to clear the accounts for 2010 on May 10, during a Brussels plenary session, MEPs yet again voted for a single working location. Read more here...
Edward writes in Lib Dem News: Local growth through EU funds
27 April: As Britons vote in next week’s local elections, few realise that local authorities deliver and manage EU funds. While I have been canvassing across my region in recent weeks, it is clear that politics are indeed local. But in one respect, ‘I am from Brussels and I am here to help’ rings true. Read more here...
Human Rights must define Ireland's relationship with China
Edward comments on Ireland's human rights record and recommends an approach to China: “The country is a well known haven for human rights defenders, often also negotiating important UN resolutions to ensure their protection. It pays a great deal of attention to the smaller human rights projects and more difficult cases, often ignored by larger states.
China this month paid lip service to the need for reform, while thousands are still being persecuted. “Followers of Falun Gong are vanished, imprisoned and tortured, and yet the US refuses to take a firm line with China. This is why Ireland, with its strong record on human rights, must continue its pressure on China. As in the story of David and Goliath, the small can vanquish the large, as long as they are smart." Read more here...
Human Rights in Russia under fire on eve of election
Edward slams Russia for its 'shameful' record on human rights and alleged persecution of religious groups, drawing particular attention to Falun Gong, the practice of which is now blacklisted in both Russia and China. Read more...
Spark of liberty flickers as Arab Spring hopes fade
The international community – except China and Russia – recognise that the revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia will continue to need intensive care. The spirit of freedom cannot be crushed in Syria and Yemen and I believe that Europe should be using every means to support the revolutions there, short of military involvement. Read more here...
The fading spirit of the Arab Spring
As the first outside politician to reach post-Mubarak Egypt, Edward gives his appraisal of the revolution one year on. Read the article on politics.co.uk here
McMillan-Scott lambasts China for its 'abhorrent' record
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, the ALDE MEP also advocated an Arab Spring-style "Chinese revolution".
The deputy was addressing an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of New Tang Dynasty, an independent Chinese language TV channel. Read more here...
EU urged 'not to bow' to China's demands over Taiwan
Senior MEP Edward McMillan-Scott has welcomed the outcome of Taiwan's recent presidential elections, saying they could pave the way for better ties with mainland China. Read more here...
BBC Radio 4's World Tonight
16 December 2011: Edward says Cameron's EU summit posture is 'bizarre' on Listen here
Cameron is a danger to the UK:
At about 3.30 on the morning of David Cameron's fateful decision to veto a new EU treaty to sustain the euro, the PM apparently called George Osborne. Osborne is not only chancellor but was also Cameron's chief tactician and adviser during the opposition years. I sat on his election strategy committee. I suspect that Cameron not only discussed the economic implications of a veto, but also the politics – and especially the effect on the coalition and the chances of winning a 'Union Jack' election outright on a eurosceptic manifesto. Then he went back into the EU summit, exercised his veto – and only then called Nick Clegg. Read more here...
Edward expresses his views of Cameron's eurosceptic posture following the EU Summit on 9 December. Read more...
Cameron's Euro dilemma examined by Edward in this Yorkshire Post feature article: Read here...
Edward McMillan-Scott: Europe is back at the heart of politics, so let's not forget the benefits it brings. The issue of Europe is once again at the heart of British politics, pushed there by a combination of concern about the fate of the euro - the currency of our biggest market - and demands by eurosceptics for an 'in or out' referendum. Read more...
Euronews: Edward discusses the impact of Eurosceptics on the Euro crisis and tells Euronews (October 25, 2011) that in order to curb the rise of extreme right political parties and Euroscepticism in Europe we need to restate the case for the European Union and recognise the benefits of the Euro. Watch here...
The EU is not a walking disaster: I cannot deny that the public mood is eurosceptic but it is ill-informed. David Cameron must be regretting his casual leadership pledge to withdraw from the European mainstream European People’s Party, the political family of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. The gesture was without merit and now mitigates his effectiveness as premier. His pledge was made to secure the votes of the ‘Better Off Out’ MPs, the very ones who are now harrying him over the EU referendum. Read more...
BBC 'Newsnight': Edward discusses the decision to hold a debate and vote on a referendum on the UK's relationship with the EU. Watch here...
BBC Daily Politics Show: Edward attacks the Eurosceptics as unpatriotic on Daily Politics (8 September, 2011). Watch here...
Edward McMillan-Scott: Forget the Tory sceptics and focus on the real euro issue - Cameron's plan to put the UK into the EU's second tier. Read more...