Sharon Bowles MEP Newsletter - Nov 2011 - Adur & Worthing Liberal Democrats
Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Sharon Bowles MEP Newsletter – Nov 2011

Welcome!

Welcome to the first edition of my e-newsletter. I will be sending a new edition of this newsletter at the end of each month with information on what I am doing in the European Parliament and the South East.

As Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (the Parliament’s busiest committee), my life is rather hectic! In any given day I will be balancing Parliamentary sessions, committees, meetings with industry and lobbyists, research, correspondence and am constantly being chased to squeeze in media interviews whenever I can!

If you would like to know more about the work I do in Parliament, or would like to watch, read or hear some of my media interviews, my staff do a great job of keeping my website updated with links, so do visit my site.

The Eurozone crisis – arrival of the technocrats

The Eurozone crisis has entered a new phase this month, with both Greece and Italy installing new ‘technocratic’ Prime Ministers. As Nick Clegg said recently in Brussels, ‘anything said on the Eurozone is out of date almost before you sit down’. In truth it has been, and still is, more like a slow motion car crash and there are no easy solutions. Breaking up of the Eurozone is widely recognised as one of the more costly outcomes, while saving it requires big political steps.

While the Eurozone crisis is proving to be a nightmare, it is worth stressing that the UK’s membership of the EU is still a good thing. Indeed, some facts that Eurosceptics are loath to admit to are that membership of the EU provides the UK with 3.5 million jobs, trade with other EU Member States worth £200 billion per year, foreign investment worth £350 billion per year, free access to the single market worth £12 trillion, and a coordinated approach to tackling climate change, crime and animal cruelty, among other things.

Those of us in favour of a cooperative Europe with strong trade links and national benefits are often the target of Eurosceptic ire and ridicule but leaving the EU will neither shelter us from the Eurozone crisis, nor benefit us in the long term. I appreciate that many of you are already aware of this but at a time when the backbench Euroscepticism of the 1990s Conservative Party seems to be rearing its ugly head again, it is worth reminding ourselves of why we joined the EU in the first place – it was for our benefit, not for our demise!

The million dollar question (or should that be million euro question!) is what happens if a country does crash out of the Euro? I am losing count of how many times journalists are asking this in interviews. The truth is that simply no-one knows. You may have read some wild speculation in the press about how many billions would be lost, or needed, but this is not just untested ground but almost unimagined. We shall have to wait, see what does and does not happen, and keep our heads while trying to reassure the markets so they do not freeze as they did in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers’ collapse.

I will keep you up to date as events unfurl but whatever happens, it will be unprecedented.

This month I have also:
Called for a VAT cut on e-books
Supported honeybee health
Called for more funding for Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire
Devised a radical new plan to make lending to SMEs more attractive
Appeared on BBC2’s Daily Politics programme
Appeared on Radio 4’s PM programme
Made a speech at the AFME Bond Conference

For further information visit:
www.sharonbowles.org.uk

The next edition will be out on 31st Decemeber – look out for it then!