Author Archive for Linda Teague

Julie Girling MEP: Why I will be voting for the Lib Dems in the European Elections

Many of my constituents and supporters have contacted me over the last few weeks to ask for advice on how to vote in the European elections. I appreciate the confidence they have shown in me and the very many sincere messages of regret that I will not be standing for re-election.

I have decided that I will be voting for the Liberal Democrats on 23rd May. This is not a partisan choice I am working on the basis of this being the most likely way to maximise the ‘Remain’ vote and ultimately achieving a People’s Vote.

This is my thought process.

I will only vote for a Party with a clear and straightforward commitment to a People’s Vote and the option of Remaining in the EU. In the South West that means the Lib Dems, Change UK or the Greens. There are a number of factors to take into account when choosing between these three:

1) Do I support their general political direction (other than Brexit)? Lib Dems Yes, CUK Yes, Greens No
2) Do I think they have the infrastructure/experience to function as productive MEPs? Lib Dems yes, Greens Yes, CUK No
3) Do they have broad appeal, proven electoral success and campaign infrastructure? Lib Dems yes, Greens maybe, CUK No
4) Have they enjoyed recent success in the local elections? Lib Dem yes, Greens yes, CUK No
5) Who has the current political momentum and the most chance of maximising votes for Remain? Lib Dems.

As you can see, by my criteria the Lib Dems are by far the best choice. It doesn’t mean I’ve become a Lib Dem, but they have my vote on this one and that would be my advice to anyone who cares to ask.

Julie Girling MEP


Julie Girling MEP: Why I won’t be standing in the European Elections

I have been following the online debate about how to maximise the “Remain Vote” in the coming European Elections with increasing dismay. I have decided to simplify the decision for the large numbers of constituents who have pledged their support to me personally by not accepting a place on the candidates list for Change UK. I would encourage my supporters to vote for candidates who have a proven record in the European Parliament and represent a party with a clear pro second referendum pledge.

I have been an MEP for 10 years and it has been a great privilege to serve the people of the South West and Gibraltar. I would like to thank you all for your support.

Julie Girling MEP

Julie Girling MEP – My thoughts on the events in Westminster this week.

The gap between what Brexit promised and what the Government can deliver is finally obvious to everyone. Westminster is in chaos. Hard line Brexiters have rejected Brexit, they promise to renegotiate without having secured any agreement from Brussels to bring to the table. They don’t care, they want a no deal Brexit that they can blame on the EU. So far, it’s all going to plan for the ERG.

Now we have had to endure the farce of a no confidence vote. The loss of a government’s flagship policy would, in normal times, signal the end of that government. However, a change of Prime Minister does not alter the parliamentary arithmetic by a single jot and even a defeat in the high hundreds will not shift the incumbent Government. The problem is that the Prime Minister is interpreting the result of the confidence vote as a signal that she can carry on “business as usual”.

So, after reaching out across the House of Commons, though maybe not meeting with the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister will go back to Brussels in an attempt to secure further concessions. A negative mandate from the rejected Withdrawal Agreement will give her a new line of argument, if nothing else. Furthermore, the conditions of the Grieve amendment – plan B within three days – would be satisfied. So, the can is kicked further down the road again.

It seems highly unlikely that any consensus will emerge. The mood in Brussels has shifted – nobody wants a damaging no deal – so pragmatic minds are moving on to the only possible alternative, the Prime Minister will have to ask for an extension of Article 50.

This is the next battleground within Parliament, it could fundamentally split the Conservative Party, and maybe the Labour Party too, but what alternative is there? Only one extension is likely to be granted so it needs to be long enough, at least a year, and this would require the UK to contest the European Elections. This throws up an interesting situation. Any UK involvement in the elections would constitute a de facto referendum and be fought on that basis. Each Party, including Labour, would have to adopt a clear unified position and campaign accordingly. Maybe new alignments would emerge, after all UKIP has only ever been a force in the European Parliament so why not a pro EU party putting the opposite view? Mrs May has been steadfastly against a People’s Vote and with this option she wouldn’t have to go back on her word (again!). The will of the people on Brexit would be clear.

I have argued for a People’s Vote since before the constitutional impasse became clear and still believe that the British people alone must decide the final position with relation to the European Union. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister’s obstinance and the Leader of Opposition’s refusal to listen to his membership has meant a positive People’s Vote has not yet been secured.

Perhaps, as with all things Brexit, we need to start thinking the unthinkable to break this damaging deadlock.


Brexit: A Recent Speech by Sir Ivan Rogers, UK’s Former Representative to the EU

As subscribers to my mailing list I thought you might be interested in a recent speech given by Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK’s former representative to the EU:

His assessment of the Brexit negotiations is particularly illuminating and actually very balanced. He offers an overview of how we have arrived at this situation, the intricacies of Brexit and the reticence of politicians to be honest about the choices facing the Nation. The only issue I take with Sir Ivan’s position is that of a People’s Vote. I believe that a final decision by the British people is not only desirable but a constitutional necessity. Once the choice was made to put membership of the European Union to the people as a whole, they became the only legitimate source to resolve any serious conflicts that then arose; this is evidenced by the parliamentary gridlock now on display.

I hope you find the article interesting.

Best Wishes


My Letter to all South West Conservative MPs ahead of the important vote on 11 December 2018

Below is the letter I sent to all South West Conservative MPs on Friday, 7 December ahead of the important vote scheduled for 11 December. This is based on the deal as it stands today.

Dear South West MP

Your political decision on 11th December will determine the future of our country for decades to come. Though I am no longer able to contact you as a colleague in the Party, I hope you will receive my concerns – from Brussels – in the collegiate and cordial way they are intended. Whichever Lobby you decide to take next week, it will be a defining moment for Great Britain, and it is on that basis that I offer some thoughts from Brussels, which I hope will be of interest to you.

I believe the Withdrawal Agreement will leave the UK in a vulnerable position, as is made clear in the Attorney General’s legal opinion; a democratically dubious limbo before the critical second part of the negotiations have even begun. Whatever position representatives take on the European Union, it is surely a mistake to bind the national future to the theoretical goodwill of a sparse and hastily assembled ‘Political Declaration’. A document essentially designed to buy more time offers no inducement to European partners to cooperate, and will have practical implications the public will deeply resent.

It is strikingly clear that the Withdrawal Agreement will maintain the decisions of European Institutions while removing our presence within them completely. This is a deeply objectionable situation made all the worse by a current public focus on the role of democracy in their lives. It is bitterly ironic that some of the most effective arguments used to win the referendum have actually been compounded and exacerbated by the Withdrawal Agreement; a situation that will not be lost on the electorate or forgiven.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the constitutional integrity of the UK is itself in question, but the issue is not a solitary one. It is deeply concerning that the role of European law, so vilified domestically, shows no sign of abating when our country ‘takes back control’. The Polydor case has long established that provisions in EU treaties and international agreements do not mean an axiomatic uniformity of interpretation. An issue that should be politically feasible – the rights of UK citizens in Europe – is made infinitely more difficult. Rights conferred to British Citizens will require the adoption, in letter and spirit, of the acquis. It is wrong to suggest a reciprocal agreement can be reached with the EU when each Member State will decide the process and conditions British nationals must satisfy. It is an imbalance found throughout the published documents. What is more, a free trade agreement does not entail a similarity of objectives nor does it provide a guarantee for identical interpretation, leaving our country at a disadvantage again.

It is clear to me that the Withdrawal Agreement leaves Great Britain in a much diminished and vulnerable situation. From the constitutional make-up of the Nation to citizens’ rights and the probable role of European law, the deal fails by the Government’s own standards.

I hope the above has given you pause for thought and you can understand my need to convey this message to you.

With kind regards


As we all know the situation is very fluid, changing on a daily, even hourly basis and I will endeavour to keep you informed of developments.


Parlemeter 2018 – Brexit Section

So the Brexiteers say the EU is going to collapse ….here’s evidence of exactly the opposite. Just one small example of how they’ve got everything so hopelessly wrong.

Julie Girling MEP: My Expulsion from the Conservative Party

On Tuesday 25th September I received a letter from the Chairman of the Conservatives expelling me from the Party.

I believe that this is an extreme and disproportionate measure which illustrates an increasing level of intolerance within the Party particularly on the issue of Brexit.

It is no secret that I disagree with the PM on her strategy, as do many others, but I am being treated very differently from others in the Party, especially those with a much higher public profile. These are the tactics of a bully but I refuse to play the role of victim. I intend to direct my political energies into the Peoples Vote campaign and ensure that the final say on any deal is put to test at the ballot box.


Emissions reduction aspirations may have been badly weakened by the recent ICAO agreement

The International Civil Aviation Organisation, the global aviation governing body to which almost all nations are signatories, has agreed the recommended standards and practices phase of its landmark carbon reduction programme: The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). While this should be a step towards securing a greener and more sustainable future, serious deficiencies threaten to undermined hard fought concessions. Ambitious targets of carbon neutral growth from 2020 are increasingly at risk – on a global scale – with concessions to oil producing nations, the withdrawal of China and the offset itself now in the long grass.

Mrs Julie Girling MEP, the Rapporteur who guided the EU ETS through the European Parliament was largely disappointed with the outcome:

‘I am very disappointed, although not altogether surprised, at this outcome. The only real positive seems to be the push to complete the MRV process. The offset can has been kicked down the road to avoid confrontation which doesn’t augur well for future agreement. The decision on fossil fuels is a bizarre and unnecessary concession to oil producing countries including the US. China is out of the pilot stage; this is very bad news, States seem to be moving away from consensus causing frustration amongst many EU Member States.

It is now even more important for Europe to make an immediate reservation and re-assert the right to continue with the EU ETS. The EU takes its Paris commitments seriously and its increasingly clear that there is a real danger of the global scheme through CORSIA failing to deliver.

On a UK domestic note I just wonder how the development of Heathrow can be squared with the UK’s own climate commitments and the stale mate emerging on global action for aviation.’


Salisbury’s Three Pro-EU MEPs release joint statement on Russian poison attack

The following statement has been issued by the three pro-EU MEPs in the South West: Molly Scott Cato MEP, Clare Moody MEP and Julie Girling MEP:

“In a difficult week for pro-EU MEPs, when we debated the next stage of the leaving process, it was heartening to feel the warmth and generosity of our European colleagues in solidarity with the UK in the face of Russian aggression.

“We welcome the expression of solidarity from Frans Timmermans who said: “I believe it is of the utmost importance that those who are responsible for what has happened see very clearly that there is European solidarity, unequivocal, unwavering, and very strong – so that those responsible are really punished for what they did.”

“As MEPs who represent the people of Salisbury, and in particular Clare Moody who lives in the city, we want to offer our support to our constituents and reassure them that we will continue to work with our European friends to ensure their future security.”


Press Statement from Julie Girling MEP (SW England & Gibraltar) and Richard Ashworth MEP (SE England)

We wish to inform you that we will be leaving the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) and joining the European Peoples Party Group (EPP) in the European Parliament with immediate effect.

It is our intention to remain members of the Conservative Party in the UK as we believe that the activities and approach of the EPP will more effectively further the prospects of achieving the best possible future for our constituents. We will continue to work for our constituents from inside the largest and most influential Group in the European Parliament.

We very much look forward to working with our new colleagues from all 28 member states.