Our Only Remain voice

26 01 2017
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has responded to today’s Supreme Court Ruling which decided the British Government could not Trigger Article 50 without passing legislation through Westminster. The Supreme Court also ruled that the British Government were not required to consult the devolved institutions before triggering Article 50.

Mr Eastwood said, “This judgement marks a significant and serious departure from our devolution settlement. It significantly undermines the value placed on the democratic mandate of our Assembly. Northern Ireland voted to remain in the European Union, yet the Northern Ireland Assembly is being denied any role or rights in the upcoming negotiations with the European Union.

The SDLP is now the only party standing by the will of the majority of people in Northern Ireland at Westminster. We will be the only voice of the 56% who voted remain.

“Although the Supreme Court disagreed with the view that there is a legal requirement to gain legislative consent from the Assembly, it remains our view that it is a political requirement to gain that consent and this will be top of our agenda in any post-election negotiations.

“That agenda will also include gaining special status for Northern Ireland in the event of Britain leaving the EU.

“Today’s judgement is particularly serious given the fact that it is being suggested that the unelected, unrepresentative House of Lords will be permitted a vote yet the devolved regions will not.

“I welcome the part of the judgement which ensures that a vote in Westminster will be required to give consent on the triggering of Article 50.  We will submit our own amendments and support any other amendments which protect our interests. We will vote against any Bill which triggers Article 50. I would strongly urge all pro-Remain MPs to join us in this action.

“Last week Theresa May set out her vision for a Tory hard Brexit which, if left unchallenged, will mean a hard border in Ireland.

“Everyone on this island has a responsibility to ensure that this does not happen. It would prove devastating both politically and economically.  That includes the Sinn Fein MPs who do not take their seats at Westminster. If Sinn Fein are serious about new leadership they cannot shirk their responsibility to the people of Ireland and should therefore take their seats to vote against Article 50.”

PES Manifesto adopted with Clear Focus on Job Creation

2 03 2014

Attwood PES

The PES Manifesto for the European Elections 2014 was unanimously adopted today at the PES Election Congress in Rome 1 March. All PES Member Parties at the Congress voted on the text in an open ballot.

“Conservatives and liberals have made a big mess of managing Europe and the crisis. Every unemployed person knows it, every youth whose future is in jeopardy knows it. Our job is to get the biggest turnout possible to make sure that finally, the conservatives know it too. With these ten key points to guide us and with Martin Schulz as our Common Candidate we will succeed”, Sergei Stanishev PES President stated in his opening speech.

The ten-point roadmap sets out what the next five years would look like with a progressive majority in the European Parliament and Commission. The ten points are:

1. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: With 27 million Europeans and nearly a quarter of young people out of work everybody in the PES agrees that the fight against unemployment must be the number one priority. Our focus on job creation will we be the overarching theme for everything we do in the next five years.

2. Boosting the Economy: Austerity-only policies have harmed Europe and punished those who least deserve it, while rewarding reckless speculation. To relaunch the economy we will invest in a smart re-industrialization programme focused on innovation, research and training.

3. A Financial Sector serving all Europeans: We will not tolerate the policy of “Pain for people – billions for banks.” Speculators will never again be allowed to gamble with people’s lives and Europe must never again spend €1.6 trillion bailing out banks.

4. A Social Europe: We will fight for a Europe that leaves no citizen behind. We will redress attacks on public services such as health, education and housing and ensure that economic freedoms do not outweigh social rights.

5. Equality and women’s rights: The principle of equality is at the heart of what it means to be a European citizen. Gender equality is of utmost importance to the progressive family. The PES will also continue the fight against all forms of discrimination.

6. A Diverse Union: We will fight for a Europe that respects everyone’s rights and obligations. True solidarity amongst Europeans must be shown via a concerted effort to eliminate the last remains of extremism on our continent.

7. Safe and Healthy Lives: European citizens deserve to live safe, healthy and happy lives. Food quality, safe consumer products and the right to protection of personal data and information should be guaranteed for all Europeans.

8. A Democratic Europe: For the first time European Citizens have a say in who gets Europe’s top job. The EU needs to be a democratic union of equality and participation. Brussels must work for Europe’s citizens, not the other way around, and the PES is committed to respecting and empowering local and national governments.

9. A Green Europe: The EU must retain global leadership in the fight against climate change, via intelligent investment in the green economy, renewable energy and smart technology. The protection of nature and natural resources must be addressed to both reduce our ecological footprint and bring down energy bills.

10. Carrying Europe’s Principles Around the Globe: The European Union must continue to promote the universal principles of democracy, peace and respect for human rights, including women’s and children’s rights. We will support social justice and play an important role in combatting global poverty

“Your future is my future – a European Youth Guarantee now!”

16 01 2013

Youth Guarantee

5.5 million young people are currently unemployed in Europe and an additional 1.5 million are forced into precarious jobs. In some countries as many as one young person out of two cannot find a job.

The campaign “Your future is my future – a European Youth Guarantee now” is calling for a European Youth Guarantee as a way to tackle youth unemployment.

 What is the European Youth Guarantee?

The European Youth Guarantee is a guarantee that ensures that every young person in Europe is offered a job, further education or work-focused training at the latest four months after leaving education or after becoming unemployed.

It can be implemented at European or at national level. 

 Join the campaign!

Together we can bring 2 million young people out of unemployment by 2014, by making a European Youth Guarantee a reality.