European membership, part 36; Ivory trade.

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I have in this series of blogs pointed out many areas where the EU has little or no influence on Britain and our ‘sovereignty’. One area where the EU does exert a considerable influence is in Environmental Law, and an example of this is in the control of trade in wildlife (both plants and animals). Of particular interest to many people is the control of the ivory trade.ivory

In 2015 it was claimed by the Environmental Investigation Agency that ‘Ivory trade has expanded in the EU, making it the world’s largest exporter of so-called pre-Convention or ‘old’ ivory. An analysis in 2014 of records in the database maintained by CITES – the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – confirms that re-exports of pre-Convention ivory, particularly raw tusks, from the EU have increased substantially since 2007, with mainland China and Hong Kong the main destinations of this old ivory. The increase coincides with a decision in 2007 by CITES to allow China to purchase 62 tonnes of ivory, stimulating market demand. Conservationists demand that loopholes in European law allowing exports of old ivory are closed permanently by Ministerial agreement. Then they cannot be exploited to launder fresh ivory poached in Africa to feed the insatiable demand in Asia, especially China’.

In a measure to combat this the EU passed a resolution on 26 February 2016. The European Commission adopted a Communication on the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking which sets out a comprehensive blueprint for joined-up efforts to fight wildlife crime inside the EU, and for strengthening the EU’s role in the global fight against these illegal activities.

This  not only dealt with ivory, but also with trade in live animals, birds, plants and animal parts such as ivory, rhino horn, and baby seal skins, and with trade in plant materials such as rosewood.

To read the full extent of the Communication click Action Plan against wildlife trafficing 

Back in January 2014 in the EU parliament 647 MEPs voted in favour of actions which would lead to the reduction in the ivory trade, and 14 voted against. Of these fourteen, 6 were British MEP’s, all members of UKIP. namely Nigel Farage, John Stewart, Gerrard Batten, Derek Roland, William Dartmouth and Paul Nuttall.

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European membership, part 35; UK Car industry

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Britain produces lots of vehicles, unfortunately most of the brands are owned by non British companies, but that’s another story. What will happen to this industry if we leave the EU?

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Last year Nissan produced 500,238 vehicles, Jaguar/Land Rover produced 449,507, Mini produced 178,993, Toyota produced 172,215, Honda produced 121,799, Vauxhall produced 77,836 Vans and DAF produced 15,400 Lorries. Reference .

 

If we left the EU, would we be able to export these vehicles quite so easily into Europe? More than half of the cars we export go to Europe. If Britain lost access to the Single Market, manufacturers will be likely to face the same 10 per cent tariff on their exports to the EU as non-EU countries do. Surely companies like Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Seat, Volkswagen/Audi, Volvo and Mercedes, would lobby their governments to make it as difficult as possible for Britain to export the cars they produce. Thus increasing their own sales.

Also the companies now based in the UK might decide it was in their best interests to relocate into an EU country, thus overcoming any import restrictions. Also geographically being in mainland Europe might be more convenient, no expensive channel crossings or operation stacks to contend with, and shorter delivery distances.

According to the UK automotive web site in 2013  there were 731,000 people employed,   and exports were 1,249,305 vehicles. ReferenceBritish-Car-Invasion-exports-623x300

The Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders SMMT said in January 2016

  • UK car manufacturing reaches 10-year high, growing 3.9% to 1,587,677 vehicles.
  • More cars exported than ever before, up 2.7% on previous year at 1,227,881.
  • Domestic production surges 8.1% to 359,796 to meet increasing demand for British-built cars.
  • EU demand grows 11.3%, with 57.5% of exports destined for the continent.

It is not surprising then that the SMMT said that ‘More than three-quarters of members of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders stated that if a referendum on EU membership were held tomorrow, a ‘remain’ outcome would be best for their businesses’  reference  Oh, and 14% did not know and only 9% wanted out.

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What’s on in Poitou-Charentes; May 2016

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Ramping up to the holiday season now and with hopefully better weather, so there are a lot more events on this month.affiche-pribor16

Festival Plein Sud; Cozes :last day 1st May.(more)

Music of Philippe Bianconi; Angouleme: 3rd May (more)

Atelier Chocolat; 22 rue du Bourg, Chocolaterie Letuffe, TROIS PALIS: 4th May  and again on 11th May(more)

Little Big and dope dod in concert; La Rochelle: 4th May (more)

Marionnettes ; En attendant Coco; Angouleme ;4th and 5th May (more)

Festival International de Music de Chambre en Charente; Chalais  7th May to 5th June  (more)

Les Visiteur de L’Autre Monde; Chateau-Larcher : 12th to 15th May (more)

Half Marathon; Aytre-La Rochelle and Futuroscope in May (more)

Festival de Melle; Melle 16th May to 6th June 2016 (more)

Centenaire du Centre de l’Aérostation; Rochefort :21st and 22nd May (more)

Jeremy Ferrari in concert; la Rochelle :21st May (more)

European open day for Moulins (Windmills) some in Poitou- Charentes; 21sdt and 22nd May check web site for which ones (more)

Rallye du Printemps; (motor sport) Bords, Charente Maritime: 23rd and 24th May ?? not sure of date as another site says 21st and 22nd May, so check it out. (more)

Spectacles nocturnes Coeurs en Bataille; Nouaille-Maupertuis:   19, 20, 21, 27, 28 May (more)

Moto Cross; Guimps; 29th May to 3rd July… That’s a very long race! (more)

European Membership, part 34; the pounds decline.

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Over the last 6 months the exchange rate between the pound and the euro has fluctuated quite a lot but the overall movement has been decidedly downward.

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What will happen in the future and how will the European referendum affect it?  If I knew I could make a lot of money. Unfortunately all I can do is supply you with the thoughts of other more knowledgeable folk than me.
(Photo from Daily Mail…aargh)

Continue reading

European membership, part 33: The future for Europe

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Euro flagsYou might think that if we vote to leave the EU then what happens to Europe after that is not our concern, that would be very short sighted. Were we to vote for Brexit then that could be the start of a domino effect for the other members of the EU. Continue reading

European membership, part 32: Second home owners in Europe.

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There are about 1,000,000 holiday homes in Europe owned by Brits.  Could brexit result in holiday home taxes being introduced across Europe?

If you own a second home in the EU, what will the situation be after 23rd of June if we leave the EU. Continue reading

European membership, part 31; Health care insurance.

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The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles UK citizens to free or reduced-cost treatment in other EU countries.EHIC It doesn’t have the same benefits as travel insurance, but if you have one, many travel insurance policies will waive the excess payment on a claim. In the event of a Brexit, such agreements would have to be renegotiated and there is no guarantee of the same result. Continue reading

European membership, part 30; Barack Obama or Marine Le Pen?

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In my ongoing attempt to bring you some facts, I have been looking through the internet and the papers to see which overseas politicians and statesmen have spoken in favour of our continued EU membership and which have spoken against it.maxresdefaultMarine-Le-Pen-Front-National

You can argue that these people should not interfere, but that view tends to be expressed by the opposite side when support is forthcoming for the rival campaign. Continue reading

European membership, part 29; Tobacco

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The cost of tobacco does not bother me that much but it is obviously important to many people as the treasury looses a lot of money from purchases of tobacco in the EU.  Last year the government estimated it lost between 1.2 billion and 2.9 billion pounds from tobacco smuggled into GB and between 0.7 billion and 0.5 billion from legally imported tobacco. This adds up to something between 1.9 billion and 3.4 billion pounds. Obviously the estimates for smuggled goods are going to be somewhat wide as no one really knows how successful the smugglers are. Click here to check the figures Tax revenue losses from tobacco. Continue reading

European membership, part 28; Roaming Charges.

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Euro flagsFor the past seven years the EU has been forcing prices down by placing a cap on the charges operators can impose and reducing that limit each year. Leaving the EU might mean that all agreements are scrapped and have to be renegotiated. Continue reading

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