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Liberal Democrats put british jobs at risk through 'rabid' green agenda

Thursday, 5th November 2009

Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands, is angered that British Liberal Democrat MEPs would rather see jobs lost in key British industries than take a pragmatic approach to climate change challenges.

Mr Helmer was scathing of the Lib Dem support today for a motion before the European Parliament's Environment Committee, which he said could have pushed British jobs out of the EU and seen vital employment sectors - such as steel and aluminium production - leave the EU as a result of excessive costs imposed by Emissions Trading.

The European Commission had presented a 'comitology' document which lists 8 pages of key industries which are deemed to be exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage. British Liberal Democrat MEPs voted today to reject the list saying it was incompatible with their vision of climate change management and called for a much stricter approach which could push British jobs out of the EU to third countries that are not subject to our stringent environmental legislation. The motion to reject the list was co-signed by Liberal Democrat leader in Brussels, Fiona Hall MEP.

Mr Helmer’s colleague Martin Callanan MEP, the Conservative Environment spokesman, said the UK Lib Dems were rejecting a common-sense approach and instead sticking to a hard-line green agenda that would do nothing to alleviate climate change but merely move the problem elsewhere.

Fortunately, with the help of the British Conservatives and their fellow members of the European Conservative and Reformists Group, the motion was defeated by 39 to 19 votes.

Mr Helmer said:

"In voting against this Commission decision, Lib Dems were risking pushing British jobs in key employment sectors such as aluminium and steel production out of Britain and into third countries which are not bound by our already stringent environmental legislation.

"I would like to hear the Lib Dems tell us which industries they want removed from the list - and as a consequence which they would presumably be happy to see exit Europe.

"I am delighted that we were able to defeat this motion today. It would have done absolutely nothing for the environment or climate but would have simply moved the problem on elsewhere. This is rabid environmentalism with little thought of the consequences. It is clear that they do not have the interests of the British economy at heart."