Thank you to all of you for working so hard in the general election campaign to ensure that Labour won 40% of the vote share. Together, we reduced the Tory lead from 24 points to just two and added 30 extra Labour MPs. A personal highlight was seeing Preet Gill elected as the first ever female Sikh MP. The result is a Conservative party in chaos and a zombie prime minister with no mandate, no manifesto and no plan for the country or Brexit.
Theresa May has demonstrated once again that her only concern is the future of the Tory party, not the country. She managed to find £1 billion of taxpayers money in order to cling onto power by bribing the DUP, but at the same time refuses to give our nurses, policemen and fire-fighters their first pay rise in seven years.
June was another month filled with tragedies. The Grenfell Tower fire was the worst of all, killing at least 79 and probably many more. Since the calamity, tests on the cladding of 95 other tower blocks all failed fire safety tests. Before becoming a politician, I worked in social housing for 18 years, so this is an area that I care deeply about. Other EU countries like Germany, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic ban the use of combustible products on tower blocks as high as Grenfell. Regulations like these can save lives, but many of the most zealous Brexiteers see leaving the EU as a chance to slash “red tape”. I will campaign to keep the rules that keep our people safe after Brexit.
On other issues in Brussels it has been a productive month for me personally, and the EU as a whole. You may have noticed me discussing Money Market Fund regulation a lot over the past three years. It was a proud moment to see the new regulation that I have been leading as Rapporteur officially signed and turned into law.
Meanwhile roaming charges have now been scrapped. If you have had the chance to travel to another part of the EU this summer, you will have received a text explaining that all calls, texts and phone calls are now charged at your normal rate. No more surprise phone bills! It was also great to see the Commission standing up to tech giant Google for illegally prioritising its own products in search results. The €2.42 billion fine shows that the EU is the only institution worldwide which has both the power and the political will to properly regulate multinationals. These examples all demonstrate what we can achieve when we work together.
Neena Gill – MEP for the West Midlands