La Treizième Étoile: 27/11/11 - 04/12/11 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
My tweets (@SWUKinEU)
'No EU barrier to development of Falmouth Docks', states local MEP

Saturday, 3 December 2011
Falmouth's special European environmental status will not stand in the way of the docks' redevelopment, according to local MEP Sir Graham Watson. It is estimated that dredging the harbour - part of the Port of Falmouth Masterplan - would bring thousands of jobs and investment to the area's economy.

The site falls within a European Special Area of Conservation and critics have long been concerned about the environmental impact. But Lib Dem MEP Sir Graham, says the law does not stop development in cases where there is important economic interest.

"Falmouth is in a Special Area of Conservation and one of the difficulties that there is for dredging the harbour to the extent needed is that it would normally not be allowed in such an area," he said.

"However, as one of the legislators who was responsible for this directive, I can tell you, and Mr Osborne can go and look, you will see that this is not supposed to be against development. It does not that say that you cannot under any circumstances do these things; what is says is that if you want to do these things then you must offset it elsewhere by providing and safeguarding habitats elsewhere."

Video courtesy of Quadrant Media and used with kind permission.


It may have taken a mere 535 days but at last Belgium is to get a government!

Thursday, 1 December 2011
Yes, you did indeed read that headline correctly - Belgium is, at last, to get a government - a mere 535 days after the inconclusive elections in June 2010.

The news Belgium has long been waiting for broke late yesterday evening after the country's politicians agreed the last details of a 185-page deal that will guide them for the remaining two-and-a-half years of their mandate - before MORE elections are due and the negotiation process will no-doubt restart.

The six-party coalition government led by French-speaking Socialist leader Elio Di Rupo, left, is expected to be sworn in on Monday, with Di Rupo set to become only the country’s second Francophone prime minister since 1974.

You've got to hand it to the Belgians though - the new longest government formation record of 535 days is really going to take some beating…

David Lidington repeats UK government's pledge on Gibraltar’s sovereignty

Tuesday, 29 November 2011
A week after the Spanish Partido Popular swept into power in Spain, the British Government's Europe Minister David Lidington has vigorously restated the Government’s long-standing assurance that it will not talk about Gibraltar’s sovereignty against the wishes of the Rock’s citizens.

The PP, lead by the country’s new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, had said in its electoral manifesto that it would seek a return to bilateral talks with the UK over Gibraltar if elected. But the message from Britain this week could hardly have been any clearer:

In a response to a question in the House of Commons tabled by Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, David Lidington said that neither he nor the Foreign Secretary William Hague had discussed Gibraltar’s sovereignty with Spain.
Any communication that we have with the Spanish Government about Gibraltar reflects our clear position on sovereignty, which is that the UK will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes and, furthermore, the UK will not enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content,he said. (my emphasis)

Last election:

Click here to see which six MEPs were elected.