South West Conservative MEP Julie Girling spoke on behalf of her political group in the debate and called on the European Commission to recognise the importance of immediate action, step up efforts to quickly find a vaccination and effective forms of treatment and address the restrictions to trading that such an outbreak could cause to reassure the continent's farmers. She also said this should serve us as a warning for future virus outbreaks and a test to gauge whether the European response is "robust enough". After the debate, she said the Schmallenberg Virus is a European problem and therefore requires a European response.
This call was also echoed by Sir Graham Watson, who after Thursday's debate said: "this is something that must be tackled in a coordinated way at EU-level. Like climate change or cross-border pandemics affecting humans, no single country can hope to deal with such a problem on its own. The UK couldn't stop the wind blowing the midges to our shores and midge numbers will inevitably increase as warmer weather approaches. So we need to ensure EU member states provide the Commission with full and timely information, and cooperate to develop common approaches to the disease."
"The recent discovery of SBV cases across the region is indeed a very worrying development. With lambing season about to get fully underway we will all be watching carefully, and hoping that the number of infections in the South West is kept as low as possible," he said.
Hailing from the truly beautiful South West region of the UK, Andrew now works in Brussels and is a UK passport holder, European citizen, and a twice employee at the European Parliament.
While the EU in its current form is far from perfect, he is nonetheless firmly of the belief that the UK's prosperity and place in the world is best served as a member state and not as an isolated bystander.
Since October 2009, this blog seeks to document the work that our region's MEPs do for us in Brussels. As such, predictably, it rarely features UKIP.