In her final speech at the European Parliament in Brussels, 30th January, Claire explained her decision to abstain on the motion relating to the gender pay gap. She said that it was in protest of the pay gaps that are rarely discussed such as the pay gap between the wealthy eurocrats and the underpaid and unrecognised heroes in the staff that run the daily functioning of the European Parliament, who she thanks for their work during her brief period as an MEP.
In her penultimate speech at the European Parliament in Brussels, 30th January, Claire expressed warm sentiments to her fellow European colleagues light-heartedly saying that this was not goodbye not in fact ‘au revoir’. She said that this was not because we would be re-joining but actually because we would continue to remain friends and enjoy bilateral relations as equals with the member states that make up the European Union.
Claire wrote an article for the Spectator following her appearance on BBC Politics Live. She argues that whatever the aggravations of the Brexit debates, it’s time to try to be constructive in the way we discuss politics.
Claire asked the proposed EU Commissioner for Innovation and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, about the contradictions of the EU’s support for academic freedom while the EU restricts what material academics have access to through digital services rules. Claire also asked why funding for research and education is so often tied to promoting a sense of European citizenship and identity.
Claire made a short speech to the European Parliament arguing that the EU’s approach to science was inward-looking and could fail to develop homegrown postgraduate skills.
Claire will be speaking in Crewe on Friday 11 October at 7pm. Hold the date – more details to follow.
In comments to the EP’s Culture committee, Claire points out the way the options for responding are put in such loaded terms that there is only one reasonable answer.
Claire will be speaking at an event jointly hosted by Leavers of Liverpool and the Liverpool Salon. The event takes place at The Casa, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool and starts at 7pm.
Claire will be joined by Costas Lapavitas, professor of economics at SOAS, a former Syriza MP in Greek Parliament and author of The Left Case Against the EU.
What kind of Brexit do we want and what might a democratic commitment to leaving the EU mean for the future of British politics? In a public debate that has been dominated by trade negotiations, Claire and Costas both emphasise the political dimensions of Brexit and defend popular sovereignty. They disagree, however, about the way the 2016 vote can be secured and then expressed in post-Brexit Britain. Is Brexit an end in itself or a means to an end, and what end? What role should political parties and Parliament have? Join this important debate that brings together two speakers who both challenge the dominant political narrative.
All welcome. Admission free. Collection on the night.
Claire gave her first impressions of life as an MEP for the BBC’s The Week in Westminster on Saturday 6 July.
Listen to the item here (from 22:27).
In an article for The UK in a Changing Europe, Claire describes her first experiences of being an MEP as she travels to Brussels to sign up with the administration and being briefed on and by the bureaucracy.
She writes: ‘If critics think business class travel is the extent of the gravy train, they haven’t been looking very hard. The EU’s financial excesses are grotesque.’ She continues: ‘Listening to briefings detailing descriptions of how the parliament works was sobering and I realized just how powerless MEPs really are. Any plans to make trouble ran into the practical reality of the way time is stitched up via the arcane Group system, allowing little possibility of speaking. Incredibly, the EP isn’t even a talking shop: it actually blocks people from talking!’
Read the full article here.