Trade Bill update

My amendment on the Trade Bill was debated this week, with support from Labour and Lib Dems. It contains the current protections for the standards we have. But the Government seems reluctant to accept it, even though the Prime Minister herself has said that she doesn’t want to weaken existing standards in future trade agreements. At the moment it would be possible for Ministers to use statutory instruments to change the rules on this, but my amendment would guarantee these minimum standards were kept for rolling over all the trade deals that we currently have as a result of EU membership.

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Meeting with Minister on Trade Bill changes

I had a meeting this week with Trade Minister Baroness Fairhead to discuss my amendment to the Trade Bill which aims to make our existing standards the foundation of all new trade agreements. Despite the number of advisors in the meeting on the government side, no one could give any reason why my amendment was bad in law or in principle. From what Ministers say in public, we are all in agreement about not using trade deals to lower standards. The main disagreement is over whether we need this principle enshrined in law. Continue reading “Meeting with Minister on Trade Bill changes”

Farming and climate change

Following a recent meeting with the National Farmers Union (NFU) I asked the government what they were doing to reduce the 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gases that come from the agriculture sector. There are quite a few initiatives being taken, but none on the scale needed to make a significant impact, according to the Climate Change Commission.  The draft Agriculture Bill offers a rare chance to change the system of financial incentives to give a boost to public goods, such as reducing climate change and rewilding the countryside. Continue reading “Farming and climate change”

A little bit of vegan goes a long way

For 2019 do you want a fast way to reduce animal suffering, lower your greenhouse gas emissions and lessen your risk of disease? Going vegan is the answer. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to give up everything; you can start with a vegan meal, work up to a vegan day, week, month – there are no rules. Continue reading “A little bit of vegan goes a long way”

Buffer zones between rivers and farms to bring back beavers

Creating a 20m buffer zones between all watercourses and farmed land would leave space for a wide range of wildlife and plants to flourish, including beavers. I will be asking the government (3rd December, Oral Question) to introduce such buffer zones as part of a rewilding of the countryside. Such a move would instantly create natural corridors that would allow rarer species to travel and migrate in response to a changing climate. Continue reading “Buffer zones between rivers and farms to bring back beavers”

Crowdfunder to support Jenny’s work

Please support our work

Unlike MPs, who receive state funding, members of the House of Lords don’t receive any financial support to employ staff or fund office costs.

As the only Green in the House of Lords, covering as many issues as I can, I need staff to help me with research and press work. I have a small, part time team (equivalent to one full time person) who are paid for from donations from people like you. Continue reading “Crowdfunder to support Jenny’s work”

Dear Conservatives who care

A few of you have told me that Blue is the new Green. That you have compassion towards animals and want to conserve the beauty of this world.

Last week one of you told me that the budget wasn’t the place to mention climate change, and I was too infuriated to argue, but I’d like to disagree. Every Government statement must mention it because it affects every area of our lives. Energy, housing, agriculture, transport, food, defence, the economy (no business on a dead planet) etc. Continue reading “Dear Conservatives who care”

Farmer’s padlock their Roundup, but not gardeners

My oral question (see Youtube) on the use of Roundup put the Minister under pressure to act as several peers followed up with hard hitting points of their own. Roundup and Glyphosate herbicides can cause cancer, and farmers are required by law to keep their supply under lock and key. That law doesn’t apply to gardeners, who can store it and spray it where children regularly play. Continue reading “Farmer’s padlock their Roundup, but not gardeners”

The police are making political choices about domestic extremism

Why are the police making political choices about who is and is not an extremist? The Hunt Saboteurs Association was founded in 1963 and advocating non-violent tactics, which has been put in a police document alongside such groups as Boko Haram, Taliban, National Action and Combat 18. This follows some regional police services including anti-fracking protestors in their Prevent material for schools and colleges. I can understand the argument that it is better for professional police officers to make specific decisions about organisations, rather than politicians via the Home Office, but that logic only holds true if the criteria are clear and the reasoning explained. Continue reading “The police are making political choices about domestic extremism”