Graham Watson MEP

Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar

A local champion with an international reputation

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EU must step up sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

Published on Tuesday 15th April 2014

Liberal Democrat MEP and Foreign Affairs Spokesman Sir Graham Watson has urged the EU to step up sanctions against Russia in order to de-escalate the rapidly deteriorating situation in Ukraine.

Commenting, Sir Graham said:

"The lack of a firm response from the EU over the seizure of Crimea seems to have encouraged the Russian government to continue acting with impunity as it now seeks to destabilise Eastern Ukraine.

 

"The EU can now prove itself by increasing the number of people and entities to whom targeted sanctions apply and by speeding up the work of the European Commission in identifying potential economic sanctions.

 

"Failure to act now would have grave consequences not only for the stability and security of Ukraine, but for that of other countries in Russia's near abroad with significant Russian-speaking minorities.

Read more: EU must step up sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

Westcountry food products in line for EU funding to boost sales abroad

Published on Tuesday 15th April 2014

Westcountry products such as Cornish pasties, West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and Gloucestershire old spots pork have long been recognised by locals and people across the UK for their distinct flavours.

But now South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson says the Westcountry's speciality products that benefit from protected EU status could be winning over thousands of new customers around the world after a new EU funding programme was approved today in the European Parliament.

Gloucestershire perry, Fal oysters, Cornish clotted cream and Somerset cider brandy also feature on the list.

The new scheme will fund programmes to promote the high-quality agricultural products in Europe and in fast-growing economies around the world such as China and South Korea.

Read more: Westcountry food products in line for EU funding to boost sales abroad

Graham set to visit Gibraltar

Published on Monday 7th April 2014

Gibraltar and South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson will tomorrow evening (8 April) attend an event organised by supporters who want to see him re-elected to the European Parliament.

He will pay a courtesy call on the Acting Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia and will also be visiting the border area.

Sir Graham will also be on Main Street on Wednesday morning to meet and talk to as many constituents as possible.

He will be accompanied by the fellow candidate on the Liberal Democrat list for the Gibraltar and South West England constituency Lyana Armstrong-Emery as well as by friends and supporters of his campaign for re-election.

Read more: Graham set to visit Gibraltar

MEPs vote to scrap mobile roaming charges across EU by December 2015

Published on Monday 7th April 2014

The European Parliament voted last week to scrap mobile roaming charges in the EU by December 2015.

Current EU caps on roaming charges have saved consumers across Europe an estimated £8bn since they were introduced in 2009, and new lower caps coming into force on 1 July 2014 will bring costs down even more.

Liberal Democrat MEPs successfully introduced changes that call for the charges to be abolished completely, including costly fees for data roaming in the EU which can reach up to £376 per gigabyte.

South West England Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson said:

"Ending rip-off roaming fees will mean people travelling in Europe will be able to use their phones just like they do at home, whether that's using maps, downloading apps or sharing photos online.

Read more: MEPs vote to scrap mobile roaming charges across EU by December 2015

Gibraltar: Commission keep letter to Spain on frontier delays secret

Published on Monday 7th April 2014

Gibraltar Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson is appealing a decision from the European Commission refusing to publish a follow-up letter which was sent to Spain 'urging the country to improve the situation of persons crossing the border on a daily basis'.

The decision follows a freedom of information request tabled by Sir Graham Watson requesting that the letter sent to Spain on 19 December 2013 be made public.

However the European Commission have also confirmed their decision to keep the investigation into the frontier delays going – despite their announcement that they were going to close the case back on 6 December 2013.

Gibraltar Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson, who is currently preparing to travel down to Gibraltar for a visit this week, commented:

"The fact that the European Commission has changed tack and decided to keep the investigation open shows that they are not happy with progress so far.

Read more: Gibraltar: Commission keep letter to Spain on frontier delays secret

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  • Graham's Newsletter

    Every week Graham writes a newsletter letting you know what has been happing in Europe over the past week. You can subscribe to receive this by email here. Below are the last editions.

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