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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Published on Wednesday 11th December 2013
Britain's paper manufacturers breathed a sigh of relief as MEPs in Strasbourg voted to reject a European Commission proposal that could have led to more waste paper being shipped overseas.
The European Parliament gave its backing to a resolution tabled by North West Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies that was warmly welcomed by the industry.
Some 82% of Britain's waste paper is now recycled. Paper mills regard it as a vital raw material that costs just one third of the price of raw timber to make paper.
Published on Tuesday 10th December 2013
Major reforms aimed at rebuilding Europe's depleted fish stocks were agreed by MEPs meeting in Strasbourg today (Tuesday).
The new EU Common Fisheries Policy makes it a legal requirement to set quotas for fish catches with the aim of achieving maximum sustainable yields.
It requires long term management plans to be prepared for every fishery, and devolves day to day decisions about fishing practice from Brussels to regional bodies.
A ban on the discard of fish will be phased in from 2015, when fishermen will be legally obliged to land all the fish they catch.
Published on Wednesday 27th November 2013
The managing director of Siemens UK, which employs 13,000 people across the country, including Poole, has warned that his company would stop investing in factories in the UK if it was not part of the EU. He added that leaving the EU would be "disastrous" for British manufacturers. This follows a poll last month which found that eight out of ten manufacturers want to remain in the EU.
Siemens is a major South West employer, with offices in Poole as part of their highways and rail maintenance arm.
Published on Thursday 5th December 2013
EU ministers will today in Brussels approve a deal that will ensure continued European funding for the Exeter-based UK Safer Internet Centre for the next seven year EU spending period.
The UK's Safer Internet Centre, which is run by charities Childnet, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation and is based in Exeter, plays a vital role in taking down illegal online content such as child pornography, provides a helpline for victims of online bullying and raises awareness in schools.
The centre is part of a network of national Safer Internet Centres across Europe that are funded by the EU budget and work together to combat internet threats to children.
Exeter Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson has been at the forefront of efforts to make sure that the funding was protected despite considerable budget cuts.
Published on Tuesday 26th November 2013
South West England and Gibraltar MEP Sir Graham Watson has issued the following statement following the decision by RWE Power to pull out of the Atlantic Array project.
"I regret the decision made by RWE made today. Particularly given the potential of utilising the Bristol Channel to power hundreds of thousands of homes with clean energy. It is also deeply regrettable that North Devon will not see the major investment and potential jobs that came attached with the Atlantic Array.
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.