OSBORNE: ‘BIN NUCLEAR BOMBS IN BUDGET’

220px-Jean_LambertGreen Party MEP Jean Lambert has urged George Osborne to use the budget to scrap the UK’s nuclear weapons programme – and use the estimated £100 bn – or £6.6m a day – of ongoing spending it would free up to reverse cuts to local councils, Legal Aid and benefits – and invest in education, the NHS, and job creation.

Ms Lambert said the use of the UK’s nuclear weapons would be illegal under international law, cause millions of deaths and unprecedented destruction to wildlife – and serve no useful diplomatic or foreign relations purpose.

 

She said the Trident programme, estimated to cost as much as £100 bn (1), was ‘a drain on resources.

 

Just this month, for example, the Government ‘casually’ agreed to spend an extra £270m on repairing and refitting nuclear submarines making up the Trident system (2) – that’s more than five time the £50m in cuts from the Legal Aid budget,” she said.

 

Cuts in public services – and public servants’ wages – aren’t inevitable: they are a policy choice.

 

Greens believe the Government should make a different choice: starting with a commitmentto abandon its costly, pointless and dangerous nuclear weapons arsenal.”

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EU LEGAL CASE AGAINST UK OVER LONDON’S AIR QUALITY

220px-Jean_LambertThe European Commission has slammed the Government over its failure to meet minimum safety standards by preventing air pollution in London.

It has issued a ‘letter of formal notice’ – the first stage in legal proceedings that could see the UK face fines of up to £300m a year for London alone – for failing to meet EU standards on clean air.

Green Party MEP Jean Lambert, a founder supporter of the campaign group Clean Air in London, said she hoped the legal action will serve as a wake-up-call.

“I hope this formal letter now sees a serious response and is the start of a  process which will see London’s air cleaned up, people’s health improved – and a reduction in the number of Londoners dying prematurely each year due to air pollution: some 4000 at last count,” she said.

“Poor air quality really is a matter of life and death, and I am shocked that the Government and the Mayor of London have repeatedly failed to take any significant action to improve it and meet their obligations.

“The latest figures show that some of the poorest areas of the capital have the worst air quality – so this isn’t just a public health issue, it’s an equality issue.

“Air pollution is largely caused by diesel exhaust fumes, and we need the government, the Mayor of London and the London Borough councils to act to reduce them immediately.”

UK MUST STAY IN EU

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Green Party MEP Jean Lambert is to host a topical debate on the future of the UK’s relationship with EU.

Ms Lambert will chair the event, which has been co-organised by think-tank Greenhouse and the Green European Foundation to examine how to make the EU a force for sustainability, on Friday at the London offices of the European Parliament in Westminster.

The debate, entitled,’ ‘Greening the EU – is it possible? will also see the launch of a controversial new report by University of Surrey Professor of EU Politics Alex Warleigh-Lack – ‘Greening the European Union’ – in which he argues that the EU is about more than simply free trade and can help promote a transition to a ‘greener’ Europe.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Ms Lambert said: “With much of the South of England under water – and much of London itself only escaping floods thanks to the regular usage of the Thames Flood barrier – we are seeing the effects of climate change in the UK more than ever before.

“If we are to prevent this level of devastation becoming a new norm we must take immediate – and radical – steps to tackle climate change: and that means reaching agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions internationally.

“The EU has a major role to play in leading the way, and brokering a wider global deal. We need this to be a clear priority for the EU rather than the single market.”