4th February is World Cancer Day, when campaigners want to raise awareness of the disease and push governments to take action to save millions of preventable deaths each year.
Sadly cancer is still the second biggest cause of premature death in Europe. In the East Midlands, for every 100,000 deaths, 290 are due to cancer and Cancer Research UK estimates that 92,616 years of life were lost to cancer in the East Midlands between 2012 and 2014. Breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancer remain the most common cancers in the region.
1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer at some point in their life, yet it’s thought that at least 40% of cancers could be prevented. For example, you can reduce your risk of cancer by adopting a diet high in fibre and fresh fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol.
As Labour’s European Health Spokesperson, I’ve been working hard to raise awareness of these issues at a European level and to push for policies that will help governments and people to fight cancer. There’s lots that the EU can do to help, whether that’s providing funding for research, helping Member States to share best practice on prevention and screening programmes or ensuring people have the information they need to make healthier choices.
I’ve campaigned for a long time for stricter rules on tobacco packaging so I’m pleased that from May this year health warnings will have to cover most of the pack. With lung cancer the leading cause of cancer death in the East Midlands, I hope this will help to reduce the number of smoking-related cancers diagnosed every year.
World Cancer Day is an opportunity to raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds and I would encourage everyone to visit cancerresearchuk.org to find out more.
Labour MEP East Midlands
Responding to the publication of the draft deal between David Cameron and Donald Tusk on the EU renegotiation, Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour’s Leader in the European Parliament, said:
“Remaining in the European Union is vital for our economy, our rights, and our security – there are no circumstances under which we would be better off outside the EU, so we must not allow talk of this deal to eclipse the bigger picture.
“This referendum is going to be about working people, the rights they enjoy and the jobs that we have as a result of being in the EU – you only need look at the reaction of Eurosceptics to see that EU membership is worth fighting for.
“UKIP and the Tory right wanted workers’ rights slashed. Rights like a minimum four weeks’ paid holiday; parental leave; flexible working; equal protection for part-time workers. It is a victory for Labour and our sister parties across Europe that the undermining of these rights is no longer under discussion. We must now ensure that British people keep these rights by keeping Britain in the EU.
“We cannot wait for summits and talks. The battle must begin now, it is one we must win, we can win and we will win, and only then can we put an end to the uncertainty that is bad for Britain and bad for working people.”
Labour MEPs have called on the European Commission and the UK government to use China’s rise to market economy status as an opportunity to pressure the World Trade Organisation to demand Beijing plays fair and stops uncompetitive practices like the dumping of steel, which is devastating Britain’s steel industry.
East Midlands MEP, Glenis Willmott, said:
“China is dumping large quantities of steel and other goods into the EU market and this is having devastating effects on industrial communities across Britain, including in Corby.
“We are demanding real engagement from the European Commission to reassure European industry and workers that the EU will be properly equipped to deal with global overcapacity and dumping on our market after the end of this year.
“European trade defence instruments need to be urgently updated to protect British jobs in the steel industry. Sadly our own UK government is blocking any strengthening of current EU trade defence instruments, and is even contemplating giving China a permanent permit to dump.
“It’s high time the government recognises the need to ensure a fair market for our basic industries and manufacturing.”
Today local Labour MEP, Glenis Willmott, returned to the Rolls-Royce site in Derby to see what investments have been made thanks to EU funding. The Derby site is the UK’s flagship site and employs 12,000 people who work in civil aerospace and the submarine division.
East Midlands MEP, Glenis Willmott, said:
“When Rolls-Royce announced redundancies last year, constituents contacted me to raise their concerns. Today, I was pleased to learn that there have been no compulsory redundancies and that affected employees have been redeployed. With 1 in 11 jobs in Derby linked to Rolls-Royce it is absolutely vital that we keep these highly-skilled quality jobs here in the East Midlands.
“I have had various meetings with the local Unite representatives over the past year both in the UK and in the European Parliament with the European Commission. With Rolls-Royce having received close to £40 million in EU research funding for this period (2008-2016), we want to ensure that Derby is at the heart of new research and technology.”
Helen Kennett, Rolls-Royce, Director UK Government Relations, said:
“Today’s visit is a great opportunity for us to show Glenis Willmott MEP our on-going commitment to the region and the UK as a whole. The £30m extension to our Trent XWB facility in Derby is just one of over £300m worth of investments that we have announced in the UK over the past couple of years.
“The Rolls-Royce Trent XWB is the only engine that powers the A350 XWB and with over 1500 engines already sold, we are significantly increasing production. As the production centre for the Trent XWB, Derby has a critical role to play in our future.”
Glenis Willmott MEP added:
“I was delighted to see the new extension to the Trent XWB facility site which is where the Trent XWB engine will be assembled. In Derby we have a highly skilled workforce and I was pleased to see this recent investment in the Derby site. We must keep these quality jobs here in the East Midlands.
“Youth unemployment remains too high in the UK and many young people are stuck on exploitative zero-hour contracts. It was heartening to visit the excellent apprenticeship centre here in Derby which offers highly skilled training opportunities to young people.
“I will continue to work with Unite and Rolls-Royce in order to protect research and development positions and manufacturing jobs in Derby. EU research funding is key and I will continue to highlight the excellent work at the Derby site at a European level.”