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Local MEP: Cameron must negotiate in Europe, not make demands

cameron merkelAn East Midlands MEP has warned that the Prime Minister should make the case for the EU reforms Britain needs, rather than threatening to pull out if his demands are not met. Speaking early today, the Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond claimed the UK would quit the EU if other European Countries did not agree to the Tories’ demands.

Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said:

“Cameron will get nowhere fast in Europe if he continues to present a set of demands to other EU leaders and expect them to sign up immediately. If his failures on the European stage in the last five years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to build alliances with like-minded allies that want reform, not burn our bridges abroad.”

Today the House of Commons had its first look at legislation that would require an in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU to be held before the end of 2017. The Prime Minister has set out on a tour of Europe to persuade other leaders to back his set of reforms that would change Britain’s relationship with the EU.

Glenis Willmott MEP added:

“Businesses are facing up to two years of uncertainty which is putting investment in Britain at risk. I hope that Cameron works constructively with other European leaders to secure meaningful reforms that will make the EU work better for Britain. I will be making the positive case for Britain to stay in because it is vital for the public to hear both sides of the argument before making such an important decision for the future of our country.”

East Midlands MEP calls for the EU to do more on cancer research

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An East Midlands MEP has called on the EU to support more research and development of new treatments for cancer. The EU has a £54 billion fund, Horizon 2020, to support research and innovation.

Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said:

“We should be proud that some of the world’s most advanced studies into cancer and new treatments happen in the UK and across the EU. We need to drive research forward and the EU plays a vital role in this.

“Europe is certainly leading on cancer research and Britain is set to be at the heart of that when a new £700 million biomedical research hub, the Francis Crick Institute, opens in London later this year.”

Research into particularly rare types of cancer is also vital. Cancer Research UK estimates that around 3000 patients take part in clinical trials every year with many more across Europe. New EU rules could make cross-border trials of drugs and treatments much easier.

Glenis Willmott MEP added:

“New EU rules on clinical trials which I negotiated with the Commission and national governments will ensure the results of all clinical trials, successful or otherwise, are published. We need to tackle cancer at a European level to reduce the huge cost and burden of conducting trials, especially when there often aren’t enough patients in one country for a trial to take place.

“By working across borders and channelling much-needed funds into research, we will continue to develop new treatments even quicker and make strides towards beating cancer once and for all.”

Local MEP celebrates work of children’s cancer charities in the East Midlands

This week is the European Week Against Cancer and an East Midlands MEP has praised the work of cancer charities in the region that work with children and teenagers and has called on the EU to do more to support research and development of new treatments. Cancer Research UK estimates that 1500 children are diagnosed each year and many more undergo ongoing treatment.

Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said:

“Every child diagnosed with cancer is one too many but there are some fantastic charities, like the Ryan Lee Trust, working here in the East Midlands to support them and their families. Today, 82% of children diagnosed with cancer survive, but we must continue to fight for the other 18%.”

The EU has a long-term strategy to beat cancer and funds world-leading research through the £54 billion Horizon 2020 programme. However, last year the European Commission proposed cutting the budget by nearly £2 billion; this was strongly opposed by MEPs.

Glenis Willmott MEP added:

“We should be proud that some of the world’s most advanced studies into cancer and new treatments happen in the UK and across the EU. By working across borders and channelling much-needed funds into research, we continue to make strides towards beating cancer once and for all.”

European Week Against Cancer: my open letter


Dear Editor,

This week (25th – 31st May) marks the European Week Against Cancer. This is an important opportunity to highlight the work of fantastic charities here in the East Midlands and push for greater action and funding at a European level.

Just like climate change and international crime, cancer does not recognise borders which is why it is vital that we work with other European countries to strengthen our research to develop new treatments and drugs even faster. In the European Parliament, I sit on the MEPs Against Cancer (MAC) group and I led negotiations on new EU laws for clinical trials which will enable better co-operation on medical research. However, there is more that can be done and I want to see a tough EU alcohol strategy which highlights the link between alcohol consumption and over 60 chronic diseases, including seven types of cancer.

Here in the East Midlands, there are around 30,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year; that’s around one diagnosis evPartnership_Logoery 20 minutes. Thankfully we have some brilliant charities in the region like the Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity in West Bridgford, Together Against Cancer in Thurmaston and the Ryan Lee Trust in Kimberley. We have made huge strides towards beating cancer in the last few decades and Britain is leading the way. This year, the Francis Crick Institute, the largest biomedical research building in Europe, will open in London thanks in part to £160 million from Cancer Research UK.

As your MEP, I will continue to work to make sure the EU is doing everything it can to support world-leading research into treatments that could potentially save millions of lives. This week, I will be sharing on social media what is happening at a European level to beat cancer. With the sobering fact that more than 1 in 3 people in the UK will develop cancer, we need to work together to fight this disease.

Yours faithfully,


Glenis Willmott MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands

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