• Charles
  • European Conservatives and Reformists Group
  • Member
  • United Kingdom Conservative Party
  • Date of birth: 25 September 1957, Aldershot, Hants

Speeches in plenary


Deterioration of media freedom in Belarus, notably the case of Charter 97

04-10-2018 P8_CRE-PROV(2018)10-04(5.1)

Situation in Yemen (debate)

02-10-2018 P8_CRE-PROV(2018)10-02(14)

Uganda, arrest of parliamentarians from the opposition

13-09-2018 P8_CRE-PROV(2018)09-13(6.1)

State of EU-US relations (debate)

11-09-2018 P8_CRE-PROV(2018)09-11(16)

The emergency situation in Libya and the Mediterranean (debate)

11-09-2018 P8_CRE-PROV(2018)09-11(18)

The political crisis in Moldova following the invalidation of the mayoral elections in Chisinau (debate)

05-07-2018 P8_CRE-REV(2018)07-05(4.1)

Somalia (debate)

05-07-2018 P8_CRE-REV(2018)07-05(4.2)

The migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its borders (debate)

03-07-2018 P8_CRE-REV(2018)07-03(19)

Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (debate)

03-07-2018 P8_CRE-REV(2018)07-03(20)

Reports - as rapporteur


Reports - as shadow rapporteur


REPORT on the state of EU-US relations

10-07-2018 A8-0251/2018

REPORT on the Annual Report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy

13-11-2017 A8-0350/2017

Opinions - as rapporteur


OPINION on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada, of the one part, and the European Union and its Member States, of the other part

29-11-2016 AFET_AD(2016)592207

OPINION on the prevention of radicalisation and recruitment of European citizens by terrorist organisations

18-09-2015 AFET_AD(2015)560548

Opinions - as shadow rapporteur


OPINION on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2019

31-08-2018 AFET_AD(2018)623654

OPINION on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council providing further macro-financial assistance to Ukraine

16-05-2018 AFET_AD(2018)620988

OPINION on women, gender equality and climate justice

23-11-2017 AFET_AD(2017)609665

OPINION on the EU-Africa Strategy: a boost for development

05-09-2017 AFET_AD(2017)606203

OPINION on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Union Resettlement Framework and amending Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council

01-06-2017 AFET_AD(2017)601073

OPINION on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items (recast)

31-05-2017 AFET_AD(2017)602925

OPINION on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020

31-08-2016 AFET_AD(2016)582441

OPINION on Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris

01-09-2015 AFET_AD(2015)560685

OPINION on Private sector and development

24-06-2015 AFET_AD(2015)552030

OPINION on the recommendations to the European Commission on the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

01-04-2015 AFET_AD(2015)546630

Institutional motions for resolutions


Joint motion for a resolution on the situation in Yemen

03-10-2018 RC-B8-0444/2018

Motion for a resolution on mass arbitrary detention of Uyghurs and Kazakhs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

01-10-2018 B8-0461/2018

NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

Motion for a resolution on the UAE , notably the situation of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor

01-10-2018 B8-0458/2018

NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

Motion for a resolution on deterioration of media freedom in Belarus, notably the case of Charter 97

01-10-2018 B8-0451/2018

NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

Motion for a resolution on the situation in Yemen

01-10-2018 B8-0444/2018

Joint motion for a resolution on Myanmar, notably the case of journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo

12-09-2018 RC-B8-0371/2018

Joint motion for a resolution on Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha

12-09-2018 RC-B8-0366/2018

Joint motion for a resolution on Uganda, arrest of parliamentarians from the opposition

12-09-2018 RC-B8-0364/2018

Individual motions for resolutions


Written declarations


Written declaration on commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust and support for the creation of the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Center

12-12-2016 P8_DCL(2016)0136 Lapsed


Ioan Mircea PAŞCU , Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS , Bas BELDER , Michał BONI , Rebecca HARMS , Frédérique RIES , Charles TANNOCK , Hannu TAKKULA , Boris ZALA , Janusz ZEMKE

Date opened : 12-12-2016
Lapse date : 12-03-2017
Number of signatories : 135 - 13-03-2017

Written questions


EU citizens' rights within the Withdrawal Agreement

11-10-2018 P-005184/2018 Council

VP/HR - Northern Power Plant - Chunnakam, Sri Lanka

03-10-2018 E-005058/2018 Commission

British residents living in the EU-27 working across borders

26-09-2018 E-004858/2018 Commission

VP/HR - Political prisoners in Myanmar

26-09-2018 E-004857/2018 Commission

Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan

12-07-2018 E-003883/2018 Commission

Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and Pakistan

06-06-2018 E-003072/2018 Commission

Complaints regarding an abuse of a dominant position received under Article 102 TFEU

08-05-2018 E-002535/2018 Commission

Transport and availability of medical radio isotopes following Brexit

28-02-2018 E-001222/2018 Commission

VP/HR - Forced labour among migrants in Libya

31-01-2018 E-000532/2018 Commission

VP/HR - Situation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

13-12-2017 P-007663/2017 Commission

Oral questions


VP/HR - Law on expropriation of land without compensation in the Republic of South Africa

14-03-2018 O-000030/2018 Commission

Use of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance to tackle the migration crisis

25-04-2016 O-000072/2016 Commission

EU spending on external migration policy in neighbourhood countries

25-04-2016 O-000071/2016 Commission

Funding for political advocacy NGOs in the Arab-Israeli conflict

15-04-2015 O-000037/2015 Commission

Written explanations of vote


Free flow of non-personal data in the European Union (A8-0201/2018 - Anna Maria Corazza Bildt)


I am pleased to vote in favour of this report on the free flow of non-personal data in the EU. It is hard to think of an industry that does not rely heavily on digital technologies and so removing technical barriers within the digital single market should only encourage growth and innovation. The free-flow of electronic data is vital to many industries and yet territorial obligations on the location of data centres is still enforced in certain Member States. It is right that individual governments retain the power to insist that certain data sets relating to national security remain within the boundaries of that Member State and I am pleased that the rapporteur has insisted on this point in the report. The digital world is moving forward apace and this regulation shows that the EU is doing everything possible to keep up.

Health technology assessment (A8-0289/2018 - Soledad Cabezón Ruiz)


Ever since the European Medicines Agency was set up in 1995 in my constituency of London we have seen the benefits that joint clinical assessments of medical treatments at EU level can bring. However, it is clear that the medicines system in Europe needs to improve. The June 2016 Council Conclusions underlined the concern that despite spiralling costs of drugs, it is not always a given that new medicines will advance treatments or give significantly improved outcomes to patients. This is why it is now a positive step for the Commission to consider setting up a stable system for assessing health technologies at EU level so that Member States are not duplicating each others’ assessments and requiring health technology companies to share information numerous times. There are some concerns in the report relating to compulsory participation of Member States in assessment reports and it is important that the principle of subsidiarity is respected. For this reason I abstain on the report but am acutely aware cooperation at this level is simple common sense and I sincerely hope that it will be carried over to the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU.

Provision of audiovisual media services (A8-0192/2017 - Sabine Verheyen, Petra Kammerevert)


The pace of change in the way television, film and other video content is consumed has been extraordinarily rapid. In the space of only a few years the tradition of turning on the TV to watch a favourite show at a set time has all but disappeared and in its place a huge amount of content is now available on demand, on a mobile phone or tablet. It is right therefore that regulations are updated to reflect the realities of this changing market. Old media channels are justified in their call for a level playing field and new media sources should be held responsible for protecting children from harmful content and ensuring that incitement to violence and child sexual abuse images are categorically not tolerated. However, the rapporteur’s wish to include all live-streaming actors is problematic given the numbers of amateur "vloggers" and the sheer proportion of content now available online. For this reason I will be abstaining on the report. Updating this regulation is worthwhile but it must be workable and balanced and not impede the audio-visual industry in Europe.

A European Strategy for Plastics in a circular economy (A8-0262/2018 - Mark Demesmaeker)


I am pleased to vote in favour of this report which sends a firm signal on the need to reduce plastic pollution and promote a circular economy within plastic manufacturing. Plastic is still a vital product for the functioning of our society and economy but action needs to be taken to change the way products are designed, produced and recycled before our environment is irreparably damaged. Public understanding of this damage that single-use plastics in particular can cause is increasing and the EU and National governments need to pursue measures that will continue to encourage changes in consumer behaviour. It is telling that the UK government hope to work closely with the Commission on the plastics strategy even after Brexit, demonstrating that there are very few areas where working alone would be more effective that working together. It is hoped that the UK will continue to play an active role on a multi-lateral level in order to battle the negative impacts of plastic use.

Europe on the Move: an agenda for the future of mobility in the EU (A8-0241/2018 - István Ujhelyi)


The digital revolution is having a profound impact on mobility in the EU. In my constituency of London millions now use the internet to book taxis, reserve cars from car-sharing pools and use other sharing economy solutions to get from A to B. It is hoped that these changes will create a more sustainable and competitive transport sector but much work needs to be undertaken to ensure that the automotive industry is able to thrive. Workers need to be re-skilled and investment in research must keep pace with a changing world. The automotive industry adds over 20 billion pounds to the British economy every year and so the UK government needs to ensure that they are not shut out of future EU-wide cooperation. In particular, negotiations surrounding the customs union and access to the single market for goods post Brexit need to take into account as a top priority the ‘just-in-time’ import arrangements for car parts that the UK industry relies on so heavily. I welcome a digital future for mobility but I abstain on this report given that it focuses on MFF priorities for the EU which will regrettably no longer include the UK.

The impact of EU cohesion policy on Northern Ireland (A8-0240/2018 - Derek Vaughan)


I welcome this report into the impact of cohesion policy on Northern Ireland. It has come at an important time during the Brexit negotiations and sheds light on the many EU-funded programmes that have helped to underpin economic development and social progress in Northern Ireland, most notably the PEACE Programme and Interreg. I consider the suggestion to continue these EU Peace Programmes post 2020 to be a generous offer that should not be quickly rejected in the heat of debate over the meaning of national sovereignty. The Irish border will be a key gateway to the EU after Brexit and anything that can be done to preserve the peace and prosperity of Northern Ireland amidst the Brexit shake-up should be welcomed.

73rd Session of the UN General Assembly (A8-0230/2018 - Eugen Freund)


In an age of rising nationalism across Europe, an ‘American first’ policy direction in the US and a Brexit referendum, close and effective multilateralism is needed now more than ever. The EU has developed a broad relationship with the UN, working together on issues such as development and climate change, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, development and human rights. I therefore welcome this report ahead of the 73rd UN General Assembly. Given that the two organisations are pursuing the same goals it is right that the EU continues to feed into discussions and to inform other UN members of EU opinions. However, we must be careful not to bypass the sovereignty of Member States who have their own seat at the table and for this reason I will be abstaining on the report, despite my strong support for the UN as an organisation.

Towards an EU external strategy against early and forced marriages (A8-0187/2018 - Charles Goerens)


Early marriage is tragically still common and takes place in virtually all cultures and religions. If the situation continues there will be over a billion women in early or forced marriages by 2050. Forcing or arranging early marriages is classed as a grave human rights abuse and so I welcome this report on the next steps of the EU external strategy against the practice. I am proud that the UK government has been leading international efforts to end forced marriages and strengthened laws in 2014 making forced marriage a criminal offence. I would urge all Member States to do likewise so that Europe continues to be a continent known for its resolute protection of the vulnerable. Given that the number of forced marriages increases in areas of instability caused by war or natural disasters it is vital that Member States coordinate their activities for the prosperity of all and that Brexit and other threats to multilateral cooperation do not hinder these efforts. I am pleased to vote in favour of this report and I very much hope that Europe can be a place where forced marriage is unheard of and which influences other world nations to that effect.

Three-dimensional printing: intellectual property rights and civil liability (A8-0223/2018 - Joëlle Bergeron)


. ‒ My constituency of London is now known as the city that produces the most 3D printed products in the world. Hubs of technology innovation are springing up, particularly in the East End, where 3D printing companies are not only manufacturing but also designing tomorrow’s cutting-edge products. However, the market for this technology is still relatively marginal and there are several challenges ahead if the EU is to reap the full benefits of this innovation. Firstly, intellectual property rules need to be carefully tailored to ensure that the creators and rights-holders of digital files and printing machines are properly remunerated. And secondly, civil liability and responsibility, should printed products mal-function, is also a complicated issue. I welcome this report, which calls for a cautious approach and tailor-made surgical legislation that anticipates problems without putting up barriers to business growth. I am pleased to vote in favour and I sincerely hope that the UK watches proceedings very carefully to ensure that our thriving 3D printing industry is not shut out of the European market post Brexit.

Structural and financial barriers in the access to culture (A8-0169/2018 - Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski)


Culture in all its forms enriches life, communities and the economy. In my constituency of London, we see first-hand how world-class orchestras, theatres, film, museums and the visual arts enhance the city and impact the country and the continent as a whole through the tourism and partnership with other cultural institutions that they create. I therefore voted in favour of this own-initiative report, which analyses the obstacles to cultural access and participation. It is most likely the case that cultural institutions will always have to live with the uncertainty of where their next tranche of funding will come from, but it is still important to assess where financial barriers exist and how to overcome them. It is up to each Member State to ensure that their cultural sectors receive the funding they require, but voluntary action based on the Open Method of Coordination will only improve the situation. As the UK loses the headquarters of the European Youth Orchestra to Italy, it remains to be seen how the British Government will continue to support the quest for excellence of our cultural institutions in a post-Brexit world.



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