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 Full text 
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Application of the Postal Services Directive (debate)

  Jacqueline Foster, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I would like to Marcus Ferber for his dedication in this long-standing directive. I was initially delighted when it looked as though we had reached a common conclusion after such a long time, but it is not quite there.

The Royal Mail means a great deal to all of us in the UK. Indeed, its origins date back to Henry VIII, the original Brexiteer. 1635, in the reign of King Charles I, paved the way for a unified postal service across the UK and 1883 saw the introduction of our postman. So, as it stands, the current UK Postal Services Act 2011 goes further than the minimum obligations laid down for a universal service. A six-day a week provision is guaranteed with uniform prices and free services to blind and partially sighted people, which shows that we have fully met the requirements to date.

Regrettably, due to the unwelcome inclusion of a social dimension we are unlikely to support the rapporteur in the vote tomorrow. The key reason for this is not that we do not support great opportunities and good working conditions, but the reference in paragraph 48 to the possible installation of tachographs on vehicles of less than 3.5 tons. It was only in 2014, following a lengthy battle to exclude vehicles of this weight, that that regulation was supported.

Finally, Mr President, we now live in a world where most of us will be buying goods online and we expect a 24/7 service. Because of this, the advantages of SMEs and the rise of entrepreneurs in this business have been most welcome. I therefore cannot support your report, Mr Ferber, unless paragraph 48 is removed. And I do hope that that will be the case before the vote tomorrow.

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