Honeyball’s weekly round-up

Ed Miliband will reassure business leaders today that a Labour government would never risk the economy by threatening to take Britain out of the EU.

Addressing the CBI conference today he will attack Cameron’s stance on the EU as “putting Britain in jeopardy”. He will tell the audience that those who advocate withdrawal from the EU or even flirt with it are risking Britain’s future prosperity.

David Cameron’s threat to leave the European Union is a danger to millions of jobs, businesses and goes against the national interest, he will tell the audience of business leaders.

Indicating that he has a far better understanding of how to achieve what is in Britain’s interest Miliband will promise not to play political games with Britain’s membership nor will he ever ‘risk’ the economy by threatening an exit.

Meanwhile, a group of backbench Tory rebels are expected to oppose plans for Britain to sign up to the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) scheme.

They claim the scheme is unnecessary and could cause miscarriages of justice. However, I along with many other supporters believe a system which allows suspects to be extradited quickly between member states is essential. Without it we are forced to use extradition treaties and because we have different treaties for different countries it is extremely complicated. The process is bureaucratic, protracted and difficult to follow meaning criminals who are guilty take even longer to be brought to justice. Some even argue that without it Britain will become a ‘safe haven’ for criminals.

Some of you may remember that the government opted out of all of the 133 EU police and criminal justice measures in 2013, although it now wants to re-join 35 of the measures, including the EAW. However, we have only until 1 December to do so after which point it will be too late.

It’s another example of how Cameron has played with Britain’s membership. We are dangerously close to the deadline of joining this important scheme and there is no guarantee that today’s vote will result in a victory because so many of Cameron’s MPs are threatening to rebel.

Sky political correspondent, Sophie Ridge, offered insight into the future make up of parliament- she has analysed the selections of the Tories, Lid Dems and Labour parties to see how gender balanced they are. Of the results she was able to find so far, she found: “The Conservatives have selected 76 male candidates and 43 female, Labour have picked 79 men and 59 women and the Lib Dems 72 men and 35 women. Ukip refused to give me their candidate selection list, and it’s not available anywhere online (so much for transparency.)

It means 36 per cent of the Conservative candidates are female, Labour has 43 per cent and the Lib Dems come last with just 33 per cent of female candidates.”

She goes on to point out “The figures are even more concerning when you consider just how few women there are already in Parliament – just 148 female MPs compared to 502 men. In short – don’t expect to see a representative Parliament any time soon.”

Last week I wrote three posts and an article for Labour List about the gender pay gap. If Parliament can’t get its gender balance right then what hope is there that the business world, and other industries in Britain can get their gender balance right; and what motivation is there to close the gender pay gap?

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