REPRESENTING SOUTH EAST ENGLAND IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

John Howarth is MEP for South East England, re-elected in 2019.

The constituency includes Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex - that's a population of more than 8.5 million.

John is a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the second largest group in the Parliament. He is a member of the Budgets Committee, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and the Committee for Budgetary Control. Responsible for his group on several files on the 2021-27 MFF, John is the Parliament's Rapporteur for the 2019 EU Budget.

CHAMPIONING RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY IN THE EU BUDGET

Before becoming an MEP John was a business leader and entrepreneur in technology, creative and communication businesses.

John says, "The European Union's budget investment in science and research is essential to maintaining and enhancing a competitive, flexible and socially sustainable economy. The challenges of the digital market place, the growing importance of creative content and the need to ensure technological change is socially sustainable will be key preoccupations of the next two legislative terms."

Brexit - not what it said on the tin

John says:

"3 years after the UK's referendum on membership of the European Union it is clear that Brexit will not be anything like what was promised by the 'leave' campaigners.

"UK citizens will see their rights removed, they will not enjoy "the same benefits as members of the EU". The UK will not have "new trade deals" in place when it is due to leave. They still can't explain what the "opportunities of Brexit" are - other than the chance to dodge tax for their hedge funds.

"There is and always was a choice with Brexit: stay close to the EU structures, minimise the economic damage but lose our say over the rules and structures; or pull away from those structure and inflict immense economic damage on our economy and the welfare of our people. There is nothing else - other than staying.

"The promises were false. The people deserve the chance to think again. In a democracy right to change our mind is fundamental, that's why I support putting the outcome to a vote and scrapping Brexit."

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