The European Union – the Heart of the Situation


James Walsh talks about the real issues of the UK European Union vote during EU Sustainable Energy Week (13th-17th June 2016)


I’m a proud European, I love Europe, we share cultures & I have a proud family history of supporting European institutions

Europe evokes images of the Mediterranean region, family holidays, inter-railing, partying in the sun, the Champions League, exotic looking birds & picturesque scenery

I love that I can carry a European Health Card and get professional health care on European trips

In the UK we can travel the relatively short distance to Brussels to do business with Europe & lobby politicians

The European Union vote debate has brought into sharp focus the lack of democracy in the UK compared with the European Union


The environmental movement should be looking at the effects of the vote on green investment

I suggest everyone looks at the EU Horizon 2020 project

Now that Project Fear has been dis-credited on both sides of the debate, it is time for Energy & the Environment to be brought into the mainstream debate

This should be the most important of all the issues, what choice is the most positive for a clean, green future


Like all Unions, the European Union is a work in progress, and perhaps it is time for the UK to have the faith in the value of a democratic and co-operative European Union, and the faith in our more honest and credible politicians to bring this about

Potential Brexiteers should perhaps have more confidence in the ability of the U.K. Citizens, awake to the possibility of change in the European Union, to bring hope & force change in company with Europes’ progressive parties


MEPs are Members of the European Parliament

From personal experience I can say that my Member of the European Parliament, MEP Julie Ward, has proved to be actively supportive on social media promoting the Northern Greenhouse & North England EcoTourism (NEET) whereas my Member of Parliament in Westminster, Graham Brady has been actively undermining my business progress through the support of fracking that has brought this dirty industry onto the doorsteps of the people of Trafford/the North



  • A Remain vote should give us, as a nation, more power in the EU, and the U.K. has the Presidency of the European Union in 2017 if we #Bremain
  • The positive case for #Bremain includes 5 points for Britains’ EU Presidency in 2017 (including 500,000 UK jobs, energy & environment, workers’ rights & Tax Haven crackdown)
  • European civil society working in conjunction with committed politicians together for a 100% renewable energy Europe in 2050



As Bucks Fizz said in the 1981 Eurovision winner “There comes a time for making your mind up”

The campaign is now basically at the stage where Remain and Brexit are two ships moored in Salford Docks and, if you want to travel, you have to make a choice on the ship you want to travel on

On the Captains’ Table on the Good Ship Remain, Captain Corbyn, First Mate McDonnell, Tom Watson, the Eagles, Caroline Lucas, Lisa Nandy, Natalie, Nicola & Leanne, with Dave n’ George, covered in grease, in the “powerhouse” engine room

The Brexit Ship seems to be a more hotchpotch situation, a loose affiliation of Daily Mail, BoJo, Murdoch, Nuttall, Gove, Grayling, Galloway & Trade Union & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) with Nigel Farage on the Telegraph



Remain seems to be the Keep It Safe option and in 2016 keeping safe has its’ merits, just ask Professor Steven Hawking

All roads and paths point to Manchester, where the European Union result is being announced on 24th June 2016


A Frack Free Europe


The big question for the European anti-fracking movement is what the effects of a Bremain vote or a Brexit vote are likely to be for the movement

The UK is the front-line of the European peoples’ campaign against the dirty fracking industry

Is the European anti-fracking movement stronger with Britain a member of the European Union and therefore having the influence of anti-fracking Green MEPs and anti-fracking Labour MEPs on the European Parliament

imagePhoto: Tour de France spectators call for a fracking ban in Yorkshire in summer 2015

Civil society is on the march in the UK regarding many social issues & environmental issues, with the anti-fracking movement the saviours of the UKs’ collective political conscience doing the hard work of protecting the environment when the political process has failed us

Would a Brexit vote embolden the frackers ? Certainly the likes of BoJo, Farage, Nuttall, Gove, etc seem to be pro-fracking

Bremain seems to be uniting the progressive centre-left of UK politics, the Labour Party, Green Party, Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru & Liberal Democrats are all broadly Remain

There is a growing socialist case for Brexit with the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition the official representatives of this movement

The EU Referendum is dividing the Conservative Party along fairly traditional lines, with in-fighting and some alignment with UKIP & far-right groups

Also worth considering is the message the European Union vote result transmits around Europe, could Brexit be seen as a victory for the right-wing blocks within Europe ?

There is a lot to consider, including future generations, the environment, the renewable energy industry, fracking & European politics if you are signed up to vote on Thursday 23rd June 2016, and there is still just enough time to do your research!




The Anti-fracking movement & the EU vote

What is the best result in the UK European Union vote for the anti-fracking movement ? 

The U.K. anti-fracking movement is now a fully fledged peoples’ movement that has taken the fracking industry, and mainstream politics, by surprise with a work ethic, commitment, passion, innovation and successful methods of dis-rupting the fracking industry, making a complete mockery of the Tories’ “All Out For Shale” slogan that has rapidly turned into #ShaleFail

Completely stopping fracking across the globe is one of the front-lines of the battle against climate change, and therefore the UK anti-fracking movement has a special role to play and it is essential if we are to be successful on climate change that we must smash fracking out of the ball-park

There are some in the anti-fracking movement who would suggest boycotting the vote, but unless this happens on a huge and co-ordinated scale how could this prove effective, when the vote is happening anyway and there is no large scale talk of a vote boycott ?

If you are voting then you have a choice to vote for the UK to remain in the European Union or to vote for the UK to leave the European Union

It is essential for the anti-fracking movement to debate the big issues of environment and climate change, and to look at the possible scenarios post-Bremain and post-Brexit



The European Union & the Environment

James Walsh aka The Mancunian Birder takes a look at the European Union vote from a green business perspective


My personal experience of Europe is family holidays and birding trips / EcoTourism research in Spain, Italy, Malta, Gibraltar, Greece, France, Holland & the Republic of Ireland

Recently, I visited Malta for their version of Springwatch (more like Springwatch meets Grand Theft Auto), where I travelled with trained security guards, counted birds AND gunshots as part of the course, and met Charles Gauci at Ghadira Nature Reserve again whilst watching a bullet-dodging Greater Flamingo, it was great to see some of the advances that had been made since my first trip to Malta in 1987, but distressing to see that even though Malta had joined the EU there were still severe conservation problems



Some of my concerns as an ecologist are:

– Climate change, is the EU the most appropriate partnership to take effective action ? Is the European Union the correct scale of co-operation ?

– On a local level issues such as the Salford Mosses, Pomona Docks & gaining World Heritage status for the Manchester Ship Canal

Photo: Are we more likely to #SavePomona post-Bremain or post-Brexit ?

– And on a wider economic scale, the transfer to a green economy with greater Environmental Protections & Laws

– Should the UK be giving up a decent seat at Europes’ top table ?

– Why should the UK give up so many MEPs ?



How can we build a Northern Greenhouse – a new clean, green North ? Is Brexit or Bremain the better option for building a sustainable & democratic North based on renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and EcoTourism ? How important is the EU vote for the North ? What is the green business case for Bremain ? Would Brexit harm the UKs’ fledgling EcoTourism industry ? Would fracking be more likely ?

The North England floods around the turn of the year, and the recent Northern European floods once again bring climate change issues to the fore, and gives the people of the U.K. the opportunity to think about climate change and the environment in relation to the EU vote

Is the North better in ? out ? or shaking it all about ? Could we actually have better environmental laws post-Brexit ? Or would it take a genuine social r/evolution for this to happen ?

Can we look at key species and work out what the future would look like post-Bremain / post-Brexit eg the Northern Lapwing – what would the effects be on this iconic species ?

There is no doubt that the EU debate is a very complex one, Friends of the Earth, RSPB and World Wildlife Fund support Bremain, alongside corporates such as Peel, whilst there is a socialist case for #Brexit and what is the best situation for the Renewable Energy industry – is it a Yes vote and increased EU funding & technological support ?

Mr Corbyn, the Labour Party leader and the grassroots figurehead for #Bremain, recently referred to migratory birds as a reason we need to work together as a European Union

The prime example is the European Turtle Dove, as Mr Corbyn says “what is the point of us trying to save the species’ summer habitat here in the UK when they are being shot on migration in Europe?”

Can we build a new Europe ? Many are saying Jez We Can!