MAY / JUNE 2012

JUNE

Challenging the President of Peru on Human Rights.

President Ollanta Humala of Peru addressed parliament, in a week when the EU-Peru/Colombia Trade Agreement was discussed.

Afterwards, he spoke to EUROLAT, the joint EU-Latin American parliamentary body to which I have recently been appointed. He emphasised his country's achievements in the field of human rights, an area in which much criticism has been levelled. I asked him why, unlike his predecessor and his main rivals in last year's presidential elections, he did not support the concept of same sex partnerships. "We do not have this, and it is not on our agenda" was his blunt reply. I appreciate his frankness and his honesty, but it is my strongly held conviction that there must be no "buts" in human rights. As long as people are discriminated against, for whatever reason, they remain vulnerable.

I was amused by a comment by the Spanish leftist MEP Willy Meyer, who suggested that the Peruvian people should be given a referendum on whether or not their nation should enter into a trade agreement with the EU. I suspect that the irony was lost on most of those present!

 

The EU - Replacing National Diplomacy.

I am almost starting to feel sorry for Cathy Ashton, as the only positive comments that are made about or to her come from the British Labour MEPs or President Barroso. She has been absent from the Parliament for some time now, and so we were treated to a whole afternoon of statements from her, which presented us with multiple opportunities for us to question her. The Earl of Dartmouth and myself also took the opportunity to have fun at the expense of Labour MEP Richard Howitt.

The Commission wants to appoint a special representative for Human Rights. This is provided for in the Lisbon Treaty, of course. In typical style, this will involve dedicated staff, and a whole new budget line. In short, this will cost the taxpayer millions! The EU actually has what it calls 'delegations' in overseas countries. There are currently 119 of these, and they are gradually evolving into embassies, which was always the intention.

It often amazes British visitors to Brussels that the UK has no consular facilities in Belgium. Britons have to return home, or travel to Paris if they need to meet consular staff for whatever reason. This is the shape of things to come, as the EU seeks to replace national diplomatic structures with those of the EU. It is such a shame that it should be the UK that was the first to fall into line and start closing down its diplomatic offices.

A Sickening Practice.

Parliament debated the subject of female genital mutilation. Before the debate I did a little research of my own into the matter, and what I learned horrified me. I will not go into details, but this sickening abuse is inflicted on girls as young as 3 years. This is in the name of religious and cultural 'traditions'. The UN will debate this at its forthcoming 67th assembly. This barbaric practice is inflicted on between 500 - 2000 British girls each year. Often they are sent abroad for the purpose. This is indefensible and it must be stopped. The police and the CPS must not be constrained by political correctness, and should enforce the law.

Dangerous French Products.

Some years ago, the US government issued a health warning on certain breast implants manufactured in France. The French government paid no heed to this, and has allowed the manufacture to continue. The implants in question are six times more likely to rupture than comparable products, but the good news is that it now appears that they do not cause cancer. The important lesson here is that we are now in a 'single market' along with countries that do not have the same standards as we do. We should be protected from dangerous products that are now flowing into Britain.

A Delicious Moment......

It is no secret that I love football, and am enjoying every moment of Euro 2012. Can you imagine how wonderful it felt to be in a bar in Strasbourg, the only person wearing an England shirt, surrounded by hordes of noisy French fans ... and England scored!

EU Single Market Act Simply doesn't work for UK Businesses and Jobs

 

MAY

This week in Strasbourg, the attention of most people was focussed on the informal summit taking place on Wednesday in Brussels.

I was able to attack the Commission on the two main areas being addressed, growth and job creation.

It is universally accepted that SMEs are the backbone of the economy, and will lead the recovery when it comes. I pointed out to the Commission that it is EU red tape that is strangling these enterprises and hampering recovery. I was far from the only person to make this point, but I doubt if the message will be taken on board.

On job creation I concentrated on the issue of youth unemployment. If we think the situation is bad in the UK, then consider Spain, where almost half of people under the age of 25 have no work. A report issued by the UN this week suggests that this crisis will get worse, and that we are in danger of creating a 'lost generation'.

EU is part of the problem of youth unemployment - not the solution

EU continues to throw good money after bad, strangling job creation

Small businesses are being strangled by unncessary EU regulation

 



Campaign For A Referendum NEW Petition

We achieved our first goal of collecting 120,000+ signatures gaining the debate in Parliament we wanted on 24th October 2011. To keep the pressure on the government, we started a NEW petition on 31st October 2011. The aim is to collect as many signatures as we can in 12 months. Please register your signature on the link below even if you signed the previous petition.

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