December 2011

Stand alone!

December's Strasbourg session was dominated by the response to Britain's decision not to sign up to the summit deal on rescuing the Eurozone.

The bitterness and bile directed at our country was shocking. I had to raise a point of order with the president objecting to the xenophobic ranting of the likes of former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.

Britain stands accused of being 'isolated' in Europe. Well, we were isolated in Europe in 1939, and we did ok. In fact, we are always at our best when we stand alone. These are exciting times.

Ernst & Young are predicting a 'bleak winter' for the Eurozone. Standard & Poor's are threatening to downgrade the entire Eurozone - even the formidable German economy is now being pulled down by the Euro. The French bank Credite Agricole - the country's largest retail bank - has announced that is laying off staff, and that it is to shut down in 15 of the 50 countries it operates in. The Lithuanian bank Snoras has collapsed. The Latvian bank Latvijas Krajbanka has just been put into liquidation, whilst Latvians withdraw deposits from Swedbank amidst rumours of financial difficulties. The Baltic States were eager to enter the Eurozone, and so pegged their currencies to the Euro. They may not be so keen now.

In the far east, markets have fallen due to a lack of trust in EU leaders to resolve the crisis, and the Euro has dropped to below the benchmark $1.30.

All in all, it is a good time to be isolated!

 

Baroness Cathy Ashton

The High representative endured a mammoth grilling from MEPs this week on a variety of subjects. She was asked questions on many issues, and even answered one or two of them. It is sad to consider that what should be an important event was at one point attended by only 20 or so MEPs out of a total of 732. However, as a prominent Middle East peace activist told one of my staff on Tuesday "she is of absolutely no use at all", and so we should not be surprised if she failed to arouse much enthusiasm. I, however, kept her company throughout her ordeal and kept the questions coming. Sadly we fell out a little at one point after she was somewhat rude to me, but she apologised, and so in the Spirit of Christmas I forgave her. It will not always be so, I can promise her!


For more from Nikki click the links below
• Nikki Says they are British Forces, not EU forces
• What do negotiations with Russia say about your role?

 

Dead in the Water

The EU received a bloody nose from Morocco this week. An EU-Morocco fishing agreement was due to be renewed which would have seen the EU paying €35 million a year in order to plunder North African waters. There are some serious human rights issues involved in this, and so under pressure from activists and the media MEPs were effectively forced to reject the extension. The Moroccans responded swiftly and decisively by ordering all EU boats to leave their waters immediately.

These fisheries agreements are always very bad for indigenous African fishing communities who have seen their stocks depleted and their livelihoods ruined.

 

The EU loves a beneficial crisis...

The current crisis is being used as justification for EU member states to pool their resources in the area of defence procurement. This is, of course, helpful when it comes to further harmonisation of our armed forces.

One MEP claimed that the EU has 2 million soldiers, whereas the US has "only 1 1/2 million". I don't know what he was implying, but he was quickly put in his place and reminded that the EU does not have any soldiers at all - they belong to the member states.

I voted against this, as I think it is in our long term interest to remain totally independent of the EU in the area of defence.

 

State Aid - but not for British Workers.

This week the parliament approved the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in favour of the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region of Italy.

€ 3.9 million has been allocated for the retraining of 528 redundant workers.

Yet, according to Herbert Dorfmann MEP, who represents this region, the region has the lowest unemployment rate in Italy at just 3%.

The British government has never made a single claim on the EGF, despite having staff at the Dept for Work and Pensions to cover this area. In fact, I was told that the UK was not eligible for this assistance, although turned out to be a blatant untruth. The EU makes €500 million a year available for retraining and reintegration of redundant workers, and whilst our neighbours hoover this money up enthusiastically, British workers have never received a single penny. The list of companies whose workers have received this aid includes the likes of Volvo, Peugeot, Renault, Nokia.... but not one penny for us.

 

Uzbekistan

The EU often enters into treaties, conveniently overlooking little problems that might upset the apple cart. I like to remind them of these problems where I can. And so, in response to concerns flagged up by a constituent, I objected to doing deals with Uzbekistan, and country in which child labour is routinely exploited to the point that schools are actually shut down during the harvest season.

 

And so...

This year has been an exciting one for us. My petition calling for a referendum on our continued membership of the EU prompted a debate in the House of Commons, and other similar petitions are out there calling for the same thing. We must keep the pressure on.

The Euro is facing collapse. It would be nicer to walk away from the EU amicably, but if it takes a disaster to help us take back control of our country, then so be it.
I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year - let us recharge our batteries and come out fighting again in January. We are closer now to regaining our national sovereignty than we have ever been before!

See more click on the links below:
• Nikki calls for the end of the European Arrest Warrant
• Nikki Sinclaire says the UK needs immigration, but on our terms, not yours!
• Nikki Sinclaire discusses budgetary control of EU financial assistance to Afghanistan
• Nikki talks about lack of transparency in the EU

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.

More of Nikkis Strasbourg Reports