Mike Nattrass and I were delighted to be reunited with an old colleague this week in the form of Trevor Colman, UKIP MEP for the South West.
Like Mike and I, Trevor has rejected membership of a controversial political group in the parliament, and now sits alongside Mike and I as 'non-attached' members. This means that we can concentrate on doing the job we were elected to do, and campaign for Britain's withdrawal from the EU. Membership of any such group means compromising on our principles, and we are not prepared to do that. Trevor is a good and hard working campaigner, and I and my staff are looking forward to working alongside him.
In a heated debate on the single market I asked fellow Midlands MEP, Mr Harbour how far his influence as Chairman of the ´ínfluential´ internal market committee has got him with his recent failed written declaration to help Small businesses. He singularly failed to answer the question citing that the EU was good for the West Midlands and in particular the motor industry. He evidently forgot about Peugeot Ryton which was closed down with the loss of many jobs with aid from the EU which subsidised the move to Slovakia!
I have campaigned against corrupt practices in the parliament, and have caused quite a stir at home and abroad. I was pleased to see some of my own suggestions to resolve the situation appear as possible amendments to the 2012 budget. One, restricting the right of MEPs to claim expenses in Brussels and Strasborg to days when they actually do some work was rejected. Shameful, but predictable.
There was also an amendment calling for MEPs to receive no pay increase in 2012. This was also rejected. Just for the recorded, British Labour and Lib Dem MEPs voted to protect their expenses, and to give themselves a pay increase. That might be worth remembering when Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee appear on TV telling us how bad the economic situation is, and how their party is sharing our pain and doing everything it can to get us out of this crisis!
Meeting Bill Gates
It has been a fraught and tiring week in Strasbourg, but life in politics is often illuminated by a little ray of sunshine, and so this week I was delighted to meet and shake hands with Bill Gates, the founder of microsoft.
joined us to discuss the changing priorities of development aid, and
the need to find different approaches to our problems.
have a particular interest in the middle-east, and so I was most
pleased to have the opportunity this week, along
with Mike Nattrass,
to be briefed by aan advisor from the Israeli embassy in London.
The Israelis are fearful of an escalation of the present conflict with Hamas, and of the startling progress of the Iranian nuclear programme, which the EU turns a blind eye to. The dangers of handing over control of our foreign policy to the EU are being increasingly apparent the further down the path we proceed.
pan-European political party is an inevitible step in the march
towards a single EU state. I was elected to stop
and so with the subject being on the agenda in the European
Parliament in Strasbourg on April 5th, I knew I was likely
to have to face
conflict. Rather worryingly, there is a move to take UKIP
into such a party, a move that would mean surrendering our
in favour of supporting the values and aims of the EU,
the rule of EU law. The main purpose of this seems to be
the pursuit of additional funds.I will never accept EU primacy,
I will remain
vehemently opposed to this sorry state of affairs.
was, however, pleased to note that the party leadership voted against the
report on regulations governing pan-EU
opposed the participation of pan-EU partuies in national
referenda. I hope this position retains some consistency.
votes for more money to Poland and Czech Republic-
In nearly every session MEPs are voting to given our taxpayers money away this time to subsidise manufacturing in Poland and Unilever in the Czech Republic. Every day in the UK we give the EU £48 million. £48 million that would be better spent on our education, healthcare and infrastructure! Today I got to tell the EU what I thought about it!