February 2011

EXPOSING EXPENSES CHEATS IN THE EUROPEN PARLIAMENT

As you may be aware, I have been working with the national press to expose abuses of the Parliament's allowances by MEPs. Last Sunday this scandal was given coverage in a 2-page spread by the News of the World. British Conservative and Labour MEPs were amongst those caught out by journalists working with me on this investigation.

I am continuing the fight to protect taxpayer's money - your money - and I am trying to table a Written Declaration in the Parliament in order to stamp out this outrageous abuse. I have to tell you that at this stage the Parliament is closing ranks in order to protect the rights of politicians to plunder the public purse. Obstacles are being placed in my path from the highest level. But I shall not be deterred.

Nikki assists New of the World in exposing greedy MEPsl

 

CAMERON'S UNELECTED PARLIAMENTARIAN

Under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK qualifies for an additional MEP. The government has decided to appoint a Tory MEP (now there's a surprise!) in the West Midlands. In 2009, voters were told they were returning 6 MEPs, not 7. I believe very strongly that the appointment of the 7th West Midlands MEP should wait until 2014, when he or she can be elected in the proper democratic tradition.

Rather than allow this to go through quietly, I have managed to discuss the matter in the Sunday Times, and also in the local press.

This new MEP will cost you £2.1 million per annum, and for what purpose? I would rather see the money used to support public services.

Story in the Express & Star



Changes to the Lisbon Treaty debated in the EP

One of the advantages of being an independent member of the European Parliament is that I get to speak on matters that are usually only available to the presidents of political groups. Thus I was pleased to tackle Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, on the subject of modifying the Lisbon Treaty. He had been less than complimentary about Britain, and so I decided to return the compliment. The Euro-zone is in crisis, with smaller nations such as Ireland suffering badly. In return for bail-outs, they are effectively handing control of their fiscal policy to the EU; this cannot be in their long term interests, and like us, they will soon discover that they would be better off out!




SUPPORTING BRITISH INDUSTRY

Giving support to our industry is one of my main priorities. Never before was this duty as pleasurable as it was this week when British cheese-makers visited Strasbourg. I was pleased to see that even up against the excellent cheeses of France, British cheese stands up very well indeed. The sector is worth some £5.6 billion per annum, and like many others it is struggling with EU regulations and red-tape. I will always vote against the imposition of any new administrative burdens, and will always put Britain's interests first.

Nikki supports British Cheeses

 

Support for SMEs

I was also given the chance to address the issue of protecting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). A fellow MEP is struggling to find support for an initiative in this area, and I highlighted the fact that EU wide cooperation is simply not happening. This is to the cost of small businesses across the continent, not just in Great Britain. Our best course of action would be to look after our own interests, and let our neighbours do the same.




...And Finally. Nikki Commends a Commissioner!



...Well, he did say that some things are best left to member states to decide on!

 

More of Nikkis Strasbourg Reports