EXPOSING EXPENSES CHEATS IN THE EUROPEN PARLIAMENT
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
caught out by journalists working with me on this investigation.
CAMERON'S UNELECTED PARLIAMENTARIAN
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
when he or she
can be elected in the proper democratic tradition.
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!
support to our industry is one of my main priorities. Never before
was this duty as pleasurable as it was this week when
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
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
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.