This has been one of the busiest and most intense parliamentary sessions that we have experienced for a long time. I, and my team, have been busier than ever, but we are fighting for the Independence of our country, and we welcome the challenge. Here is a summary of what I have been doing this week.....
MOT Testing for Caravans?
I have received a lot of correspondence on the matter of an EU proposal to impose MOT testing on caravans.
This proposal is very much in the early stages, but the report that would seek to make this possible went before parliament this week.
I voted to exclude caravans from the proposal, and I am pleased to say that the report was not passed, but sent back to the appropriate committee.
I am always very happy to receive input from constituents and concerned organisations on matters such as this, and I can assure you that we place a great deal of importance on your opinion when voting in the parliament.
Are We Leaving?
The British government has issued a report criticising the lack of UK staff in the EU institutions.... Perhaps the staffers know something that we don’t....
The Commission wants to spend 6 billion euros on fighting youth unemployment, but is somewhat vague about how the money is to be spent. That is your money, by the way.
Experts have stated that at least 3 times that amount would be needed to make an impact on this growing scourge, and that it would have to be very carefully targeted.
I would argue that creating the right business environment should be a priority: encouraging growth in SMEs, reducing the costs to employers of taking on new workers, and encouraging entrepreneurship. I fear that the Commission will create non-jobs in the public sector which will simply vanish when the money dries up.
We all know how bad youth unemployment is, and I fear that with the Commission at the helm it will get worse.
The Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)
This proposal by the EU to introduce a tax on financial transactions is really struggling, I am pleased to say. What is left of the proposal gets more diluted every time it comes before parliament, and I believe it will just wither and die.
It could actually have been strangled at birth at committee stage, but it survived by being passed by just one vote. The missing MEP whose vote could have killed it dead? That was a UKIP MEP. Perhaps he has too busy propping up the bar to bother turning up for work!
Pan European Political Parties
Steered by a British Lib Dem MEP, this plan is to impose upon the electorate European Political Parties. I am wholeheartedly against this, and will vote against it at every opportunity. Sadly, as there is money to be made here by selling out your principles, I can tell you that every single UK party represented in the European Parliament – except for We Demand A Referendum - has signed up to this.
Honouring A Brave Man -Guillermo Farinas
The Cuban political dissident Guillermo Fariñas, winner of the Sakharov Prize 2010, was able finally to formally receive his prize at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week. The Cuban authorities had forbidden him to travel until now. A doctor and former soldier, he is a very brave man who has devoted himself to freedom of thought and expression, and campaigned against censorship. He has stated that he is ready to die in the fight for freedom, and it was a pleasure and indeed an honour to meet with him personally.
However, his exposure of the failings of the socialist utopia has angered some. I consider it an absolute disgrace that Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament and a critic of the award, left the chamber before Fariñas entered. It tells me a lot about his character and his agenda.
Later, when we were able to hold an exchange of views with Fariñas, not one single socialist MEP attended. That includes the British Labour MEPs who profess to support human rights and freedom.
Apparently freedom of speech does not include the right to criticise the socialist dream, flawed and failing though it is. Disgraceful!
We Demand A Referendum Now
The House of Commons has expressed its concern on the matter of a referendum on our continued membership of the EU.
This is a classic example of how the political elite try to kick major issues into the long grass. See the link at the bottom of this page to add your voice to the referendum campaign.
And Finally . . .
My love of Football is no secret, and I enjoy engaging with local clubs and players at all levels, as well as following the big Premier League teams.
I was horrified to learn that one of my local teams, Coventry City, is to lose its ground and relocate.
The local soccer team is an important part of the fabric of the local community. I would draw an analogy with Wimbledon being taken out of their home in South London and relocated to Milton Keynes. It was a disaster.
And so I decided to get involved.
The strength of feeling on this is overwhelming, and I am delighted to say that the media has picked up the cause and is being very supportive. As well as positive coverage in the local press, I was interviewed on local radio 3 times this week, and was able to put forward my arguments for the club staying in Coventry on ITV News on Thursday.
We Demand A Referendum!
I am delighted with the growing response to the campaign. My staff are kept busy all day with phone calls and correspondence, and was never as confident about any campaign as I am about this one.
We Demand a Referendum - NEW PARTY
We Demand a Referendum is a new political party which will stand in the 2014 European Elections. We are giving the electorate the chance to directly call for an In Out Eu referendum at the ballot box.
You can join the Facebook group here, and we are on twitter at @lettheppldecide. The website for the new party is at www.wedemandareferendum.org