May 2011

A question of confidence...

Last week's Strasbourg session was dominated by Marta Andreasen's request for Nigel Farage to resign as Leader of UKIP. As a long time member of UKIP I deeply regret the way in which the party has lost its cohesion and sense of direction. I hope for a brighter future for UKIP.

Walk With Pride Exhibition.

Former Eastenders actor Michael Cashman is now a respected MEP, and since my election he has been a very good friend to me. This week he hosted an exhibition of photographs showing the problems faced by gay rights activists across the EU. It is disgraceful that in 21st century Europe there are still people suffering repression and violence because of their sexuality. There are some issues that transcend party politics, and that is why I am working on the parliament's Human Rights Committee.

Questioning Baroness Ashton.

On Wednesday I had the chance to challenge Cathy Ashton, the EU's High Representative, on the credibility of EU common policies. I highlighted the inability of EU states to reach agreement on important security issues, and as a critic of common policy I told her that I would be delighted to see her remain in office as she appears incapable of producing anything with any likelihood of success. Nikki's speech.

I was pleased to note that Tory MEP Geoffrey Van Orden agreed with me on the undesirability of Britain and France surrendering our seats on the UN Security Council in favour of a single EU seat. Later that day, I voted against such a proposal.!

UN Road Safety Initiative.

The United Nations held the European launch of their new road safety initiative in Strasbourg, and we were delighted to meet 7 times world champion Michael Schumacher there.

The UK leads the way in road safety, but there is still work to be done. Across Europe as a whole, 35,000 people a year are killed on the roads, with 4 times as many being seriously injured.

Campaign For A Referendum.

Following a national advertising campaign in the Daily Mail, signatures calling for a referendum on our continued membership of the EU are flooding in. This week I will be meeting with MPs in the House of Commons to discuss the initiative, and have several interviews with the media booked over the next few days. If you have not yet signed, you can do so online at Its Time We Had Our Say

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.

I was, however, pleased to note that the party leadership voted against the report on regulations governing pan-EU parties, and specifically opposed the participation of pan-EU partuies in national referenda. I hope this position retains some consistency.

The important thing is to keep the message clear - we do not want EU law, we do not want to be a part of an EU party. We want to get out of the EU - its as clear as daylight!

More of Nikkis Strasbourg Reports