Welcome to the mad world of the EU!

..working towards the divorce of the UK and the EU...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Strasbourg Commentary Plenary session 12th - 15th Dec 2011

Strasbourg Commentary      Plenary session     12th - 15th Dec 2011 

Votes of note this week,-

Lopez report on the European Protection Order which now includes an extension of the terrible European Arrest Warrant. Up to now the EAW was limited, as far as we are concerned, to the arrest of British citizens and residents. Not any more. Under the banner of protection of women from violence an EU judge can order the arrest of foreigners in the UK and have them deported elsewhere. So a foreign judge will now have jurisdiction in the UK.

At least the parliament defeated an EU- Morocco fisheries agreement which would have severe consequences for Western Sahara which is virtually under Moroccon rule.

William Dartmouth's Oral amendment in the report on detention conditions was defeated. He wanted to ensure that, under the EAW, anyone taken to another EU country would be in a jail which came up to standards laid down by the Council of Europe. Being an oral amendment he delivered it at the appropriate point whereupon the President asks if any member objects. A minimum of 40 then standing deletes the amendment from the list and that is what happened. So at least 40 MEPs don't care about the state of jails in the EU.
Of course this week was over shadowed by the events of last week. While it would not be true to say that we Brits were reviled generally it is true that there was a great deal of unpleasantness in the house when this was debated on Tuesday morning. Barosso and Von Rompuy were as you would expect, the one arrogant and overbearing, the other menacing, both stating their determination to force measures through. Did you catch Verhofstadt on TV this week? He was on best behaviour then, you should see him in the House, see below. Actually, they had nothing new to offer to resolve the financial crisis, and anyway, its all our fault, our Banks and so on. So they concentrated on Cameron's veto.

To me Cameron's rejection was a perfect illustration of the EU. Under Lisbon any new Treaty must be agreed by way of unanimity, all 27 heads of state to agree. EU attitudes are clear now if not before. Am I right in saying that, to us, unanimity means that all 27 need to agree for a plan to go ahead, so it is open to anyone not to agree, in which case a re-think is called for. But to them unanimity means that all 27 will agree, whether or not they are in favour; you must do what the others want and no re-think about it, or else.

This is right in line with EU history. France and The Netherlands voted against the European Constitution. So the EU re-wrote it as the Lisbon Treaty, claiming that it was quite different, when it was not. They then took the precaution of 'persuading' France and The Netherlands not to put it to a referendum this time. Then, of course, came the Irish referendum on Lisbon, as required by their constitution, and their rejection, followed by a re-run to get the right result. And remember, exactly the same happened in Ireland with the Treaty of Nice several years ago, and earlier in Denmark over the Treaty of Maastricht.

So last Friday was just another day in the life of the EU. If Cameron still thinks he can speak to these people in a reasonable way, trying to get a plan together for the common good then he's a lot less bright than people thought. I never have had illusions about the attitude of the EU leadership. We go there partly trying to work for the UK but without sacrificing our objective in seeking our Independence. Our main object is to get in the media and put our case, your case, over to the public. About a month ago I got a call from the senior reporter on local Northampton newspaper over an EU issue (can't remember what). He was asking me,- "because you've got a good attendance record". Its all a question of credibility.

Some quotes from recent newspapers.

EURO MPs yesterday gave the go-ahead to spend £131million on offices – for themselves......
Despite the harsh austerity cuts being endured by citizens across Europe, the European Parliament’s all-powerful Budget Committee voted the package through.
It includes spending £118million to demolish and build a new office block near to their Brussels headquarters and to buy another, - all while we cut spending.

Tell that to the people on short time, people now on the dole, to pensioners seeing their hard-won pension funds depleted.

......and so to Cameron
 Just to give a taste of the attitude,-   
Euro in a tailspin (Daily Mail, p.4): "Former Belgian prime minister and Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt refused to speak English to deliver his speech on the summit, saying: "I shall speak my native language today because I don't think English is a very appropriate language to use" He added: "When you are invited to a table, it is either as a guest or you are part of the menu. That can happen. This selfish British strategy of protecting the City is one we cannot tolerate any longer" (James Chapman and Hugo Duncan)

I thought you might be interested in this new article ‘Exposed: the snobbery and intolerance of the EU elite’, written by sociologist Professor Frank Furedi and published today on spiked www.spiked-online.com

In the article, Furedi - professor of sociology at the University of Kent, England - argues that the hysterical reaction to David Cameron’s veto reveals the dark heart of pro-EU sentiment.

‘The venomous anger directed at Eurosceptics cannot simply be driven by the communications clerisy’s love affair with the European ideal. Rather, what is at issue here is the clerisy’s preference for the technocracy-dominated and cosmopolitan-influenced institutions of Brussels. From their standpoint, the main virtue of the EU is that its leaders and administrators speak the same language as the UK clerisy. They read from the same emotional and cultural script, which they believe to be superior to the script and values associated with national sovereignty. That is why it isn’t surprising that a BBC journalist can casually ask the Estonian prime minister to have a go at her own national leader. The UK-based communications clerisy has a greater affinity with the outlook of EU technocrats and political administrators than it does with the outlook of its own people.'
'Of course, Cameron may be isolated in the corridors of power in Brussels - but the clerisy is more than a little out of touch with popular sentiments in Britain. Indeed, their visceral castigation of Eurosceptics is actually a roundabout way of morally condemning what the old oligarchy used to call ‘the little people’. The main sin of Euroscepticism is that it has the potential for mobilising popular sentiment. And certainly, the anger of the cosmopolitan elite does not resonate with people getting on with their lives in Birmingham, Newcastle or Leeds. Those who want to expose the heinous Eurosceptic plot to undermine the EU should remember that opinion polls demonstrate that the majority of the UK electorate does not like the EU, and when the Mail on Sunday carried out a poll asking ‘was Cameron right to use the veto?’, 62 per cent of respondents said “yes”.’
And a final comment from me.

Are you aware that the principal founder of he EU, Jean Monnet, was never elected to public office?

With the EU godfathers having usurped the elected governments of Greece and Italy, replacing them with unelected EU propagandists, are you surprised at their attitude to he who is, after all,- and whatever one's personal politics are-, our Prime Minister?

Are you surprised that, over two or three years now, there has been open talk here of the, "Post Democratic Society". 

A happy Christmas to all my readers, and......See you in 2012

Derek Clark   MEP                                                   Strasbourg 15th Dec 2011

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Starting Britain's Great Escape - Nigel Farage speech

Speaking in the European Parliament, Strasbourg today in front of Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy during a heated debate about conclusions of last European Council meeting,

UKIP Nigel Farage said that Britain, even if Cameron did not know it has started its Great Escape from the EU. An escape that will her democracy and freedom back. Britain had been left with no friends at the EU, only enemies who speak of retribution and imposing financial market legislation on the UK. The Socialist leader Martin Schulz described Britain as 'blackmailing' the EU, Joseph Daul talked darkly of Tanks and Kalashnikovs after Christmas.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said,.

"I often ask myself the question - why would a successful country that has enjoyed a thousand years of independence give up its right of self-government to the unelected non-entities which sit before us this morning?

And the answer that comes back from the Foreign Office and the great and the good is that we must have influence in Europe, we must have a seat at the top table so we can change things. We have done our best to prove what good Europeans so we go on paying the EU 50 millions pounds per day, we have helped the Euro bailout fund even though we did not join the currency, thank goodness. We have given you 80 percent of the fish stocks that swim in our waters, your fleets can come and take that from us.

We have applied every directive that you have given us absolutely to the letter, and all of it to gain influence. In fact, Nick Clegg is so deluded he still thinks we can take the lead in Europe.  When a British prime minister goes to a summit with a very modest proposal to protect a uniquely important British industry a snarling President Sarkozy  tells him where to go, with German approval of course.

And we find ourselves without a friend in the room - some influence!

Well, you have decided to head off on the Titanic towards economic and democratic disaster and we are now in a lifeboat outside the Titanic. But we are threatened with a bow wave that is going to come and engulf us if we are not careful and its retribution.

We have heard the language of retribution this morning- financial market legislation is going to be imposed upon Britain and we will have no influence whatsoever over any of it.

Something changed though on Friday, Mr Cameron may not know it but we are now on course, Britain is going to make the Great Escape.

We are going to get out of this Union, we are going to be the first European country to get our freedom back. I suspect many others will follow and then what we shall have is our democracy back, our freedom back and we shall have influence in the world as you lot head for disaster. It is going to happen."

Monday, 5 December 2011

Brussels Commentary Plenary Session 30Nov - Dec 1st 2011

Brussels Commentary    Plenary Session         30Nov - Dec 1st  2011

 Tuesday Debate  on the Economic crisis and on Croatia's admission.

Economy, all the usual phrases and the EC/ ECB have to lead us out of the crisis! Economic governance the answer, and the EU institutions must work with democratically members to participate in decision making, well!

Apparently Bonds and Bailouts are not giving cash to Greece etc, but are helping them to manage their debts!

Even Verhofstadt thinks the Euro is close to collapse and that Germany / France were once good news for Europe, now they are bad news. They are not following their own advisors, the five wise men, but making up their own minds. I would say making it up as they go along. What is certain is that there is no new plan, no plan "B", so it will just go on, and then collapse. (memo, must have a word with Angela when I get the chance).

Wednesday  You will have Nigel on the web speaking about the admission of Croatia but, meanwhile, Parliament took a vote on it today.  Or, rather, two votes, both with same title by the same rapporteur. Can't tell you why, I missed voting meeting today as I was hosting a visitor group from Grantham College. Anyway, both these reports on Croatia's accession were passed, by 564 - 38 and 550 - 34. So another lame dog will soon join us and a very corrupt one at that. How could it be otherwise when their Government is of exactly the same communists who ruled over it when it was part of Yugoslavia!

Have a nice week-end, I'm going while I can.

Derek Clark MEP                       Brussels    1st Dec 2011

Friday, 25 November 2011

Brussels Commentary Employment committee 23rd - 24th Nov 2011

Brussels Commentary     Employment committee           23rd - 24th Nov  2011

Tuesday  Health and Safety at Work was up for discussion again and I found myself speaking to this as soon as I sat down, the flight only getting here in time. Video should be on my web site soon, but the response is not worth your time.

A Statute for European Cooperative Societies was debated, where enterprises just like our own "Co-op" and farmers' cooperatives are envisaged. It turns out that there are 160,000 of these independently set up and already operating across Europe. The EU has managed to promote17  more Co-ops employing 32 people, costing you plenty.

Wednesday  Votes on the Co-ops were passed, naturally. Also adopted was the Mid-Term review of Health & Safety at Work, all 240 amendments of it! Not that we voted 240 times for when there is that weight of amendments the rapporteur gets together with the “shadow rapporteurs”, and amendment submitters, to roll lots of them together in “compromises”. These are popular, cuts down the time, but means that one has to vote for some items where a No is wanted, and the other way about.

You might like to know that the two amendments I queried, see video, were both adopted. So “whistle blowers” will still not get protection. Bear in mind that this is Health & Safety, so we are not talking about the nasty little creep who wants to cause some one trouble, or to ingratiate himself/ herself with the boss, over someone, say, cheating on hours worked. We are talking about cutting corners, or deliberately ignoring a precaution, which could lead to injury or worse.

Small traders will also have their business curtailed on Sundays, a loss of trade hard to bear these days. I would agree that Sunday always used to be a day of rest, but try telling that to the supermarkets and high street multiples, times have changed.

Also up for vote today was, “Conditions of entry and residence of third country nationals for seasonal employment”. Third country means from outside the EU and this is only a proposal for  a directive, - the committee is actually asking the commission to set this up! Up to now, under third country legislation, businesses can move to the EU but not their workforce. This proposal would allow employees to come with the business and I do not have to spell out what that would mean.

A small detail emerged in a debate on the long running issue of MRI scanning, by which time the 30 committee members present had dwindled to 8, incl the president! Apparently, in some EU states it is illegal for medical staff, prior to taking a scan, to ask if the patient has a pacemaker or, unbelievably, to ask a woman if she is pregnant. Since an MRI scan is believed possibly to harm the unborn child......   

The day finished with an “exchange of views” on the EGF, European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. This mechanism was introduced to help with the consequences of a company closing, initially due to its relocation to outside the EU. Money is poured in to help employees to cope with loss of wages and to provide re-training, it is not intended to assist the company directly. Only Governments can apply and the threshold is 500 employees losing their jobs.

You should know that the number of applications is increasing, and they are always approved by this committee. There was a Portuguese application today, following, as far as memory serves, some 4 Austrian, 7 Danish and 8 from The Netherlands. The pace is accelerating due to this now being available for re-locations within the EU.

I did a short TV about this on Wednesday evening, which will appear in due course, where I hope I pointed out the essential scam. Firms moving across the EU do so with the aid of EU subsidies and the EU then comes in with yet more of your cash (EGF) to help the redundant employees in the original country. We pay twice over and no money comes back to us from the £51 million we now pay the EU every day, for I cannot remember any case of a UK company making a claim!

In the following EGF debate the Commissioner made great play of “Economic Governance”, which was well received. There are articles in place to cope with “macro-economic” events and all is in line with the “6 pack”. Its all linked to Policy and Economic Performance, including for some reason, Teacher Training! I listened up then but was disappointed not to hear more on that topic, except that it leads to cash flow. Prospective teachers need not worry, they will reduce the audit burden, they won’t even demand an audit of hotel expenses, but they will harmonise rules.

If you think this presentation to be a far cry from the real world of the Greek and Italian disasters you are mistaken. The undemocratic sacking of their properly elected prime Ministers and their replacement with unelected bureaucrats in bang in line with EU policy. Today’s speaker from the Commission remarked that all the above is in line with the development of Economic Governance, declaring:-

The European Commission will take over from Member States when necessary.

Derek Clark   MEP                                              Brussels 23rd Nov 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Strasbourg Commentary Plenary Session 14th - 17th Nov 2011

Strasbourg Commentary                Plenary Session    14th - 17th Nov 2011

Tuesday You may recall earlier comments of mine about the EU moving in on Education,- University Degree documents to carry the EU logo and to be labelled as an EU Qualification, without reference to the University where a student actually graduated. Today we voted on the "Implementation of Professional Qualifications Directive", adopted by 463 - 163 votes. It was an "own initiative" report, that's by an individual, not from the commission. The author was your East Mids MEP, Emma McClarkin, and the Commission often take these individual reports up and push them through later, officially.

Wednesday The day began with a major debate, "Economic Governance." Barosso, Von Rompuy and Jean-Claude Juncker led and trotted out all the usual rhetoric, Solidarity and so on. I have to say Barosso was less bombastic than usual, but he pressed for Treaty changes, the Community Method and declared that the Euro is central to the EU; excellent news!

Jean Claude Juncker wants the EU to become more political, yes, more political! He also wants the Euro Group, of which he is President, to be permanently established in Brussels.

Von Rompuy, made a lasting impression, can't tell you what he said!

Of group leaders the ALDE leader, Verhofstadt, did not disappoint. He was more vehement than usual, demanding that the Commission get a grip of the financial crisis. Not elected members mark you, either here or in the Greek or Italian governments.  He wants the "Community Method" not the "intergovernmental" one, he always does, he wants a single European State run by bureaucrats,- but what else from a former Belgian Prime Minister. 

If you have not seen the video of Nigel's response make sure you do, soon.

Thursday  Came the vote on Combating Illegal Fishing, to which I spoke earlier, text and video on my web. It passed by 491 - 7 votes. This includes a move to establish a common Coastguard organisation, as though we didn't have one ourselves, tried and tested over the years. They just do not understand that, as they don't understand the stupidity of this being voted on by countries which have no coast line!   

Which leads me to fishing and the Boston fishermen. I saw them last week having been to the offices of the Inshore Fisheries people the previous day. Would you believe that I heard two quite different accounts. The Boston boys know that there are about 30,000 tons of cockles out in the Wash, but they are not allowed to go for them; used their quota up earlier in the year. Never mind the fact that many cockles will die over the winter and, in so doing, exude poisons which kill the juveniles to be found close to the dead adults. Thus next year's lot will be killed off before they mature!

I'm off to Kings Lynn again tomorrow. I wonder what these inspectors will think of the coverage I've got in the two Boston papers this week! More to come after tomorrow. With a bit of luck my comments about the coastguard will be in the  nationals tomorrow, or over the week end.

Combating Illegal Fishing at Global Level

Speech to Parliament                                        16th Nov 2011

Debate;  Combating Illegal Fishing at Global Level

The CFP was only introduced in 1973 when the UK joined the Common Market. Up to then UK fishermen had looked after their fisheries so well, without all these regulations, that other, profligate, member states wanted a slice of our action.

The result, illegal Fishing. Any system with complex rules and regs produces cheats, that's human nature.

Now you want to duplicate our Coastguard and to consider more rules to combat possible illegal recreational fishing. Do you never stop meddling?

To preserve fish stocks member states must be made responsible for their own fishing waters, up to the 200 mile limit, or the median line. Bi-lateral arrangements would be up to them and they would have to protect their own fish stocks in their own interests, under their laws and enforcement.

Norway does just that. Stocks have recovered, especially the  spawning stocks of several species, but then, Norway is not in the EU and does not have to obey your crazy rules. They ban discards, requiring that all fish caught are landed.

Meanwhile, EU stocks are seriously depleted. I know that  thought is being given to discards, but, after 38 years of waste, will our stocks recover?

As to combating illegal fishing globally the EU's discard policy is the greatest illegal fishing scandal of all, that, and licensing European Fishing fleets to raid the waters of the third world, reducing those peoples to poverty. Now, that's what I call illegal.

Derek Clark  MEP             Strasbourg 17th Nov 2011