Welcome to the mad world of the EU!

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

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Brussels Commentary 26th - 29th March 2012 Employment Committee 26th - 27th

Brussels Commentary                                          26th - 29th  March 2012

Employment Committee 26th - 27th

Joined for the first time by Roger Helmer as a UKIP MEP who retains his place on this committee. He is very welcome as far as I am concerned.

A dire agenda, unless you think that, "Strengthening economic and budgetary surveillance of Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability in the Euro area", is exciting. Actually it is. This will bring in examination of Euro country budgets before they are announced, with punitive measures for breaches thereof.  Does not affect UK but it does affect Ireland, especially if they vote "Yes" in their referendum on May 31st.

Will this come to the UK, well, we signed the Lisbon Treaty which clearly says that the currency of the EU shall be the Euro!!

There was also a debate on the "Training of seafarers". I can think of a certain Italian Captain of cruise liners who could do with a pointer or two, but otherwise........

Plenary Session  28th - 29th

Agenda is full of Enlargement reports. You know Turkey is an applicant country, but Serbia, Kosovo & Montenegro have all got their names down to join, or are thinking about it. Just think how deep the UK taxpayer will have to dig to find our over-large share of support for that lot.

Thursday Votes on all the above, all approved, of course, by huge majorities. William Dartmouth put down an Oral Question in the vote on Turkey, having spoken about it the previous evening, see the UKIP MEP's website. Oral Questions are listed on the voting list and the proposer speaks to it, but whether or not it goes to a vote is down to members. MEPs can oppose this by rising in their places and when 40 or more do so the Oral Q is defeated.

William's Q was, "Notwithstanding the above, all negotiations of Turkey's membership of the EU should be suspended until such time as the Turkish Government terminates its visa free arrangement with the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria".

Many more than 40 MEPs stood up, including the UK Lib-dems!

If that is not enough, know this. All candidate countries get pre-accession funding. Turkey is budgeted for 14 BILLION Euros over the period 2014 to 2020. Do I have to point out who will find a big lump of that?  

The worst news this week, of course, is not from here, but from our own Parliament, in particular George Osborne. The National Planning Policy Framework is to simplify planning applications. Among the general loss of countryside as it disappears under concrete there is a real nasty. There is a built-in presumption of sustainable development. That means supporting a low carbon future. In turn that comes round to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, our old friend carbon dioxide.

To achieve those reductions the claim is for more windmills and the electricity companies will now have all this weight of entrenched "sustainability" in their armoury. Planning permissions will now be even easier to award as local authorities are forced to cave in to this madness.

It's bad enough now. Having spoken at a few meetings protesting against windmills  I was encouraged by the resulting rejections, not that I claim my contribution to have clinched it. Hearing that one planner was to appeal the decision I enquired of the relevant Government Office. I asked, "If a wind turbine planning application is turned down the planners can appeal the decision, so can the protesting group appeal against the decision if it goes the other way?" The answer,- an unequivocal "NO". And that was months ago, before the Government, our Government ?, brought in this, "build what you like, where you like policy.

Of course that brings me right back here, to Brussels. Where do you think all this nonsense about global warming, greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide (that's a chemical!,ugh, nasty stuff) came from. Yes, I know about Al Gore and his rotten unscientific video but it's the EU which really took it up. The 202020 strategy, 20% reduction of C02 by 2020, is straight EU, desperate to be seen as the standard bearer in fighting global warming. We lead the world!! And who has pushed it in the UK; Nick Clegg and Huhne, former MEPs the pair of them!

In which respect please see the article below, we need a presence there.
FREE Onshore Wind Energy Seminar Register now

Dear Cllr Richard Dewick,

- Learn about Wind Energy
- Visit a modern operational Wind Farm

You're invited to a free event designed exclusively for local authority planners, Councillors and representatives from statutory agencies and local interest groups.

Organised by RenewableUK, the UK's leading renewable energy association, the seminars will enhance your knowledge of the considerations involved in planning and developing wind energy projects and the drivers for renewable energy. Past participants have come away with a greater awareness of wind energy technology, and the facts associated with its development. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

For full information and to register for an event, click here.

If you have a colleague who is interested but did not receive this email, they can register their interest to attend by contacting RenewableUK on 0207 901 3000.

Onshore Wind FarmProgramme

These events are designed to inform participants about the key drivers and benefits of onshore wind development.

A series of presentations and workshops will cover:
  1. Economic and social drivers for wind energy
  2. Local benefits of wind energy
  3. Case studies looking at the life cycle of two projects of different scales
  4. How to balance various economic, social and environmental issues facing developers, decision makers, consultees and other stakeholders in developing wind projects
  5. A visit to a modern operational wind farm
  6. Learn from site managers about the operational aspects of the turbine technology.

Dates and Locations

Don't miss the seminar and wind farm visit closest to your location.
  1. North East, Durham, Tues 19th June, Visit to Langley Wind Farm
  2. East Midlands, Leicestershire, Thurs 21st June, Visit to Low Spinney Wind Farm (supported by the RTPI)
  3. Scotland, Ayreshire, Tues 26th June, Visit to Millour Hill Community Wind Farm
    (in conjunction with Scottish Renewables)
  4. Scotland, Glasgow, Thurs 28th June, Visit to Hill of Fiddes Wind Farm
    (in conjunction with Scottish Renewables)
  5. South West, Cornwall, Fri 27th July, Visit to Delabole Wind Farm
    (supported by the RTPI)
  6. Northern Ireland, Tues 4th Sept, Wind Farm visit to be confirmed
    (in conjunction with NIRIG)
  7. North West, Lancaster, Tues 11th Sept, Visit to Caton Moor Wind Farm
    (supported by the RTPI)
  8. Yorkshire & Humber, East Riding of Yorkshire, Thurs 13th Sept, Visit to Sancton Hill Wind Farm (supported by the RTPI)
  9. Seminars in Wales and Kent will also be available - dates to be confirmed.
Derek Clark MEP                            Brussels                       29th March 2012

Air ambulance

Many thanks to the readers who have supported our air ambulance appeal to cut VAT on fuel - here's something I did for the local papers:

  The county's MEP has thanked newspaper readers for their help in a major campaign to scrap VAT on fuel for the air ambulance service.
UKIP MEP Derek Clark said: "Since papers published my call for people to sign the Government petition on cutting VAT for Air Ambulances the number of signatories on the Downing Street petition has soared past the 100,000 mark, up to 130,000.
"That was what was needed for a debate on the issue in the House of Commons. Huw Bailey, who is the MP for York, has promised to take this matter forward, so we can expect something soon.
"So, well done to your readers for getting this important issue placed on the agenda. The Air Ambulance is a vital part of our emergency services. Last year alone it carried out more than 19,000 missions. Your help will save more lives. Thank you."
 The petition can be found at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29349

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Support our pubs

Today, I've been fighting to support our pubs - you can read me here http://www.ukip.org/eastmidlands/news/1156-derek-clark-urges-people-to-defend-their-beer

I've also been busy criticising the madness of the EU which is forcing Lincolnshire residents to have multiple bins and collection dates! It's crazy.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

In the press!

I thought I would start to include links to my letters and press releases to keep you up-to-date!
This week, I've written on the spiralling cost of the EU and faith schools, as well as welcoming another Tory to our party in Derby!

Here are the links:




Thursday, 15 March 2012

Strasbourg Commentary Plenary Session March 12- 15 2012

Strasbourg Commentary          Plenary Session                      March 12- 15 2012

I can do no better than start with Nigel's speech in the style of "Carry on up the Khyber". It does in fact mirror the atmosphere here.

Tuesday We voted on two Gender Equality reports, all 70 amendments in one, 30 in the other. Basic idea worthy enough you may think but really, paragraph 7, " Political Parties across Europe to introduce a quota system for Candidate lists- women candidates alternate with men at the top of the list".  Adopted by 573 - 101, and the whole report passed by 508 - 124.

Wednesday Vote on the Fisheries Fund, to which I spoke on Tuesday night, text and video on web site. This passed with a huge majority. If you burrow into the EU web site you can find the result of recorded votes, this being one of them. It lists who voted Yes, or No, or Abstained, by Political group. Activists look these up to find out how we, and others, voted on their particular interest. Quite right too but there are errors. In this case you would find that I did not vote at all on the Fisheries Fund report; you are entitled to know why.  

We hold our voting meeting immediately prior to each voting session and bells sound to call us down, 10 minutes before, and again at the start. Problem, the lifts are heavily in use then, often with assistants going some where else, so it's slow. I got into the chamber, with quite a few other MEPs just in time, but not quite. There was a minute's silence being held for the Belgian children killed in the bus crash in Switzerland, so I stood still in the approach to my row. The president did not wait but got straight on with voting before several of us could get to our seats and put our vote cards into the machine. The Fisheries vote was first, so I missed it. All an alert president had to do was to realise members were observing due respect and wait a minute, but that's too much for any one in charge in this place.

I give you this account to show how completely hopeless this place is, common sense is at a premium. And yes, you can do something about a voting error. We can go to the web site and enter a "Vote Correction", specifying the exact vote and the way one wished to vote. This is noted but the vote as first recorded is not altered.  

Thursday Votes are of little interest to any of us and business generally is of limited value.

I will therefore close at this point, Weds evening, especially as my flight is soon after voting ends, leaving me no time to write anything further. I look forward (!) to my lunch with the assembled lawyers of Northampton on Friday.

Derek Clark  MEP                                        Strasbourg  March 14th 2012 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Speech to Parliament March 13th 2012 European Fisheries Fund

Speech to Parliament                                  March 13th 2012

European Fisheries Fund

The EFF has 4.3 billion Euros to spend on fishing over the period 2007 - 2013, covering scrapping of fishing vessels, aquaculture and inland fishing, sustainability and administration of the fund.

But fishing managed very well before the CFP was introduced; livings were made and fish was plentiful.

Since its inception in 1973, the CFP has introduced rules and regs to control fishing, now the EFFWhy, after allfishermen have been plying their trade for centuries without all this, and a viable industry has been passed down the generations. Fishermen are not stupid, they have looked after their stocks, just as a farmer looks after his livestock and land.

This proposal, of course, is a backdoor way of giving extra financial support to countries which have been bailed out. Bail out funds under EFSM will trigger this extra support from the EFF,- and yet more taxpayersmoney goes down the drain.

So this whole scheme, purporting to help fishing with more funds, is really an addition to bailouts, which aresupposed to be loans by way of bond issues with time limits for repayment. Does that mean that the extra EFF money will not be included in Bail out repayments? Does it mean that cash will be available without issuing bonds?

If so, EFF funding will be a gift to offset a debt. What kind of finance is that?    

Derek Clark  MEP                                                 13th March 2012

(Tuesday is Gadfly Dinner evening. Left restaurant at 9.00 pm, delivered speech at 9.45 pm, returned at 10.00 pm, to receive a certain amount of banter from colleagues who at least had the grace not to have consumed my first course)