Four MEPs were threatened with arrest today after Belgian police objected to a peaceful protest outside the European Union summit.
Divisional Commander Pierre Vandernissen said he was “acting on instructions from a higher authority” when he confiscated an inflatable bulldozer and threatened to arrest MEPs Nigel Farage, John Whittaker, Derek Clark and Gerard Batten. When questioned why he was doing it, he answered “because I have the power” and refused to say whether or not it was politically motivated. “I don’t have to answer you” he said.
Part of the discussions over the new EU Treaty is the plan to decide Justice and Home Affairs by Qualified Majority Voting and remove the veto which Britain currently has.
The inflatable bulldozer was part of an 11,000 euro display by the Independence and Democracy group attacking EU politicians for their secrecy over the treaty. On it was written, ‘Clearing the way for the EU constitution’ and ‘don’t let them bulldoze the treaty through’.
Within 20 minutes of the bulldozer being inflated, just yards from the entrance to the European Council on the ‘Zone of Free Expression’, 35 policemen had arrived, switched the generator off and parked their police vans to obscure the view of the world’s TV cameras which had been trained on the spot. The inflatable was confiscated and will not be returned until the end of the summit, if then.
The police commander told Mr Farage that “you will go to a cell for 12 hours and then we will sort it out.” He later threatened to arrest everyone in the area, including civil servants and members of the press.
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage slammed the moves by police as “storm trooper tactics.”
“I have seen the future of Europe, and I don’t like it.” said Mr Farage. “It was an outrageous response to what was intended to be a humorous counterpoint to the debate over the future of the continent”.
“We have protested all over Europe without a complaint from anybody. This is a deliberate attempt to stifle any objection to the new EU treaty.
“Once again we have seen that the EU don’t want to know about concerns people may have. They can’t accept that ‘no’ means ‘no’ which is why they are holding discussions over this treaty in secret, and they are trying to sneak in parts of the EU Constitution even though the French and Dutch voted against it
“How Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats can want to hand over more power to these people is, frankly, astonishing.”
UK Independence Party MEPs threatened with arrest for campaigning against the destruction of democracy in the European Union