Strasbourg Newsletter May 2007

Legislative Work


Romano Prodi, equivocal European politician persistently rumoured to have been a paid KGB agent

This week we heard about what the European Union has planned for us from Romano Prodi. He was back in Strasbourg, not as Commission President any longer but as Prime Minister of Italy, and he explained his view of the future of Europe.



Nigel Farage, Leader, UK Independence Party

As Nigel Farage told him, it was not a future that all wished to share:


“I wonder whether we really want your style of justice, given that Mario Scaramella, who tried to warn Mr Litvinenko of what was going to happen to him, has now languished in an Italian jail for six months. The charges against him keep changing and he has not actually faced a court. If you are suggesting we give up common law and habeas corpus for that sort of European system, my answer to you is no, thank you very much indeed”.


Later in the week in a speech that was picked up by the BBC Today program he spoke about cutting mobile phone international roaming charges. The Commission has been madly keen to get this regulation through as they see it as a key propaganda win in the lead-up to the ratification of the new Constitution,


However all is not as it seems as Farage pointed out,

“It is not often I find myself in this position, but this morning I have to acknowledge what the European Union is doing. In fact I have come along to say thank you: thank you on behalf of international business. You know the kind – the companies that employ thousands of people who are travelling around Europe the whole time – the ones that make billions in profits. They are going to be big beneficiaries of this. And I want to say thank you on behalf of the super-rich in Europe – not the people that just go to Benidorm for a fortnight, but those that travel regularly. They too will be beneficiaries.


The truth is that this is just a giant publicity stunt, is it not? You want to be loved. You want the EU to be loved, so you are telling people they are going to be better off. Frankly, it smacks of Communist central planning when bureaucrats and politicians think they know what the right market price is. They are always wrong. This will lead to higher costs for domestic consumers. It will lead to less competition and innovation in the market place. It is yet another giant EU folly.


Mobile phones are a massive industry, one in which with Vodaphone we are truly world beaters. What the Commission have succeeded in doing is foisting higher charges, particularly on the pay-as-you-go customer. They will then say that they serve the consumer. Don’t believe a word of it, they are serving only themselves. Yet again UKIP was the only party fighting both for the normal consumer and British industry.



Gerard Batten, UK Independence Party

Gerard Batten had a bumper week, first pointing out the beam in the Parliament’s own eye,

” the resolution talks about the Wolfowitz affair in terms of ‘the World Bank’s failure to live up to the globally shared standards of transparency and democracy’. What utter humbug! Any standards of transparency and democracy in the world are practised on a strictly limited basis, and the European Union hardly sets an example….”


But why had it launched this attack? It appears that the Commission wants

“to have observer status at the Bank and for it to attend and intervene at certain councils. The key phrase here is ‘pending legal personality for the Union’. That legal personality depends on the ratification of the European Constitution that the European Union intends to stuff down the throats of the peoples of Europe whether they want it or not”.


Gerard also got to the nub of two key issues facing all of us in the UK,

“Two completely new and unnecessary laws will soon have an impact on the British people. One is the requirement for a home information pack at a cost of at least £600, without which homeowners will not be able to sell their properties. The other is the reduction of household refuse collections from once a week to once every two weeks. Both these pieces of legislation are a direct result of EU directives. The directives are those on the energy performance of buildings and landfill waste. Weekly household refuse collections were established by law in 1875 to stamp out diseases such as cholera and other epidemics which killed thousands of people. Only the EU could take Britain back to where it was prior to 1875, while requiring the British people to pay through the nose for the privilege. Two more good reasons – if they were needed – why Britain should leave the European Union.”


On yet another report about pushing the Constitution Gerard also spoke

Mr President, this report calls for an EU foreign minister, a common foreign policy, a common EU seat on the UN Security Council and much more and, of course, for the all too predictable full ratification of the rejected European Constitution in order to make it all possible. The parts that amused me the most were those calling for a foreign policy to be decided by qualified majority voting and for national security services to be subject to democratic scrutiny by the European Parliament.


The justification for all this is that this is what the people of Europe want from the European Union. I do not know which people Mr Brok has been speaking to, but they certainly were not British. The idea that they would want to hand over control of their foreign policy, defences and security services to the European Union is laughable. The frightening thing is that Mr Brok is serious.



Jeffrey Titford, UK Independence party

Jeffrey Titford had the opportunity to highlight EU attempts to take over control of the Health Service:

This Regulation… states that there should be ‘a codification of existing case law on the reimbursement of cross-border healthcare’… (This) opens the door for the EU to override national governments and lay down the law on how cross-border healthcare is reimbursed, leading inevitably to how healthcare as a whole is funded and managed. A single healthcare system run by the EU is a nightmare too horrible to contemplate; it should never be unleashed on an unsuspecting world.


Graham Booth, UK Independence Party

Elsewhere Graham Booth spoke on attempts to bully the developing world with trade barriers if they did not act in a way that even the Parliament accepted was impossible.

Other Work


Gary Kasparov, Russian Democrat

The Ind/Dem Group was honoured to host a meeting with Gary Kasparov, former world chess champion and now the leading democracy campaigner in Russia. Though he recognised the similarities between what is happening in Europe and in his own country, he did have a point when he mentioned that things were much worse in Russia today.

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