Strasbourg Newsletter


Belgian Police attempt to stiffle free speach and expression

If proof of the irrelevance of the European Parliament was ever needed, this week provides it. For the Parliament had been sent away to its distant home in Strasbourg while all the action was at the Summit meeting of heads of state in Brussels.



Tony Blair, War Criminal-at-large

The Summit has been discussed in every newspaper and media outlet. Essentially, Blair claims that a UK referendum is not necessary because he has successfully defended his ‘red lines’. However all the political leaders in Germany, France, Spain and Italy are rejoicing that all the important features of the 2004 Constitution have been preserved intact. The agreed ‘Mandate’ or debating framework for the creation of the new European Constitution (renamed ‘reform treaty’) implies a massive shift in power from nation states to the EU. It is just that the words have been made more obscure.


A good analysis can be found at



Belgian police deflate democracy

Members may well have seen comments about our Independence and Democracy Group protest on 21 June, in which we positioned a large inflatable bulldozer next to the security zone bearing the words “Clearing the way for the European Constitution”. However the authorities seemed to disapprove and, within half an hour, large numbers of Belgian police arrived, confiscating the vehicle and threatening to arrest MEPs Farage, Batten, Clark and Whittaker, and others. Ironically, the site we chose for our bulldozer was in the ‘Zone of Free Expression’, that is, as long as you freely express support for the EU project.



Nigel Farage, MEP, Leader, UK Indpendence Party, being interviewed by Adam Boulton Sky News

The UKIP press team stayed up all night to ensure we had on the spot response. This meant that Nigel Farage was able to brief the journalists who were there and to appear on Sky, BBC World and BBC Breakfast as the ink was drying on the EU Mandate.


As he said at the time. “They think it’s all over. Oh no it isn’t. We have the commitment to ensure that the British people have their say, and we will strain every sinew to allow them to have it.”


Back in Strasbourg, our MEPs were doing their usual stuff as the Parliament ground out more and more laws without the glare of publicity.



Jeffrey Titford MEP UK Independence Party, Independence and Democratic Group

Jeffrey Titford explained the EU’s flawed view of the meaning of ‘competition’:.


“It has always been my contention that, far from encouraging competition, the EU in its drive for the mythical ‘level playing field’ wants to stamp it out altogether. This report does little to change that perception.


Paragraph 13 [of this report] supports a common consolidated corporate tax base, which is another step towards a compulsory EU-wide corporation tax, which is fundamentally anti-competitive. This idea is enthusiastically supported by France and Germany, two countries with higher corporate tax rates, which must be salivating at the idea of getting everybody else’s rates up to their level.


One of the most stupid pieces of EU jargon that I have ever heard is ‘unfair tax competition’, which is what this clause is all about. There is nothing unfair about some Member States having more business-friendly taxation regimes than others. This encourages competition.


State aid gets a bashing in this report, as you would expect, but the report makes the false assumption that all state aid is bad. In Britain, because of EU state aid restrictions, we are rapidly losing the Royal Mail postal service, to the detriment of consumers, particularly in remote areas”.


Of course, this speech was made before the French removed the words “free and undistorted” competition from the preamble of the Treaty – effectively negating the point of the Common Market.


The Report on Competition Policy (Ferreira Report) can be found here:



Godfrey Bloom, MEP UK Independence Party, Independence and Democratic Group

Next was Godfrey Bloom explaining how the EU thinks it can regulate to remove risk and treats every problem as a way of accruing more power.


Mr President, nobody comes out of this with any great honour, do they? But of course we are dealing yet again with the abandonment of the concept of caveat emptor. As a financial economist, I knew that Equitable Life was unsound in the middle of the 1990s, but it marketed its plans direct to the public with the sales line ‘there are no middle men’. Well, the middle men were the professionals, but the something-for-nothing culture came to the fore yet again.


What about the elephant in the room, the National Provident Institution? Same sort of problem, but they did not have the same number of lawyers and politicians who made up their client bank. So are we talking about a common regulatory policy like the common agricultural policy, or the common fisheries policy? Why do they not adopt our audit and accounting systems here? God help us! Taxpayers’ money for failed investment? This is a very slippery slope, ladies and gentlemen. Marconi shares? Institutional pension funds? Where does it end? Sometimes investments go wrong, and that’s life. It is sad, but we have to put up with it.


The report can be found here



Gerard Batten, MEP UK Independence Party, Independence and Democratic Group

Gerard Batten used his 60 seconds to highlight the case of a Italian who was given sanctuary in Britain but is now languishing in an Italian gaol.


Mr Mariotti was granted sanctuary in England in 1998 after being accused of crimes allegedly committed in Italy more than 30 years previously. The hearsay evidence presented against him would never have been allowed in an English court, let alone result in conviction and a prison sentence. Despite the support of many people and sections of the British media, he was recently deported to Italy by means of a European arrest warrant. He now languishes in a remote prison facing a 26-year prison sentence.


Mr Mariotti is an Italian, but the same rules apply for British citizens. The European arrest warrant means that our traditional safeguards against arbitrary arrest and extradition have been circumvented. People can now be transported to foreign courts with as much ceremony as posting a parcel.


Finally, Graham Booth wowed them with poetry (I have not checked to see how the translators coped with this in the 20 other EU languages)


My 60-second slot today I really must confess

Precludes my chance of giving you a Gettysburg Address;

And so, to make the best use of such precious little time,

I shall list the points that matter and present them as a rhyme.


Commissioner Verheugen says that EU regulations

Present a half a trillion bill to all the EU nations.

This favours larger companies and hurts the SMEs.

It is directives just like this one that will bring them to their knees.


Not content with these achievements, Mrs McCarthy’s final dream

Was centralised policing of the public procurement theme.

National advisory agencies and a data-sharing goal

Persuade her to keep digging when already in a hole.


If socialism’s paradise need rules that we enforce,

I will eat my hat, and coat as well, with or without sauce.


The (McCarthy) report that gave rise to this eloquence can be found here

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