11th March 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on the EU guarantee to the European Investment Bank on loans for investment projects outside the EU.
"I am not an EU enthusiast at all but I can see even less justification for the EU to facilitate investments beyond its borders. In the case of countries in Eastern Europe, it can be seen as a bribe to lure them into becoming candidate countries and eventually surrendering their sovereignty.
"North African countries are not, of course, eligible to be members - at least under current rules but their receipt of investment is a sign that the EU is not so much a European Union as a Global Union in waiting.
"There will undoubtedly be people in the still crisis-ridden member states who will wonder why all such available money is not invested in them. The answer might be that investment will be much less effective when expansion is constrained by a currency that is overvalued for their economies.
"Withdrawal from the Eurozone will be a prerequisite for effective investment."
11th March 2014: Yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on equality between men and women in 2012.
"The Explanatory Memorandum, from Mrs Zuber, starts by referring to the effects of the austerity measures in Greece, Ireland and Portugal. There is evidence that women are suffering disproportionately from the austerity measures. However, all workers - including men - are suffering from these measures.
"The urgent need is to end the austerity programmes and membership of the Eurozone that they sustain.
"When those countries benefit from an export-led expansion, following exit from the Eurozone, there will be prosperity to be divided fairly between men and women, which must happen. To seek to divide austerity fairly, is to exonerate the architects of austerity measures from their responsibility and distract attention from the cause of people's suffering."
10th March 2014: This afternoon at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on the 2012 Annual Report of the European Investment Bank.
"The existence of the EIB is supposedly justified on the ground of a perceived need. ECON bemoans the fact that there is a lack of sustainable and viable projects that are eligible for EIB funding. EIB criteria did not seem to match investment need.
"There is certainly a need for investment in infrastructure projects in member states. However, investment can be carried out more cheaply and more efficiently by those member states creating the credit necessary themselves, rather than relying on borrowing from external institutions and adding to sovereign debt.
"The principle of, 'what is physically possible must be financially possible,' should be followed.
"President Obama, no less - when introducing the American Jobs Bill - said, if there is a bridge in Maine in need of repair and there are construction workers unemployed, then there is undoubtedly a contradiction.
"However, the resolution of that contradiction seems to have eluded him."
27th February 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate on the future of EU visa policy.
"In my first debate in LIBE, five years ago, a noblewoman* of liberal persuasion, convinced herself that I did not know the difference between people travelling with or without a visa and immigrants. I think that I remarked that I did but the travellers frequently did not.
"People who travel from poor countries to relatively rich ones are not always scrupulously honest about their purposes for, or the intended length of, their visit.
"In a recent debate in LIBE a representative of the Commission warned against confusing visa facilitation and visa liberalisation and said that easing the procedure for obtaining the visa (as distinct from waiving the requirement for a visa) would not allow the visa holder to overstay. The visa over-stayer, he implied, would be waiting in the place he was supposed to have been, for the authorities to collect him and return him to his own country.
"I have heard the Commission accused of many things but I did not think naivety was one of them."
* A noble Baroness of ancient lineage who is also an MEP in LIBE.
27th February 2014: Yesterday evening at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate on Fundamental Rights in the European Union.
"In the eyes of the EU, all rights are equal but some are more equal than others.
"In any democracy, the political rights:
- freedom of expression;
- freedom of assembly; and
- electoral rights
should be pre-eminent. Why? Because they are the key to all of the others: their recognition; their extent; and their limitations. Indeed many of the personal rights were established only with the exercise of these political rights.
"However, the EU regards the personal rights of : chosen or determined behaviour, freedom from constraint, prohibition of discrimination and freedom of movement to be paramount.
"If there should be a conflict between (say) freedom of expression and one of these personal rights, freedom of expression would be the loser.
"What they are really saying is that the political rights were simply vehicles for campaigning for their range of personal rights. Once these have been elevated to the status of having self-evident virtue, the political rights have served their use and have become redundant."
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
The Charter was drafted cleverly to grant and withhold rights according to the opinions and priorities of those who drafted it.
Article 11 seems clear and unqualified in its granting the right of freedom of expression. However, we know that several member states place draconian restrictions on free speech in the areas such as ethnicity, religion and academic opinion.
Article 12 seems to establish the right to assemble in political organisations. However, we know that the UK courts will prevent parties from using their own criteria for granting or withholding membership.
European political parties are mentioned but EU law decided what parties are allowed to believe and proclaim and what they are forbidden from proclaiming.
Article 54 seems to be the sting in the tail. It appears to take away the right to express opinions or proclaim policies that would be:
- considered to countenance discrimination; fail to show respect for cultural, linguistic or religious diversity or advocating restrictions on freedom of movement or residence.
Extracts From The Charter
Article 11 Freedom of Expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
2. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.
Article 12 - Freedom of Assembly and of Association
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association at all levels, in particular in political, trade union and civic matters, which implies the right of everyone to form and join trade unions for the protection of his or her interests.
2. Political parties at Union level contribute to expressing the political will of citizens of the Union.
Article 21 Non-discrimination
1. Any discrimination Based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.
2. Within the scope of application of the Treaties and without prejudice to any of their specific provisions, and discrimination on the grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.
Article 22 Cultural, religious and linguistic diversity
The Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
Article 45 Freedom of Movement of Residence
1. Every citizen of the Union has the right to move and reside freely within the territory of Member States.
2. Freedom of movement and residence may be granted, in accordance with the Treaties, to nationals of third countries legally resident in the territory of a Member State.
Article 52 Scope and Interpretation of Rights and Principles
1. Any limitation on the exercise of the rights and freedoms recognised by this Charter must be provided for by law and respect the essence of those rights and freedoms. Subject to the principle of proportionality, limitations may be made only if they are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognised by the Union or the need to protect the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 54 Prohibition of Abuse of Rights
Nothing in this Charter shall be interpreted as implying any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognised in this Charter or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for herein.
26th February 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons was unsuccessful in his attempt for a Catch the Eye intervention during a debate on the Youth Guarantee schemes.
Had he been called to speak, Andrew would have said:
"Youth unemployment, like all unemployment, is a tragedy. There is an easy presumption that it is worse than unemployment of adults with mortgages and families. We must question that.
"There is little doubt that an unemployed youth, after training and education, would stand a greater chance of a job than would a youth lacking that training and education. However, when 50% of that age group are unemployed will it help all of them, most of them or many of them to get a job. I doubt it.
"The Youth Guarantee scheme is not a reflation scheme or a real-job creation scheme and it will cure neither the recession in the South nor the long term impoverishment facing Europe, as a whole, as the result of Globalisation. It will not rescue Southern European countries from the Euro-zone, allowing them to devalue.
"It will reduce unemployment figures and perhaps reduce the chances of a political backlash. Perhaps, it is really a Politicians' Survival scheme."
25th February 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons was unsuccessful in his attempt for a Catch the Eye intervention during a debate on the European Semester.
Andrew told this website:
"This was not just any old unsuccessful Catch the Eye. It was blatant bias.
The Vice President presiding was Macmillan-Scott one of the Yorkshire MEPs (He was a Conservative but later changed to the Liberal Democrats). I had requested a Catch the Eye within five minutes of the start of the debate at about 9.05 or 9.10 and I was present for most of the debate until Catch the Eye at the end. At the beginning of Catch the Eye he said that he would choose one speaker from each of the 'groups'. He chose PPE, S&D, Alde, ECR, Greens EFD and GUE. I was the only Non-Attached sitting in the chamber. However, he then gave time to the Commission and the Council.
I sent a note to him on the platform saying that he had not chosen anybody from the Non-Attached. He did not respond, so I attempted to make a point of order. However, he said that the Non-Attached did not constitute a 'group'.
Whilst the Non-Attached do not constitute an official group, they are always treated as though they were a group when speaking time is allocated. When speaking is limited to one round of speakers from each group, the Non-Attached are always included. At the beginning of a debate, each group is allowed to have one speaker speaking on its behalf. The Non-Attached is always included. Whenever Vice Presidents have allocated speaking time during Catch the Eye on the basis of one per group, the Non Attached are always included.
Whilst Vice Presidents are given the freedom to decide the criteria on which Catch the Eye time is allocated, it should not be according to a formula that automatically excludes and discriminates against, some members."
Had Andrew been able to address his fellow MEPs he would have said:
"Mr. Gutierrez's report was revealing. Whilst the recession in the Eurozone officially came to an end in the second quarter of 2013, long term unemployment has continued to rise, average household incomes are continuing to decline and in-job poverty is on the rise.
"There has been an assumption that Europe's economic problems can be attributed only to the recession. In fact we are seeing the effects of a long-term decline that is attributable to Globalisation:
- imports with which Europe cannot compete from the emergent economies;
- European capital is being diverted to other continents; and
- imports of labour from the Third World that keep wages at poverty levels.
"We might indeed all recover from the recession but we are seeing long term declines not only in the incomes of the poor but also of the average household and even in some ranks of the professions.
"Only the exceptionally rich, mobile and rootless are immune to this decline."
25th February 2014: Yesterday evening at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following one minute speech under Rule 150.
"When the history of the Twenty-First Century is written, it could be remembered as the one in which Europeans were ethnically cleansed from large parts of their homelands.
"Within my lifetime, large parts of the cities of many countries in the West have been transformed into outposts of Africa and Asia. By the end of the century the East will probably be transformed in the same way.
"It has not happened autonomously - like the winds and the tides. It has been brought about deliberately, by the people who misrule us - the Political Class.
"When the peoples of Europe are no longer the pre-eminent population, our distinctive cultures will be no more. Distinctive peoples are not the product of distinctive cultures; distinctive cultures are the product of distinctive peoples.
"Demographic change is not just about numbers and space. It is about the identities of the peoples doing the replacing and the peoples being replaced.
"There is still time for Europeans nationally, and in co-operation, to alter their destiny and take control of their own future. It will require moral courage, determination and resolution."You do not help poorer countries by robbing them of their most skilled and able workers."
25th February 2014: Yesterday evening at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on the entry of third country nationals for research, pupil exchange etc.
"This report starts innocently enough by referring to conditions of entry for ostensibly short term visitors such as exchange pupils or au pairs.
"Then the pretences are cast aside and it admits that this is just a prelude to large scale permanent immigration - 11 million in the remainder of this decade.
"Well the pretext is Europe's ageing population, caused by women's enslavement to economic forces and subservience to anti-family propaganda.
"The report envisages third country - for which read Third World - immigrants, with their large families becoming replacement Europeans. They will not become Europeans. They will continue to turn more and more parts of Europe into the Third World.
"You do not change a person's identity by changing his or her country or continent of residence.
"You do not help poorer countries by robbing them of their most skilled and able workers."
11th February 2014: This is sometimes described euphemistically as female circumcision. However, it involves the removal of the clitoris from baby girls often without anaesthetic or appropriate sterilisation of equipment. It is so that the adult woman will derive no pleasure from sex and will be less likely to be unfaithful to her husband.
It is a cruel and barbaric practice that is condemned by all civilised people. It is practised in the United Kingdom by some ethnic minorities. UKIP is anxious not to appear 'extreme' or 'intolerant', so it tolerates barbaric practices in the name of tolerance!
On 6th February, there were three votes condemning female genital mutilation. There were only three UKIP MEPs present: Clark, Agnew and Helmer. Farage and the others were absent from the voting. All three either registered an abstention or did not vote on any of these votes.