15th April 2014:This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate on product safety and consumer protection.
"The 2012 Report of RAPEX* reported that there had been a 26% increase in the number of alerts for dangerous products. This was not just the result of greater market surveillance, the Rapporteur said. The number of dangerous products was increasing. Do we know the countries of origin of these goods? There have been some coded hints this morning but only coded hints
"On 20th January this year, we learned from a debate on a proposed regulation for consumer protection that 58% of notifications for dangerous products related to goods from China and that in a further 16% of cases, it was not possible to identify the country of origin.
"Importation of cheap products from emergent economies does not only undermine our manufacturing bases and the jobs of our workers. It also has the potential for injuring our consumers.
"Freedom of movement of goods, not just within the EU but globally, is the root cause of dangerous goods being in our markets.
"The EU is not so much a European Union as it is becoming a Global Union."
* The Rapid Alert System fort non-food dangerous products.
15th April 2014:This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following one minute speech, under Rule 150, during a debate on Nature v. Nurture.
"The Nature-Nurture debate used to be the most important in Politics and was the key to a whole range of political views. The Nurture side had much to be said for it, such as perceived kindness and fairness and, of course, non-discrimination. The Nature side had only evidence to support it.
"However, now Nurture seems to have been declared the winner without a contest. Indeed, Nature has been airbrushed out of the picture, even as a contestant. All public policy, whether devised by Left, Right, Centrist or Populist Safety Valve is based on a false assumption.
"They assume equal potential ability which does no favours to those without it.
"They assume that Third World migrants can be substitute Europeans when they can only turn Europe into the Third World.
"They confuse social mobility with equality of opportunity and do not realise that the latter will eventually bring the former to a shuddering halt.
"They throw money at continents that cannot benefit from it because Europe takes their brightest and best."
15th April 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 Animal Health.
"EU legislation, unlike trade, does not extend beyond its borders, so it might not answer all of the needs of animal health, originating in third countries. This regulation would replace complex, existing legislation and much of its substantive content would be beneficial.
"Healthy farm animals are recognised as a pre-requisite of human health.
"Whilst the Rapporteur acknowledges that this is not primarily an animal protection law, she quotes, with approval, the description in parallel regulation that animals were sentient beings and wrote that the legislation protecting live animals travelling should be amended to reflect distances travelled, rather than just borders crossed.
"Sentient beings can feel pain and suffer from discomfort and fear.
"Ritualistic slaughter of animals, without pre-stunning is, self-evidently, the cruel treatment of a sentient being. Food from such an animal will not of course be a hazard to human health but it is a wound to civilised sensibilities."
13th April 2014: On Thursday at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons made his final contribution to a debate in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on a European Court of Justice decision nullifying a Directive that called for data to be collected on telephone numbers called, e-mail addresses communicated to and websites visited.
"Even after the implementation of this ECJ judgment, the danger is that serious or organised crime or terrorism might have been the pretext or even the real reason for collecting data. However, even when the suspicion of crime has been dispelled, the information might be used for another purpose. – to enforce an occupational ban on those with particular political opinions, which exist in many member states. "Did the court ruling consider this point?
"We know that the ECJ ruling will affect only the validity of the Directive and not the national legislation that has been passed under it. Will the ECJ judgment lead to a fresh directive calling on member states to repeal legislation passed under this directive?"