"Only by being free of this desperately out-of-date customs union will we be freed and able to negotiate our own global trade deals. If Iceland can do it, so can Britain" - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage at press conference in London, 30 July 2015.
• What we are seeing in Europe is the complete and total failure of supranationalism. While cooperation between independent nations has always been important, the last few weeks have laid totally bare the European Union's brand of authoritarian dogma. Much of what I have been warning about for many years indeed is playing out on the world stage - a Greek tragedy that beggars belief.
For many years in the European Parliament I have done my best to point out how the EU's bullying tactics are not just undemocratic, but anti-democratic. I have been derided, called names, and so on (don't worry, I can take it). But now, with the EU's nauseating approach to Greek sovereignty, it is clear that more and more people are waking up to the dangers of this supranational beast sweeping aside national sovereignty completely. Many who had continued to believe until very recently that the EU was compassionate and forward-looking are beginning to realise just how backwards the whole project is.
•15 July 2015, The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium, Washington DC: Featuring Keynote Speech by UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP, followed by presentations and discussion with, among others, Roger Helmer MEP, UKIP Spokesman on Energy and Head of the UKIP Delegation to the European Parliament, William Dartmouth MEP, UKIP Spokesman on Trade, and Paul Nuttall MEP, UKIP Deputy Leader.
Your selfies are safe for now. Under pressure from massive public campaign, MEPs vote to keep Freedom of Panorama.
"A French MEP wished to remove an explicit British freedom guaranteed in our copyright legislation for over 100 years. Luckily for us, this time the troubling amendment was rejected by a vote of 504-44. I have little doubt that even the European Parliament found this vote embarrassing. Your selfies are safe for now."- UKIP MEP Gerard Batten
• Today in the European Parliament, MEPs voted to reject an amendment to the Reda Report on Copyright which would have stopped people taking photographs of their favourite public monuments.
UKIP MEPs today opposed the amendment at the European Parliament which could have forced photographers in the UK to get permission to use pictures of public monuments and buildings such as the Angel of the North and the Cardiff Millennium Stadium.
Jean-Marie Cavada, the French MEP who was pushing the now rejected amendment is an ally in the European Parliament of the LibDems. He is also head of the European Movement France, an organisation in part funded by the EU to lobby for an increase in powers for Brussels. His counterpart in the European Movement UK is Laura Sandys, a former Conservative MP.
If the amendment had passed it would have meant a restriction on any monument, sculpture or building protected by the 70 year copyright period. Typical of favourite shots around Britain that would have been hit by this French-inspired ban would be the Gateshead Millennium Bridge (North East), the Cavern Club in Liverpool (North West), the National Railway Museum in York (Yorks and Humberside), the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge in Dartford (east of England), the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden in Wales, the International Convention Centre in Birmingham (W Mids), the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (E Mids), the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth (SE,) the Bristol Science Museum (SW) and the Riverside Museum in Glasgow.
The only way that citizens can defeat TTIP now is to vote to leave the European Union - UKIP MEP William Dartmouth «William Dartmouth speaking yesterday during the TTIP debate - VIDEO
• "The people interested in the protection of the NHS, in consumer rights and a legal system fair to small businesses will be angry with this decision of the European Parliament to pass TTIP", said UKIP trade spokesman William Dartmouth MEP.
Speaking outside the chamber of the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, after MEPs voted overwhelmingly to pass the negotiating position of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership he added: "This is a very damaging vote by MEPs which will hurt free trade and the financial well-being of patients, consumers and workers.
"The EU should not manipulate the UK's trade nor, that of any other Member State in order to promote the political pretentions of a wannabe European super state. "
UKIP MEP Dartmouth put forward amendments which he said: "require the commission to exclude specifically our British National Health Service from TTIP in its entirety." One such amendment was roundly defeated 142-507.
He lambasted the voting record of Labour MEPs over this matter who he claimed consistently voted to undermine "legal protections for the NHS. UKIP stands up for the NHS even as Labour party does not."
UKIP leader Nigel Farage tells Alexis Tsipras: "Your moment has come - lead the Greek people out of the euro with your head held high"
• UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP today told the European Parliament that "The European project is actually beginning to die. This isn't just Greece we are talking about today. The continent is now divided from north to south. There is a new Berlin wall and it is called the euro."
In a debate in Strasbourg in the presence of Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Council president Donald Tusk, other political group leaders spoke in a fractious and angry exchange.
Speaking during a visit to the chamber by the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Farage turned to the Greek leader: "You have been very brave. You called that referendum. There were threats and bullying but the Greeks stood firm."
"So your moment has come, and frankly if you have the courage you should lead the Greek people out of the Eurozone with your head held high. Get back your democracy; get back control of your country. Give your people the leadership and the hope that they crave. Yes it will be tough in the first few months but with a devalued currency and with friends of Greece all over the world, you will recover."
It's not just disaffected pensioners: young Greeks have worked out that they don't need the bloated EU
• UKIP Leader Nigel Farage has today written for The Daily Telegraph on the outcome of the Greek referendum and what it means for the EU:
"Whatever fine aims there were fifty or sixty years ago have no relevance to the reality of life for young people right across the EU now, including in Greece. The EU’s old, outdated ideas have been rejected at the ballot box in exchange for a new approach and fresh thinking.
"The result is a tired, stumbling European Union that is dying on its feet before our very eyes. Credibility for the project is fading fast as citizens right across Europe awaken to the reality of its authoritarian instincts that seek to run roughshod over public opinion.
"With younger generations now turning against the EU project, we can see support for the EU's dream of a United States of Europe fading fast. An outdated European Union has been found out and rejected emphatically by young Greeks in the 21st century.
For a firm such as PwC to have such unrivalled influence over Commission tax policy shows an astounding lack of judgment from the bureaucrats.- Steven Woolfe MEP Press Release
• UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe said that ordinary British tax payers will be outraged by the revelation that a firm involved in one of Europe’s largest tax scandals is now giving tax advice to the European Commission and member states.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the main tax firms involved in the Luxleaks scandal, is on an advisory council labeled the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum. This body provides council to the Commission on such tax areas as APAs (Advanced Pricing Agreements) which allowed hundreds of big companies based in Luxembourg to pay virtually no tax, mainly thanks to deals masterminded by PwC.
At the time, Woolfe demanded for Juncker to resign as Commission president and he reiterated that position today: "Juncker tried to kick the can down the road in November when he tragically clung onto power after the EFDD's motion of censure and now after these revelations the President's position is looking as tenuous as ever."
•I recently wrote a piece for my newsletter (not yet published) noting that most people involved in the EU debate, including our Prime Minister, seem to make the implicit assumption that if only we could reform the EU, if only we could renegotiate our terms, there is some remaining bed-rock of benefit, some crumb of comfort, some kernel of competitiveness, that will make our EU membership worthwhile, and justify an “IN” vote. I have argued to the contrary that I see no benefit at all beyond what could be achieved by a free trade deal, and that therefore we should be Better Off Out.
So I was struck by a remarkable essay by Roger Bootle in The Telegraph of Monday June 29th (the 160th anniversary edition, as it happens), in which he argues the case that far from offering benefits, the EU has exercised a damaging and malign influence on the economies of member-states. Admittedly, he too uses the phrase “without reform, the EU will go on being a poor economic performer”. But it is clear from his analysis that little or nothing would be left of the EU if the problems he points to were corrected. It’s a superb piece, and I strongly recommend it – especially to anyone who will be campaigning on the “OUT” side in the referendum. Indeed, I also commend it to those who plan to support the “IN” side – it may well change their minds.
He points out that “after an initial burst of success, the EU has done relatively badly economically”. Not only against emerging markets, but also compared with mature economies like the USA, Canada and Australia, and with non-EU European countries like Norway and Switzerland.
•The events of Friday proved what many of us had feared for so long. We face one of the biggest threats to our way of life and our civilisation that we have ever seen.
Our approach to this issue and our behaviour needs to change right now.
I was considering going to Kenya this summer as a keen deep-sea angler but have taken the view that it is just not safe. I suspect tens of thousands of other British citizens will now be reviewing their travel plans for the summer as well.
Decisions such as this are easy. But what is more worrying is the threat which in some cases is already on our shores and, if we are not careful, will be added to by the human tide that is coming across the Mediterranean.
I have been arguing for some months in the European Parliament that the EU’s Common Asylum Policy is a terrible mistake. It sets the terms for who qualifies so broadly that it says to anyone in Africa: ‘If you come, you can stay.’
Frankly, none of them know what to do. There are now signs that Germany’s patience is running out and whilst it is always difficult and sometimes dangerous to make predictions, there can be little doubt that Greece is nearer to leaving the Euro now than at any other point.
Public opinion in Greece has ran straight into Eurozone rules and compromises are becoming more and more difficult.
There is no united view in response to Greece but if the country does leave the Euro, the European Commission and Germany will comfort themselves that they’ve got firewalls in place.
My experience in markets says that if Greece does go, then people will begin to look at Italy, which has deep imbalances with the Northern EU economies.
UKIP condemns move by Conservative MEPs to have all UK jobs advertised across the EU
• UKIP MEPs Jane Collins and Tim Aker said today: "UKIP is appalled that Conservative MEPs are supporting legislation which would make it compulsory for all British jobs, apprenticeships and training programmes to appear on a European Commission website aimed at workers across the EU.
"The website, called EURES, tells anyone in the EU who wants to work in the UK that there are 850 Eurocrat advisers available to them 'to provide information, advice and recruitment/placement (job-matching) services' in Britain.
"The amendment which Cameron's Conservatives have tabled says that any job, apprenticeship or training programme advertised in the UK be put into this EURES system.
Paul Nuttall, UKIP MEP and deputy leader, says heavy-weight "Change or Go" report challenges Cameron's claim that being in the EU is good for the UK
• UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall today welcomed the publication by a group of business leaders and economic analysts of "Change or Go," a 1,000 page assessment of Britain's place in the EU: "This report challenges the many myths David Cameron and his allies are using to try to frighten the British people into staying in the EU."
"UKIP welcomes this list of demands for changes Cameron ought to make, but clearly is not making, in his negotiation with the EU. The report concludes that unless the Prime Minister can achieve a fundamental change in Britain’s relationship with Brussels, the country’s households and businesses will be better off if the UK opts to leave the EU."
The Prime Minister is likely only to secure very minor changes such as on benefits rules, which have been pre-agreed with other European leaders as a crumb off the table- UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP
By Nigel Farage, MEP
• The next big European Council meeting comes on Thursday next week when the Prime Minister will make his first big formal attempt to put forward his so-called reform agenda to other European premiers.
I’ll be over there in Brussels myself but I’m not expecting much and here's why.
There are three major factors of particular significance that mean the Cameron agenda is going nowhere fast.
The first is the continuing disaster unfolding in Greece.
With great human suffering continuing as the country remains locked inside the Euro, we have the spectacle of the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras at loggerheads with the IMF, with neither side looking as if they are going to back down.
Frankly the situation looks as if it will be impossible to resolve and I am certain that Grexit is now on the horizon.