European Federalists are now using the Med crisis to call for a "centralised" common asylum system. It would be the death knell of national sovereignty and an inducement for more people to hand themselves over to barbarous people-traffickers in Libya - UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP
• In the wake of the Mediterranean migration crisis the European Federalists yesterday issued a press release titled, "European Federalists renew demand for a Eurozone economic & fiscal union, an EU common army and an EU immigration policy," urging the European Commission "to present a reform of the Common European Asylum System."
This was followed by a tweeting frenzy from the leader of the Liberal group in the European Parliament, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who has now taken the lead in calling for a "Centralised Common European Asylum System" and an "EU Blue Card that acts as an EU wide work permit."
Responding to Guy Verhofstadt's tweets, Ukip Deputy leader Paul Nuttall said:
"These Federalist fanatics expose their crazy undemocratic schemes at each crisis. There is no acknowledgement that common European policies such as the Euro or Fisheries Policy have been a disaster.
Tory minister rolled over to vote Yes to EU Mortgage Credit Directive with a plea there should be "no adverse effects" in future
•Steven Woolfe, UKIP MEP for the North West and spokesman on finance, said that British homeowners are today learning that they may be forced to pay thousands more for their mortgages "because the Cameron government has yet again capitulated to EU demands that more national control over regulation be handed to Brussels."
"In March next year EU regulators will tighten their grip on the UK mortgage market, forcing homeowners to take out more expensive loans. The Cameron government did not warn homeowners about this when they supported the Directive in Brussels. However, following press reports today, existing borrowers are now realising the EU will now force them to pass stricter affordability tests if they want to change lenders to take advantage of a cheaper mortgages rate."
"The EU is in effect dictating how and where UK homeowners can borrow."
By Roger Helmer MEP, UKIP's Energy Spokesman and Head of UKIP Delegation in the European Parliament
•Yesterday I had the pleasure and privilege of appearing for UKIP in the BBC’s special Daily Politics debate on Climate and Energy, chaired by Andrew Neil. I was delighted to find myself pitched against Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change. In addition there were Labour’s Shadow Caroline Flint, Tory Energy Minister Matt Hancock and the Green’s Andrew Cooper, who is their PPC for Huddersfield.
As it happens, I had recently been in Huddersfield supporting our own UKIP PPC Rob Butler. Andrew Cooper knew I had visited the town, but (he said) had been unable to attend our public meeting.
The climate debate (I thought) went relatively well. I felt I got rather less airtime than the old party candidates, but that was largely because they were arguing the detail of policies which we oppose totally, so in a sense we didn’t have a dog in those fights. Nonetheless I managed to get in some of our key points – which of course were roundly attacked and dismissed by the rest of the panel.
As UKIP warned at the time, small enterprises were duped by the Cameron government on EU VAT burden. New report shows that the 2013 assessment by HM Revenue & Customs far underestimated the impact of new EU VAT rules.
•Margot Parker, UKIP MEP for the East Midlands and spokesman for small business, today attacked the Cameron government's "sly and misleading" assurances last year that they would protect the UK's small enterprises from new EU demands on VAT:
"As UKIP warned at the time, a report out today shows the Government's assurances have proved worthless. Thousands of small firms have been forced to take a painful hit to profits while other micro-enterprises have already been forced to close."
"Today, Enterprise Nation, a network of small entrepreneurs, has released a report which shows that the 2013 assessment by HM Revenue & Customs far underestimated the impact of new EU VAT rules. HMRC said 5,000 businesses would be affected. The report shows the figure could be more than 350,000."
"A spokesman for Enterprise Nation tells us that the EU VAT regulations have caused havoc in the digital small business community."
Ed, you're wrong. There will be an EU army and the UK has already signed up to be part of it – UKIP defence spokesman.
• UKIP defence spokesman Mike Hookem MEP has taken Ed Miliband to task over his comments on an EU Army in the leaders debate of last night, and accused Miliband of misleading the British people. See Miliband v Farage video.
MEP Hookem said: “Ed, you are completely wrong. There are currently EU battle groups, there are ongoing military EU missions today, there will be an EU army and the UK has already signed up to be part of it.
"It is a simple fact that the UK is under EU treaty obligation.
"There are EU Treaty clauses on ‘mutual defence’ (Art. 42(7) TEU) and ‘solidarity’ (Art. 222 TFEU), which require Member States to respond ‘by all the means in their power’ if a Member State is attacked.
"The dominant political leader in the EU, Angela Merkel has called for a European Army in 2010 as has EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker in March 2015.
"One only needs to look at the UK government plans to allow an international consortium to build 400 wind turbines off the Yorkshire coast. The project will be subsidised by British taxpayers by as much as £900m a year, and after ten years it will deliver over £1bn a year in profits to the investors." - UKIP Energy Spokesman Roger Helmer MEP. Press release
UKIP energy spokesman Roger Helmer MEP said: "The Green ideologues at the European Commission are pushing for taxpayer subsidies across the EU for wind energy projects that are unreliable, uneconomic and deadly to migratory and sea birds.
"The vast taxpayer-funded subsidies the EU are encouraging for so-called renewable energy projects will never deliver reliable energy to customers. The subsidies will only make the rich investors building these projects even richer. They will undermine investors who are putting their own money into power stations run on gas and other reliable and inexpensive fuels," said Helmer.
"Today the European Commission has announced that German government plans to subsidise 20 offshore wind turbine projects being built for €29.3bn (£22bn) will not breach EU rules against state aid which might distort competition. This is clearly untrue.
May 7th presents the people of Britain with an incredible opportunity.
For the first time in 100 years, there is real change on the horizon. All you have to do is vote for it.
Political party manifestos are usually filled with arbitrary, over-ambitious targets and pledges to some special interest group here or there. UKIP is different.
In this document, which should inform your choice at this election, you will find serious, fully-costed policies that reflect what our party is all about: believing in our country.
On the major issues of the day - immigration, the economy, our health service and living standards – the establishment parties have repeatedly and knowingly raised the expectations of the public, only to let us down, time and time again.
In many ways, this is where UKIP came from: a feeling that successive governments were no longer representing the will of the British people
Once Greece leaves the Euro and does well, I suspect other countries will soon follow - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage
•Eurozone countries are secretly drawing up plans to expel Greece from the EU's single currency, The Times reports following a memo drawn up by Finland's finance ministry that reveals preparations for a Greek exit and warns of “very difficult political decisions” this spring amid predictions that Greece will go bankrupt next month unless the eurozone agrees to pay its next loan tranche within the next three weeks.
Responding, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said:
“The Eurozone countries would be doing the Greek people a huge favour by letting them have their own currency back so they can devalue, trade and export at more competitive rates.
“I have no doubt when Greece has the Drachma back, it will attract many more tourists and those who love Europe and detest the undemocratic political union that is the EU, will be happy to holiday in Greece to show their solidarity with the Greek people.
•I used to think of Open Europe as a half-way sensible, reliable, euro-critical think tank. Some of their reports were quite helpful, at least for their data if not always for their conclusions. So it is disappointing just before a General Election to see them going into over-drive as apologists for Brussels.
First there was their report, a few days ago, claiming that leaving the EU would save only a tiny fraction of the regulatory costs of EU membership, so we’d do better to stay in and renegotiate – a proposition that could have come straight from the spin doctors at Conservative Central Office. They said that EU regulation currently costs £33 billion a year (a serious under-estimate, but let that pass). But if we left, and (say) adopted the Norway model, as many recommend, we should still be subject to EU rules costing 90% of the current figure. So stay and fight.
What they have done is to make a great case against the Norway option (which in any case UKIP could never accept, since it involves keeping the EU’s “free movement” rules). They have not, however, made any case at all against Brexit. And they’ve sought to give credence to the idea that significant renegotiation is possible. If you can’t take the word of Jean Claude Juncker and other EU leaders that they will not give way on basic elements of the Treaties, then look at the history. For over forty years British politicians have been declaring that they would win key concessions in Brussels, but they have failed over and over again, and we are ever deeper in the mire.