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.
• Tonight, William Dartmouth, UKIP MEP for the South West and Gibraltar and trade spokesman, persuaded the coordinators of the International Trade Committee to agree to an extraordinary sitting of the committee on June 29 to deal with TTIP, the controversial US-EU trade agreement.
Dartmouth said: "The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a matter of huge public interest and even greater concern. It is utterly wrong for the parties in the European Parliament to supress debate. We need to have debate, we need to understand what is going on. UKIP is leading the fight in the European Parliament to make sure this happens."
Last week, at a plenary sitting in Strasbourg the parliament was thrown into turmoil when Martin Schulz, the German socialist MEP who is president of the parliament, cancelled the vote because many of the parliament's centre-left MEPs were defying EU policy and threatening to come out against TTIP.
"Whilst Cameron and Obama may wish to do the bidding of the big corporates, we are beginning to hear voices of alarm about sovereignty and the great modern battle of corporatism versus capitalism being raised."
- UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP
•In over 16 years as an MEP, I’ve never seen such a vast amount of emails, correspondence, even members of the public phoning my office in Strasbourg as I have recently over the issue of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Partly this is because e-mail wasn’t anywhere near as popular 16 years ago, but the reality is that this is the first big crack in the European Union’s corporatist agenda.
It marks really the first time that I have seen large numbers of people questioning the EU’s mantra that big is good and that business, jobs and prosperity flow from all the actions of the Union.
For years I’ve wondered: just how can the Left support all of this corporatist stuff? Why are trades unions and the TUC saying nothing?
•UKIP Agricultural Spokesman Stuart Agnew MEP says British farmers, who had the wind up over proposed EU caps on methane emissions, will be relieved that national Governments have rejected the limits.
EU proposals to put stringent limits for certain air pollutants in each EU member state, including the methane gas produced by microbes in the stomachs of cattle and sheep during digestion of grass, were refreshingly rejected today.
Approval of the caps, under the National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive, would have resulted in double regulation due to existing commitments relating to EU’s 2030 climate and energy package.
British livestock farmers were worried that the caps would have a massive impact on them.
Stuart Agnew UKIP MEP for the East of England, said today: “After much hot air I welcome the news that these caps have finally been abandoned.
"I will now wait patiently for my inevitable invitation for a meeting (without coffee)," writes Roger Helmer.
•Roger Helmer MEP, Head of UKIP Delegation in the European Parliament wrote the following letter to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, concerning Vice President Ildikó Gall-Pelcz's disregard for parliamentary rules on Wednesday, June 10th.
Dear President Schulz,
Yesterday at around 17:30 in the Hemicycle, the EFDD Group invoked Rule 191 to call for a suspension of the sitting, as it was entitled to do. The objective was to draw attention to our concerns over the delay in debating TTIP, which as you know is of great interest to millions across the EU.
Vice President Ildikó Gall-Pelcz, who was chairing the Session, failed to put the issue to an immediate vote, as she was required to do under Rule 191. She deliberately prevaricated for around ten minutes, calling two speakers against the motion. She then suspended the session for thirty minutes, without taking a vote.
I approached her immediately after the suspension and I asked her if she knew that she was in breach of the rules. She replied “Yes”
European Parliament Vice-President defies rules to frustrate legitimate democratic protest by UKIP MEPs over TTIP vote delay
•UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall today lambasted Vice-President Gall-Pelcz, calling what happened last night under her watch "a disgrace and an outrage."
"Under Rule 191 the EFDD group requested a vote to suspend the sitting and that vote, under the rules, should have been taken immediately," Mr Nuttall told the Chamber this morning.
"Instead the Vice-President took it upon herself to suspend the sitting for 30 minutes so that you guys could come down and vote.
"This highlights one of the reasons why many people perceive this place to be a Mickey Mouse chamber. You either have a rule book, or you don't. You either stick by it, or you rip it up and then we make it up as we go along, just as happened last night.
"UKIP are appalled that both the British Conservatives and Labour in the European Parliament have today voted for the European Commission to interfere in British laws on funding for political parties."- UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall
• Paul Nuttall, MEP for the North West and deputy leader, today said: "UKIP does not support interference by the European Commission in any aspect of funding for British political parties. UKIP supports the laws which are already in place in Britain which prohibit foreign funding of political parties."
"We do not want to establish a precedent for the European Commission to interfere in any way with the laws the British parliament makes on funding, and we are appalled to find that both the British Conservative and Labour MEPs voted in favour of establishing this precedent."
"The Commission must keep its nose out of British politics. What needs to be questioned instead is the vast funding the Commission makes to organisations in Britain such as the BBC, which between 2007 and 2013 received €30.2m (approximately £22m) from the Commission, and the funding given by the Commission to such pro-EU groups such as the CBI."
Nigel Farage says: "Cowardly EU is running scared of millions of people who oppose the global corporatism of TTIP"
As the European Parliament cancels both the debate and vote on TTIP, UKIP trade spokesman William Dartmouth, says: "British Conservatives clubbed together with EU establishment to stop debate on TTIP."
•Today Nigel Farage, MEP and leader of UKIP, said: "In my 17 years as an MEP I've never received so much communication from the public on a proposed piece of legislation. The TTIP has concerned millions of people across the European Union. They have bombarded their MEPs with phone calls, letters and emails and in response to this the EU is now running scared."
"They've got the wind up, particularly the left, who have been supporting TTIP from the start and finally have been exposed as backing large scale global corporatism."
"The parliament suspended today not just the vote, but equally the debate on this issue which I think was cowardly in the extreme. It is interesting to note that for the first time ever actions in the European Parliament are now being heavily debated in Washington, too. Perhaps we need a redefinition of what a free trade deal is."
William Dartmouth, UKIP MEP for the South West and Gibraltar and spokesman on trade, said: "Today the establishment, particularly the British Conservatives, clubbed together to stop the debate happening. The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a matter of huge public interest and even greater concern. It is utterly wrong for the parties in the European Parliament, led by the Conservatives, to supress debate. We need to have debate, we need to understand what is going on."
•UKIP is fighting in the European Parliament to stop the EU grabbing the power to shut down any company which defies its demands on reaching female quotas on non-executive boards.
Yesterday (08.06.2015) in Strasbourg UKIP MEP Louise Bours led an attack against this legislation. She said it would "demean women and insult the women who have made it to the top of their professions on merit."
Bours, MEP for the North West, was opposing a resolution in the European Parliament urging the European Council to pass legislation on balanced representation of men and women on company boards.
Among other things, the legislation would allow sanctions such as the dissolution of a company if the non-executive board does not reach an arbitrary quota target imposed by the EU.
“The stance of British sugar refiner Tate and Lyle shows that the EU regime of external tariffs and internal regulations is destroying British jobs and industry.
“The sugar cane importing company is lumbered by prohibitive tariffs for the importation of sugar cane from outside the EU. This pushes up the price of sugar for the consumer and makes the manufacture of cane sugar uncompetitive.
“It is the EU’s tariff and hyper-regulation regime which is strangling cane sugar refining in the UK.
“Tate and Lyle is currently prevented, by the EU commission, from importing its raw materials in the quantities it needs. That is one of the reasons it has had to close 5 out of 6 production plants and lay off workers. The EU is clearly tying the hands of the sugar cane refining industry behind its back.