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Strasbourg Commentary: Plenary Session May 912, 2011
Date 16/05/2011 15:06  Author webmaster  Hits 2425  Language Global
By Derek Clark MEP
Tuesday was dominated by the voting session, 39 votes on Discharges. That is, to approve these expenditures, totalling billions of Euros. Theoretically, that could also mean rejection, if the vote went that way, but none did. Surprised? Well, we did get the ever present issue of a wrong call by the president on a show of hands. On the discharge of the general commission budget a show of hands was called as “no”. Upon the many cries of “check” an electronic check was made, result,- Approved 534, against 91.

That was our fault, apparently, not raising our hands clearly. The worrying aspect is, how many show-of-hands-votes are wrongly called with no outcry to check it? If that happens then aspects of a piece of legislation are either not included when they should be, or included when they should not be.

Wednesday. You would not believe. No less than 5 different reports on forestry tractors; narrow wheeled ones, braking systems, the door position... And these followed a report on the sound level of motor vehicle exhaust systems. These were all proposed by Sajjad Karim, Tory MEP North West.

But the sting was in the tail today with a vote on the “EU as a Global actor and its role in multilateral organisations.” That included an amendment on the EU seeking its own seat on the UN Security Council, which follows ten years of denial by the EU that it wanted anything of the sort. Well, its in now, for that passed by 487- 83 votes. So what happens now? Will the UN extend the Security Council to 6 seats, or will they amalgamate the French and British seats and call that the EU seat?

That followed the earlier report on, “The EU common security and defence policy”, with an amendment on whether British nuclear weapons should be brought into this “common policy”. We voted to keep our nuclear weapons out, but lost, so...

I don’t think you need too much imagination to put the two previous paragraphs together and consider the consequences.

The British Lib-Dems voted for this treachery.  Responding to this, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said:

"Lib Dem support for the EU taking an UN Security Council seat is a gross betrayal of Britain's influence on the global stage.  Britain was given this seat as a recognition of its influence on the world and its immense sacrifices during WWII.  For years I was laughed at when I suggested that the EU wanted to take a UN Security Council seat, either as an addition member or taking the seats of France and the UK together.  The Lib Dems have become so wrapped up in creating a greater EU, that they are now willing to compromise British influence. This is a disgraceful act which will in the long-term only weaken British foreign policy."

Thursday. Among the fewer votes today were two on fisheries. The first was to help EU fishing fleets to cope with rising fuel prices, not to abolish discards or anything so useful. The second was a Partnership agreement to grant Mauritania 305 million Euros over 4 years, giving EU fleets rights to fish their waters. That will lead to local deprivation, as usual. Your money will disappear into Government coffers, or get siphoned off by the crooks. Meanwhile, EU fleets will rape the waters, leaving the locals destitute because their traditional vessels cannot compete with modern, powered, EU trawlers. That will virtually exhaust these fisheries over a few years, taking several more years to recover. And the EU says it helps the third world!

I must conclude with two UKIP comments.

1) You will have heard that Marta Andreason has called for Nigel to be replaced as leader on account of the alleged poor showing in the local elections. I reject that completely and I continue to support Nigel as leader. In fact, data now being released shows that Marta is completely wrong. The party web site
will give full details but for now my comment is that, while we did not gain many council seats, the results from across the country show a significant rise in our total vote, from 208,180 in 2007 to 323,065 this time. Scotland and Wales also show increased vote totals in their regional assembly elections, while Henry Reilly in Northern Ireland almost doubled his vote. I will continue to work with Marta.

2) You may have picked up a press mention of Mike Nattrass in which he says that we should boycott the European Parliament. He continues to attend. As one of the three who have left the EFD group his name appears with the others sponsoring a petition in last Saturday's Mail calling for a referendum on our EU membership. Since there are several other identical petitions available one has to wonder why they promoted their own, except that the other petitions do not mention any MEP by name.

Derek Clark MEP