The European Commission is taking a huff and suggesting Iceland must jump through numerous hoops before it can wriggle free... Choosing between the EU and EU exit, the British electorate are getting a taste for Kippers."
- UKIP Fisheries spokeman Raymond Finch MEP
• The Government of Iceland has formally withdrawn its application for EU membership, a major contention being quotas imposed on mackerel fishing on which Iceland depends economically.
Officials in Iceland said they will set their own mackerel-fishing quotas after two nearby states negotiated an agreement with the European Union without including them.
"The Goverment of Iceland has no intentions to resume accession talks. Furthermore, any commitments made by the previous Government in the accession talks are superseded by the present policy," the formal letters to the Commission and the Presidency of the EU Council said.
The Icelandic government submitted these letters on Thursday, but a communication from the Commission's press officer for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement said that Iceland will not be taken off the candidate countries' list, citing 'certian rules that have to be followed.'
In response, UKIP Fisheries spokesman, MEP Ray Finch said:
"The new Icelandic government had a choice between the EU and a heap load of mackerel, and they chose the mackerel. I love their great choice. It demonstrates two things - that countries can work in the economic interests of their citizens and that EU expansion in no longer inevitable.
"I think as a nation, we should celebrate how far we’ve come. We should stop beating ourselves up on the issue of racism – regardless of whether other politicians want to keep beating our country up over it or not."
- UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP
in the Daily Express.
• There's a little bit more about yesterday’s [12.03.2015] media circus surrounding my comments on British jobs and discrimination than meets the eye.
Politics can be a funny old business. I got up on Thursday morning, put the kettle on, made a cup of tea, lit a cigarette, and listened to the 6am news.
My mind was full with the day ahead, and little did I expect the shock that I got with the second news item: “Ukip leader Nigel Farage wishes to abolished all race relations laws in Britain”. I nearly spat my tea out.
I never said that. What on earth were they talking about?
It emerged that the top news line had come from an interview that I’d done with Trevor Phillips as part of a Channel 4 documentary which had been recorded back in September.
To be honest, I’d forgotten I’d even done it. The phone started ringing. Newspapers. TV companies. My press office. And I agreed to get to London and start doing some interviews.
I made the point that I clearly remembered saying in the interviews that I thought the law on employment needed changing.
I believe that employers and especially our millions of small businessmen and women should be able to employ British people in preference to Southern or Eastern Europeans, without fear of breaking the race relations laws.
"Agenda 21 is a key part of the UN’s global governance pretensions, and it seeks to drive policies which generally speaking are pretty unpalatable to our party."
By Roger Helmer MEP
, Head of UKIP Delegation in the European Parliament
• Wikipedia defines the UN's Agenda 21 as “An action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development”. Of course we immediately recognise the phrase “sustainable development” as weasel words, a catch-all term incorporating a host of modish obsessions.
Much of the activity described as “sustainable” is clearly unsustainable – for example, the EU/UK energy policy which is doing such huge economic damage across the continent. A better phrase for the UN’s Agenda 21 might be “An action plan with regard to climate alarmism and carbon dioxide paranoia” – though it covers a wide range of other fashionable leftist issues as well.
The odd thing is that most people have simply not heard of Agenda 21 – although local authorities across the country, and government institutions across the world, at national and local level, have signed up to it. There’s even a cultural dimension. Clearly then, Agenda 21 is a key part of the UN’s global governance pretensions, and it seeks to drive policies which generally speaking are pretty unpalatable to our party.
"But over the long-run, EU membership has been prohibitively expensive and disastrous for many of our industries - from fishing to coal mining. Britain would be better off out." - Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP MEP and Economics Spokesman
• A new report by the Institute of Economic Affairs shows that the ability to trade with Europe does not rely on membership of the EU.
Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP MEP and Economics Spokesman, said: "This excellent and very measured report from the Institute of Economic Affairs gives the lie to ridiculous claims peddled by all three other parties that leaving the EU would cause a jobs meltdown."
"As the author notes, there may very well be net job creation in the wake of a British exit.
"What is quite clear is that the ability to trade does not rely on membership of a political union, but the ability to be an independent democracy relies on not being absorbed into a political union.
A propaganda move by the EU to try to make people believe that eurocrats can regulate costs out of existence
UKIP press release
• UKIP says cap on credit card fees is an EU propaganda gesture that will drive up bank charges. Experience of similar caps in Australia, Spain and America shows credit card companies and banks just shift the fees to other consumer charges.
Steven Woolfe, UKIP MEP for the North West and spokesman on finance, called today's vote in the European Parliament "a propaganda move by the EU to try to make people believe that eurocrats can regulate costs out of existence."
The vote will allow the European Commission to impose a limit on fees paid by retailers to banks when customers make payments by credit and debit cards.
But Woolfe said: "All this cap will do is ensure the banks and credit card companies move the fees somewhere else. Someone always pays and that someone is always the individual consumer.
"The EU wants consumers to believe a command from Brussels can force businesses to provide something for nothing. It can't. Bottom line is the consumer always pays."
How it took five months for the European Commission to answer one question from Ray Finch MEP on how the taxpayer-funded "golden good-byes" to European Commissioners are calculated
by Dirk Crols, Assistant to Ray Finch (pictured), MEP for the South East
• On 30 September 2014, UKIP MEP Ray Finch submitted a question to the Commission: "Can the Commission provide details of the transitional allowance granted to each of the Commissioners whose period of service ends in 2014?"
It was a straight-forward question - marked as "priority" - from an elected official to an unelected bureaucracy. It concerned how the unelected bureaucrats were spending taxpayers' money on "golden good-byes" for their colleagues among the Commission's elite.
But it was not until almost five months later, on February 17, 2015, that the bureaucrats finally replied to Ray. The arrogance of their answer was even more extraordinary than the disrespect shown in their delay: "For detailed information on the transitional allowances Commissioners are entitled to when leaving the office, the Commissioner refers the Honourable Member to Regulation N° 422/67/EEC, 5/67/Euratom of 25 July 1967 determining the emoluments of the President and Members of the Commission and of the President, Judges, Advocates-General and Registrar of the Court of Justice".
In other words, "Run along. However many thousands of euros the handful of Commissioners are being paid, the amounts are not worth mentioning to you."
"Even more concerning would be the prospect of British troops, under European command operating in the Eastern Ukraine.” - UKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP
• Mike Hookem, UKIP’s Defence Spokesman, today condemned Jean Claude Junker’s calls for a European Union Army saying the plans would be an “utter disaster for the UK.”
Mr Hookem, who sits on the Defence Committee in the European Parliament, said, “UKIP have been ridiculed for years and branded scaremongers for suggesting that the UK’s traditional parties were slowly relinquishing control of our defence and moving toward a European Army. However, yet again, UKIP’s predictions have been proved correct.”
“A European Army would be a tragedy for the UK. We have all seen the utter mess the EU has made of the Eurozone economy, so how can we even think of trusting them with this island’s defence. This is simply a disaster in the making that would see Gibraltar returned to Spain, and the Falkland Islands left open to an unopposed invasion by Argentina. Even more concerning would be the prospect of British troops, under European command operating in the Eastern Ukraine.”
“As an island nation, with interests around the world, we must have our own armed forces that are equipped and trained to protect our people, our interests and our economy. This is why unlike the Lib-Lab-Con, who are complicit in the disastrous European experiment, UKIP will oppose the creation of a European Army.
To stop this UKIP wants to leave the EU, introduce a moratorium on low-skilled labour, support new technologies that determine migration flows, and apply an Australian-style points system to control skilled immigration
- UKIP Migration Spokesman Steven Woolfe MEP
• Official figures show 187,370 Romanians and Bulgarians were given National Insurance numbers over the course of 2014 after immigration rules were relaxed, up from 27,700 during the previous year.
This represented a 576 per cent increase in the numbers of migrants from the two most deprived countries in the European Union who registered to work or receive state benefits in the space of just 12 months.
Responding to this UKIP Migration spokesman Steven Woolfe said: "These figures are the result of the politically driven migration policies of the Labour and Conservative parties who are determined to follow a European integrationist agenda at all costs.
"The outcome is a UK labour market which is not fair to British workers, who experience wage compression caused by competition from workers from the poorest east European countries.
Energy union is an attempt by the European commission to take control of member state's energy supplies and regulatory powers, warns UKIP MEP David Coburn.
• The energy union is an attempt by the European commission to use tensions between Russia and the EU - caused by the EU's attempt to extend its empire to Russia's border - as an excuse to take control of the energy supplies and regulatory powers of member states.
The commission wants EU national governments to pool their energy resources, and to be placed in charge of that pool with controls over regulation and investment decisions as well as energy deals with countries outside the 28 member states
As the paper setting out plans for the energy union put it, “Today, the European Union has energy rules set at the European level, but in practice it has 28 national regulatory frameworks. This cannot continue.”
Of course it can continue, and the democratically-elected member state governments have shown every sign of wanting this system to continue.
Writing exclusively for the Telegraph, UKIP leader Nigel Farage explains exactly what he would do to cut immigration and reform Britain's borders
• A few days ago, a poll revealed that the British public think Ukip’s immigration policies are the most appropriate for Britain – in fact more people backed Ukip’s position than every other party combined. I’m not surprised. I’ve known for some time that an ethical, sustainable, Australian-style points system is the best way to control immigration. The only ones not yet convinced of this are the political classes.
David Cameron wrote in a “contract” with the British public in 2010, “If we don’t deliver – kick us out.” One of the promises was the plan to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands”. Well, migration to the UK has not just increased, but stands at nearly 300,000 people per year – up from 196,000 under Labour’s government in 2009. You can’t trust Labour, and you can’t trust the Tories on immigration.
People want to know more about Ukip’s policies. The issue of mass migration is one of the most important to British people, and as we aspire to hold the balance of power after the election, we have an obligation to set out our stall.
EU law states that organisations that received EU funding must display an EU logo
Given that the BBC has received £22 million from the EU, UKIP asks where is the BBC’s EU logo displayed on the programmes that it makes? - UKIP MEP and financial affairs spokesman Steven Woolfe
• There is a pro EU mockumentary on the BBC tonight entitled “The Great European Disaster Movie”.
The mockumentary producer Bill Emmott confirmed on twitter last night that the production company had received EU funding for the film's dubbing and distribution across Europe.
The BBC has received 22 million pounds from the EU in the last 7 years though this does not appear in their public accounts. It does however appear on the Financial Transparency website of the European Commission.
Those who have seen the mockumentary have noted that it is very pro-EU in content and tone.
Responding to these facts, UKIP MEP and Financial Affairs spokes Steven Woolfe said tonight:
"BBC bias in favour of the EU 'project' has been obvious for years. However, figures on the Financial Transparency website of the European Commission now indicate just how deeply the BBC benefits from the goodwill of the EU elite. Between 2007 and 2013 the BBC was paid more than £22m by the European Union.
"These funds are not identified as EU money in the BBC's annual report."
• In a barn-storming speech in the European Parliament Plenary session today in the presence of European Council President Tusk and Commission president Juncker, UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall called for the Greek people to stand up and struggle for their birth right – democracy.
Paul Nuttall criticised the treatment of the Greek people and urged them to stand firm in the face of the undemocratic force of the EU, thus ensuring their society will once again prosper and that democracy will prevail.
"To the Greek Parliament I ask, will the 300 stand firm? To the people of Greece I say, be courageous and protect your birth right. You are the creators of democracy and now you must save it. Invoke the courage and spirit of your ancient forefathers. Do not buckle, do not falter and do not give in." Nuttall said.
• UKIP Defence Spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP has today expressed deep concern over a parliamentary report calling for the UK to play a “greater role” in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria as, “a step towards UK involvement in another Middle Eastern war”.
Mike said, “I fully understand that ISIS must be tackled urgently, however, under no circumstances should the UK be blindly drawn into another ground war in Iraq or into the civil war in Syria.
“While I agree that more training and support could be given to the Peshmerga and the Iraqi security forces in tackling ISIS, I am deeply concerned that 'mission creep' is a real possibility and that what starts out as a training mission could very quickly escalate into frontline military operations. ISIS is an Islamic problem that must be dealt with by Muslims. Further direct Western involvement in the Middle East will only exacerbate the situation both at home and abroad.
We’re in a game of who blinks first. If Mr Tsipras holds firm then I think it likely that Greece will be asked to leave the euro before the end of this year, writes UKIP Leader Nigel Farage in the Daily Express.
• SO the great game of poker between Greece and Germany begins, while the IMF, European Central Bank, and other European institutions watch on nervously. The question is, will Greece fight back?
I first noted in a speech in 2008 that Greek interest rates were diverging wildly from German interest rates - and that things we about to go wrong in the Mediterranean [see video medley, Trapped Inside an Economic Prison].
The architects of the euro thought fiscal and political union would follow an economic and monetary union as night follows day.
The suffering of the Greeks at the hands of the eurozone project has been incredible - including having a prime minister removed for daring to suggest a referendum, and on top of that, a 25 per cent decline in the economy with youth unemployment rates consistently over 50 per cent.
Allied to this has been a genuine growth in poverty, suicides, and large sections of Greek society remain desperately troubled and deeply unhappy.
The economist Milton Friedman once said of currencies that were trapped inside the wrong economic union: either you devalue the currency or you devalue the country.
By Roger Helmer MEP, UKIP Spokeman for Energy
• Some time ago I was able to address a question on energy prices to Miguel Arias Cañete, described as “Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy”. His only response was to suggest the completion of a single EU energy market, which I described as “fiddling at the margin”.
On Monday January 26th, I attended a meeting of the ITRE Committee in Brussels, and had an opportunity to question Maros Sefcovic, a Commissioner and a Vice President (no less) of the Commission. I put essentially the same question to him, but with a summary of the huge damage which energy prices are doing to European competitiveness, driving jobs and investment out of Europe altogether.
Sefcovic at first did not reply (he’d had questions from each of the political groups), but the Chairman, the excellent Jerzy Buzek reminded him to do so.
As a more senior Commissioner, he made a better hand of the answer than Cañete – but still failed to reach the nub of the problem. He offered four ideas:
The “Market Stability Reserve” (MSR) was deliberately designed to raise the cost of energy still further. Incredibly, the advice from the British Government to UK MEPs was to support both the MSR and an earlier date of implementation, writes UKIP Energy Spokesman Roger Helmer MEP.
• Just a couple of days ago I wrote about the disaster of European energy policy, which is creating “an Industrial Massacre in Europe” (former Commissioner Antonio Tajani). It is driving jobs and investment and industry — and emissions — out of Europe altogether. Often they go to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards, so we may also be increasing global emissions as we undermine EU competitiveness.
In steel, and aluminium, and petroleum refining, and glass, and chemicals, and cement, plants are closing and hundreds of thousands — maybe millions — of jobs are being lost across Europe. And this is the result not of bad luck, or an act of fate, but as a direct consequence of deliberate policy decisions which have forced up the price of energy.