• UKIP MEP Patrick O’Flynn has accused the BBC Six O’Clock News of broadcasting an “extraordinarily biased” item about what would happen to food prices outside the EU and demanded the programme acknowledges its error.
Mr O’Flynn spoke out after discovering that a supposed impartial “expert” featured in the item is actually an EU-funded Jean Monnet professor – a fact kept from viewers.
“This was not just bad broadcasting, it was biased broadcasting. The whole item was fundamentally unbalanced. For a start the reporter, Emma Simpson, failed to explain the basic fact that the nature of the EU as a customs union means that food prices within it are higher than prevailing world prices.
“Even worse, Professor Catherine Barnard was then presented as an impartial expert from Cambridge University when in fact she is a Jean Monnet Chair of EU law and as such has a strong vested interest in a remain vote.
“She went through negative or neutral scenarios for consumers before Ms Simpson briefly raised the prospect with her of being able to cut tariffs on non-EU food imports. But they immediately agreed that to do this would be “tricky”.
The EU has so much power over the UK that we can't even decide how much to tax women's sanitary items.
• The European Parliament today voted against calls for a reduced rate of VAT on tampons during the vote on the FEMM report,"Poverty: a gender perspective".
This came in a separate vote on Paragraph 39 (scroll down) which was rejected by a show of hands.
UKIP MEP Louise Bours said after the vote in Brussels:
"The Commission promised urgent action to allow reductions on VAT for things like tampons, but yet they have not included it in the latest VAT reform proposals and have kicked it in to the long grass by saying they will come up with something later this year.
"And now the EU parliament has voted against calls for reduced VAT on tampons, which shows this is very unlikely to happen anytime soon.
• Responding to the European Commission's postponement of the EU budget proposal until the 27th June, just after the Brexit referendum, UKIP member of the European Parliament's Budget Control Committee, Jonathan Arnott said:
"EU membership costs the UK a huge bag of cash each day, but the European Commission wants to keep the British public in the dark about exactly how much this will increase.
"The Commission is dishonestly withholding vital information from British taxpayers who deserve a fully-informed discussion about how much the EU is costing us.
"We currently know the EU is also holding back a wall of legislation until after the Brexit vote, but this latest move should alarm everyone who wants to make a democratic decision based on the factual cost of EU membership."
• Responding to the European Commission move towards giving 75 million Turkish citizens visa-free travel to Europe, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said:
“This is a huge error of judgement by the European Commission.
“Turkey moves a step closer to EU membership and the British electorate move a large step closer to Brexit.
“The chaos from the beaches of Greece has evidently moved to the corridors of Brussels. The EU has rolled over to the blackmail from President Erdogan.
“Turkey is a country with a terrible human rights record, accused of helping ISIS and mistreating minorities.
“It is too big, too poor and too different from us and I certainly do not want the UK to be in a political union with Turkey.
“Evidently Turkish accession to the EU is drawing closer, and the only way for Britain to avoid the consequences of Turkish accession is to vote to leave the EU."
UKIP defence spokesman blasts EU’s "ultimate plan" to bring “patchwork” of national European armies under combined EU command
• UKIP defence spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP has blasted EU plans revealed in the Financial Times to push ahead with the “ultimate plan” for an EU army saying, “to lose control of our army to the EU would be the end of sovereignty in the UK.”
Mr Hookem spoke out after the Financial Times published leaked documents that spelled out how the EU commission planned “further integration” of Europe’s armed forces to bring the “patchwork of army’s in Europe” under one command, which has been drawn up at Germany’s insistence.
Speaking from Brussels, MEP Mike Hookem said:
“When you look at the command structures, logistics and forces already under EU command, it comes as no shock the EU commission has bowed to German demands for a combined EU army.
“While we have had the EU High Command, and many other staff structures for many years, we have seen a determined push towards real assets coming directly under EU command since Jean-Claude Junker became president.
"Perhaps he could also explain why the BBC receives money from the EU but this is not recorded in their public accounts." - UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP
• Responding to Lord Patten, who said the BBC may be giving 'excessively deferential' treatment to the Brexit campaign, UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall MEP said:
“This is a bit rich, coming from a man on a fat European Commissioner pension and who wants to remain in the EU.
“The most senior BBC News editors have previously admitted that the BBC has been biased for years in favour of the EU and against discussion of immigration.
“Given that the BBC has just aired a four part laudatory documentary on President Obama, and the BBC’s former Brussels producer Lucy Thomas is currently deputy head of the Remain campaign, it is clear Lord Patten is heavy on rhetoric but very light on fact.
• Home Secretary Theresa May was today advocating the UK leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.
Responding UKIP Justice and Home Affairs Spokeswoman Diane James MEP said :
“Theresa May is pulling out this tattered rag of an argument to comfort disgruntled Tories without checking the facts.
“The facts are that by EU Treaty law we must be signatories of the European Convention of Human Rights and the UK is bound by its judgements. To say otherwise is misleading people or at best not to be aware of the legal truth.
“The Home Secretary is now drowning in a sea of fact. Yesterday she acknowledged that it is more difficult to control immigration while we are members of the EU.
“Today, she raises the issue of the ECHR, saying we must leave it, but fails to tell people we can only leave it if we first leave the European Union.
“There is no escape from EU control of our human rights legislation, or from domination of our law by the ECHR, as long as we remain members of the EU.
• A VoteWatch Europe special report, Would Brexit matter? The UK’s Voting Record in the Council and European Parliament, out today, shows that the UK is the most outvoted Member State in the EU Council, while British MEPs are the least likely to be on the 'winning side' when it comes to votes in the European Parliament.
UKIP’s Trade spokesman and Deputy Chairman William Dartmouth MEP said:
“This report demonstrates that Britain in the EU really is like a square peg in a round hole. We are by a country mile the most outvoted state at the European Council and in the European Parliament.
“In the EU, the British government has consistently failed to protect our national interests. We are better off outside the EU when we can take back more control of the laws which affect our businesses and lives.
“The UK has one Commissioner out of 28. That fact and the consistent losses at the European Council shows the UK has no meaningful influence in the EU.”
• UKIP Leader Nigel Farage and the French Prime Minister met for a meeting in the European Parliament today to discuss security at the European Parliament today. In the meeting the French PM, Manuel Valls, confirmed that relations will remain close between the UK and France in intelligence and security in the event of a Leave vote in the upcoming EU.
Commenting on the meeting Nigel Farage said, "At a meeting this lunchtime with the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls he made clear and I quote "I believe in the European project". He called for the EU to have more "resources" by which he meant more power for the EU to deal with defence, security and the Eurozone.
"When I asked him about France's relationship with the UK in the event of Brexit, he replied that whilst he wanted the UK to stay in the EU he would respect the result and clearly said 'relations will remain close between the UK and France in intelligence and security in the event of the British people voting to Leave.'
• Coming to a head in June is a European Court of Justice case which could cost the UK taxpayer up to a total of £50 billion.
Multinational corporations with EU subsidiaries have already been paid back £7.78 billion.
UKIP Finance spokesman Steven Woolfe MEP said: “The ECJ is making a full frontal attack on UK tax sovereignty and a lunge for the pockets of British taxpayers. It’s outrageous that an EU court can overturn a settled decision made by our parliament.
“OBR figures for 2016 show that the UK made a contribution post-rebate of £15.3 billion. These latest paybacks enforced by the ECJ on British tax authorities should be added to the UK contribution figures so voters have a true idea of how much EU membership is costing us each year.
“Only by leaving the EU can we take back control of our tax system and our national finances.”
EU tax judgments could cost Britain £50bn
UK-EU economic relations - Briefing paper from the House of Commons - 19th January 2016 (PDF)
• UKIP Leader Nigel Farage responding to the new pro-EU campaign leaflet said: "Why is the government spending £10 million of our money telling us what we should think and what we should do?
"This is very much like what happened in 1975, legally it is questionable and morally it is wrong. It was wrong in 1975 and it is wrong now.
"This government scam confirms my view that this referendum will be defined by the battle of the people versus the political class.
"Furthermore, the document is jammed full of lies and inaccuracies including the claim that we currently control our borders. We don't. It is outrageous to suggest otherwise."
See also: Cameron's Referendum flyer opposed by Election Commission
“Obama is so fond of the EU’s political union I wonder what the chances are of him agreeing to let a Supreme Court in Mexico have final say over US laws, and the American people agreeing to a free movement deal with Mexico, and them having a common army with Colombia. That is what an EU equivalent in the Americas would be.” - UKIP MEP Louise Bours
• “The BBC has shown outlandish pro-EU bias by accepting to air a sycophantic documentary of President Obama grant-aided €300,000 by the European Commission, weeks before he visits London to spread a Remain message,” says UKIP MEP Louise Bours. The last part of the four piece documentary is broadcast Tuesday 5th April.
“By choosing to air such a ridiculously sycophantic and EU-funded documentary on President Obama, the BBC has shown its clear bias again on EU matters.”
MEP Bours, a member of the Culture Committee in the European Parliament said from Brussels today:
“Coming hot on the heels of EU funded BBC mockumentary ‘Great European Disaster Movie’, it is clear the BBC has no shame, but at least this time, they displayed the EU logo in the credits.
“Speaking personally I find that many fine BBC journalists work in an honest and balanced fashion. I regret to note that the BBC Bureau in Brussels however rarely asks UKIP MEPs for comment while Pro-EU pundits get frequently interviewed.
"How dare Mr Juncker use a crisis which the Commission helped to create, as an excuse for a new EU power grab." - UKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP
• Responding to Commission President Juncker’s call for an EU Security Union, UKIP Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP said, “Juncker must be literally mad if he thinks British people will sign up to a security union with the EU after it has shown itself dangerously incompetent on this issue.
Inexperienced bureaucrats at the European Commission are not better placed to deal with British security than British security services.
Schengen open borders have allowed ISIS to create a crisis in the centre of the European Union. What Britain needs to do is to stop the flow of the unknown, the illegal and the undesirable crossing the Channel from the Schengen area via Calais.
• Commenting on the terror attacks at Brussels Zaventem airport and the Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels, UKIP defence spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP said, “I’m appalled at the needless loss of life and injuries caused by these heartless attacks and my thoughts go out to all those affected.”
Speaking from the European Parliament building in Brussels, Mr Hookem said, “David Cameron says we are safer in the EU. Well, I’m in the heart of the EU right now and it does not feel very safe.”
“The fact that terrorists can strike at the heart of the EU with apparent ease shows that they are perfectly placed to exploit the lax security situation created by Schengen agreement and the EU’s open door policies.”
“And despite the arrest of Salah Abdesalam at the weekend, these attacks should come as no surprise when you consider that the British head of Europol warned only last week that as many as 5,000 ISIS-trained jihadists are wandering free in Europe.”
On Tampon tax: Outside the EU we could set our own VAT rules and act immediately rather than beg for EU concessions that could take years to implement – UKIP MEP Louise Bours
UKIP Press Release
• UKIP MEP Louise Bours said:
“Outside the EU we could set our own VAT rules and act immediately rather than beg for EU concessions that could take years to implement. David Cameron having to plead for change just shows how weak and dependent he is on the EU. Let’s vote to get out in June and control our own affairs.
“Under the current EU VAT rules (VAT directive) it is impossible to reduce an item to zero rate. No matter what was agreed in principle at the EU Council- that is the current EU law. These proposed changes on VAT rules will have to be proposed by the Commission, voted on by the European Parliament and agreed on by the Council. It could potentially take years.
“If we were outside the EU we could have decided to scrap the tampon tax years ago, instead we will now have to wait for the EU bureaucracy and legislative process to take its course, which could take years. It is completely outrageous the undemocratic EU gets to decide and set our tax rates in such a way.”
UKIP Press Release
• Today in the European Parliament UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP accused the EU of allowing itself to be blackmailed by Turkey over the migrant crisis and asserted that the safest option for the British people is to vote Leave before Turkey can join the European Union. He was debating the upcoming European Council meeting on March 17th-18th.
Nigel Farage said: "The historic error made by Chancellor Merkel last year by saying all can come has led directly to this mess and now we are being blackmailed by Turkey. I wish that David Cameron was as good at negotiations as the Turks are."
"So we are going to go into political union with a country that has got borders with Iraq, Iran and Syria, a country that is poorer than anybody else in the European Union and give free movement to 75 million people. And join up with a government that is increasingly islamist and authoritarian."
"Well this referendum in Britain is all about what is the safest option. It is pretty clear to me that a vote to remain is a vote for Turkey, a vote to remain is a vote for massively increased immigration into Britain and a vote to remain is a vote that makes Britain more vulnerable to terrorism. It is safer to vote to leave and take back control of our borders."
"So long as the UK is an EU member, British consumers cannot purchase goods at world prices."
- UKIP Trade spokesman William Dartmouth MEP
UKIP Press Release
• In response to the Government paper on Brexit, UKIP Trade spokesman William Dartmouth MEP said:
"A Cabinet Office report has examined several arrangements for trading outside the EU and claims that these alternatives would lead to higher tariffs than those faced by the UK as an EU member - and that such tariffs could be passed on to British consumers as higher prices.
"But the facts are the opposite of what this report suggests. On joining the then European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, the UK had to cancel pre-existing trade agreements that it enjoyed with the countries of the Commonwealth - which allowed the UK to enjoy low food prices. Their cancellation via EU membership forced the UK to apply the EU's Common External Tariff - and as a result, drastically raised UK food prices. Over the period 1973-2004, the price of flour in the UK rose 360%; sugar 650%; and butter 660%.
"So long as the UK is an EU member, British consumers cannot purchase goods at world prices. On BREXIT, as Professor Sir Patrick Minford has demonstrated in a simulation, there would be an almost immediate 8% reduction in the UK cost of living. This fact demolishes the Cabinet Office report's argument, which is probably why the report neglects to mention it.
...is how leaving the EU would bring a plague of locusts upon us
by UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP (Breitbart)
• As the EU referendum campaign heads into week two I can scarcely believe my eyes and my ears.
The government, from the Prime Minister down, are using the kind of Project Fear tactics that I might have expected to see them using in the last fortnight.
I can only suppose that the Prime Minister was deeply shocked by Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and as many as 140 Tory MPs backing the Leave side.
He has clearly decided to try and kill off the Leave campaign by firing off the whole magazine of rounds at once.
Yesterday we heard that it might take up to ten years to sort out new trading arrangements. Perhaps this kind of hopeless scaremongering will extend to a hundred years by the time June 23rd comes along.
Quite why the Prime Minister thinks we’re so incapable to negotiate our own trade deals, that we couldn’t even do as well as Iceland, is beyond me.