UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe says European Parliament has ignored Luxembourg multi-billion tax scandal to protect Juncker
• The Motion of Censure against the Juncker Commission was today defeated in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. 101 MEPs voted in favour, 461 against, while 88 abstained.
UKIP voted in favour of the motion, the Labour Party voted AGAINST, while Conservative MEPs abstained.
Steven Woolfe, UKIP MEP for the North West, said that "the European Parliament has voted to protect the scandal-soaked Commission president rather than to protect their own people whose national tax revenues have been bled by Juncker's big business tax avoidance schemes.
"During the debate, those of us who backed this motion of censure warned that the credibility of the new president of the commission has been ruined by the disclosures that he had permitted 240 of the biggest multinationals in the world to enter into aggressive corporate tax avoidance in the Grand Duchy while he was prime minister.
"It is disgraceful that the Labour Party supported Juncker's sweetheart deals for multinational corporations; and impaled on the EU fence, the Tories abstained - will this office-hungry party stand up for anything?
“UKIP promised at the beginning of this mandate to be ‘EU rebels with a cause’, to hold the Commission to account and this censure motion shows that we mean business." - UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe
• A motion of censure of the European Commission has today been submitted to the President of the European Parliament, in a move spearheaded by members of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) and other MEPs. The signatures of the required 76 members of the European Parliament were handed in to the office of President Schulz today. Forty-four signatures from the EFDD Group and 32 from non-attached members.
5-Star Movement MEP Marco Zanni said, “The LuxLeaks scandal shows that Commission President Juncker in his political life has always acted to enrich his country behind its European partners, in defiance of the Union and the Community spirit he hopes to represent.
“For this reason, the 5-Star Movement Europe decided to use one of the strongest powers of democratic control at the disposal of Parliament - the motion of censure - to demand the resignation of the Commission.”
"President Klaus made a keynote speech, and one of his points struck me very forcibly. Quoting Von Mises, he argued that communism, and centrally-planned economies in general, are incapable of delivering economic efficiency, for a very simple reason..."
by Roger Helmer MEP
• Last Wednesday in Brussels our EFDD group hosted not one but two political celebrities, in committee room 1E2.
At 11:00 a.m. we had the leader of the Italian Five Star Movement (the second largest delegation in our group). Beppe Grillo, former comedian, celebrity, and now leader of the insurgent 5 Star party, gave an impassioned speech. The main take-away message was simple: he wants Italy to have a referendum on membership of the €uro Currency Union, which has done such huge damage to Italy’s economy, and created record unemployment rates.
Of course there are many issues where UKIP and the Five Star Movement don’t see eye-to-eye, and we occasionally get questions about that. But the answer is simple: we both believe in democracy, and the democratic right of our respective countries to forge their own destinies. We agree that our freedom to choose should not be over-ridden by unaccountable foreign institutions in Brussels. And when we agree about something as fundamental as that, we can live and let live on other issues — and I hope, learn from each other.
Then at 1:30, we welcomed one of my political heroes, former Czech President Vaclav Klaus, the only EU Head of State who has been consistently sound on both the EU and climate issues. I had the privilege of chairing the session, and of introducing him. Alongside us on the panel were Nigel Farage; Czech MEP Petr Mach; Slovak MEP and economist Richard Sulik; and academic economist Professor Philipp Bagus, author of “The Tragedy of the Euro”.
LIVE stream: Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 12.30 - 2.00 pm, UK time
Europe 25 years after the fall of the iron curtain
Please excuse video quality - we relied on the Parliament's audiovisual services instead of having it filmed by our Group.
• EFDD group conference: Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 12.30-2.00 pm (UK time), European Parliament, Brussels.
Guest speakers include the former president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav KLAUS, Slovak MEP Richard SULÍK, and economics professor and author, Philipp BAGUS.
The event is hosted by EFDD group co-president Nigel FARAGE MEP and Czech MEP Petr MACH.
The conference will be moderated by UKIP MEP Roger HELMER.
CLICK ON POSTER TO ENLARGE
The event is being live-streamed via Youtube from 12.30 pm to 2 pm, UK time (13:30-15:00 ECT)
UPDATE: Transcript of Vaclav Klaus' speech...
"The EU's budget will always be mismanaged; the system and procedures are so complex that they are open to large-scale abuse and fraud. Far better, surely, not to send money to Brussels in the first place... European government does not work, will not work and can never work."
by Jonathan Arnott MEP
• For the 19th year in a row, the EU's Court of Auditors has refused to give a clean bill of health to the EU's accounts for the year ending 31st December 2013. The EU's Court of Auditors registered an 'adverse opinion' about the legality and regularity of EU payments, blasting them as being "materially affected by error" - with almost €7 billion being paid out improperly.
With multinationals claiming small business relief, farms claiming buildings as grazing land and officials pocketing 5 times the going rate for their jobs, I wonder whether people realise just how bad the situation is in terms of mismanagement of the EU's funds - at a time when Britain is being asked to hand over an additional €2.1 billion to the European Union within weeks?
The official error rate is 4.7% for 2013 (with rural development and regional policy completely out of control at almost 7%), roughly holding steady after a huge increase the previous year. In actual fact, errors are higher - around 6.3% of the budget - but 1.6% had been rectified. At today's Budgetary Control Committee meeting in the European Parliament, I was handed a copy of a monster 319-page report. It was the Court of Auditors' annual report [pdf] on the financial year 2013.
So far I've picked out just a few of the most shocking pieces of information from that document. Bear in mind that these (and 14 further cases of fraud) have been found in a small sample of all EU projects:
This was the man who gave a 'cast iron guarantee' that he would give the people a say on the Lisbon Treaty if he were made Prime Minister. That promise was never fulfilled, writes UKIP Leader Nigel Farage in the Daily Express.
• Mr Cameron must really feel like everything is stacking up against him.
First there was the furore over a 'surprise' £1.7bn payment demanded by the European Union. Despite the Prime Minister fixing the audience with a determined stare and clenching his fists while proclaiming he would not be paying the sum on December 1st, the mood among the commentariat was that whatever the outcome, it was an open goal for UKIP.
Even if he tries to show grit by refusing to pay, the result would be mounting interest on an already outrageous sum of money, resulting potentially in an even bigger tab at the end of all the theatrics. Of course, if he does climb down and coughs up, this will also look like a failure. Perhaps he should have simply paid the fee, then used it as a weapon to attack the EU while trying to reassure voters that he can and will talk tough in Brussels. The problem, of course, with the latter option, is that he has already he has let down the British public time and again on the great EU problem.
This was the man who gave a 'cast iron guarantee' that he would give the people a say on the Lisbon Treaty if he were made Prime Minister. That promise was never fulfilled.
UKIP MEP Gerard Batten warns that tomorrow the Cameron government will oversee the silent surrender of another 44 UK powers to Brussels' control
• The European Union is very much in the news lately. The big issues are of course continued out-of-control immigration, and the EU’s demands for another £1.7 billion.
David Cameron is in panic mode as he promises of ‘curbs on migration’ and the ‘renegotiation of our relationship with the EU’ and a ‘return of powers’. All of this is complete pie-in-the-sky, which he cannot deliver, and about which he is not sincere in any case.
What is going unnoticed meanshile is that on 1st Novermber 2014 there will be another masssive transfer of powers to the European Union. Under the Lisbon Treaty it was agreed that numerous areas of policy will now be decided by a system of Qualified Majority Voting and Britain will lose its power to stop new laws in the European Council (Heads of Government).
"This latest in a long line of broken promises comes as no surprise, but it is infuriating how the Conservative Party can string the British public along and constantly make claims over holding an EU Referendum when it was clear from day one that it would never happen." - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP.
• David Cameron's European Referendum Bill has failed following the lack of support from the Conservative Party's coalition partners the Liberal Democrats. Even if the Bill had somehow managed to make it past a second reading, it was likely to fail in the House of Lords due to the Labour Party's refusal to support an EU referendum, and even then, it is well recognised that a parliament cannot bind its successor and therefore the entire move was fatuous.
Having made this point for months if not years, UKIP now points to the string of broken promises by the Conservative Party, and the abject failure of the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party to reflect the will of the British people.
It has of course not been a great few weeks for David Cameron:
1. Britain still owes the EU a whopping £1.7bn, and Mr Cameron's support in Europe over the matter is faltering, with Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt now refusing to back him;
2. The Tory Party is still at disarray internally over the European Arrest Warrant;
3. The Tory Minister Nick Boles has admitted that nothing at all can be done about mass migration from the EU as long as we are part of the political union;
4. The Liberal Democrats have put the boot into their coalition partners and killed the EU Referendum Bill.
What this amounts to is a deliberate policy of punishing success (the UK), and rewarding failure. Apparently France will receive nearly £800,000. But even in its own terms, this EU initiative isn’t working. It’s taking money from Greece, which is nearly bust, and giving it to Germany, which was doing relatively well until recently.
By Roger Helmer MEP
• It is an outrage that Brussels has ambushed the British Prime Minister with an unexpected demand for an extra £1.7 billion — based on their re-assessment of Britain’s economic growth. And David Cameron is not a man to trust on the issue. He should just say NO.
(You can’t trust the Tories in Brussels either. Last week on the vote to approve the new European Commission, they split three ways — for, against and abstain. Needless to say, UKIP MEPs all voted against).
In this country we don’t allow HMRC to come back retrospectively and change the rules, and demand money from previous years. We can’t accept Brussels doing that either.
While I may be accused of rather enjoying Barroso’s concealed gifts to UKIP, just look at it like the price of a trade-off that will hopefully result in putting the right people in Parliament to fight to protect your freedoms
- Ukip Leader Nigel Farage MEP (Express)
• It's not often I have a lot to thank the EU Commission President for, but Jose Manuel Barroso has been on a bit of a roll this week.
First of all he gave that amazingly insightful talk at Chatham House in which he rather took the sparkle out of the magic wand Cameron was planning on waving over EU migration by keenly reminding us that any change to free movement of people was impermissible.
And then his outgoing gift to UKIP was dropping a £1.7billion bombshell on the Prime Minister.
For the man that argued just four days ago that a British exit from the EU would be ‘an historic mistake’ he seems to be going a funny way about trying to encourage the British people that they should want to stay.
The UK Independence Party today slammed other political parties for voting in favour of yet more EU funding, as they approved the EU's budget for 2015.
VIDEO: The Fate of Amendment 547
• UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott, together with UKIP's colleagues in the Italian Five-Star Movement, tabled a string of amendments to the EU budget to cut the cost to taxpayers. Every single one of the 46 amendments was rejected: some were voted down, and some didn't even make it to a vote because the Parliament had already voted to increase the budget items UKIP wanted to cut.
Cuts to MEPs' salaries, offices and allowances, pensions and European Political Parties were all rejected - as were cuts to the EU's public opinion analysis, European schools, Special Representatives and payments for co-operation with Greenland.
UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott, who sits on the Budget Committee, said "The Labour Party in particular have shown their true colours by voting down every attempt to save money from the European Union's budget. They have shown they just don't care how much taxpayers' cash is wasted by the failed European Union project. In total almost a billion pounds would have been saved by the UKIP proposals. In total almost a billion pounds would have been saved by the UKIP proposals.
Farage denounces new European Commission as “the enemy of the very concept of democracy” and tells Juncker his new Commission is made up of “non-entities” most MEPs can’t even name. It will be the last European Commission to govern Britain,
says UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP.
UKIP Press Release
• As Jean-Claude Juncker introduced his new European Commissioners to the European Parliament today, UKIP leader Nigel Farage stood at his front row seat in the chamber and told him “this is a pretty much a bunch of non-entities.” He said “the one from Britain is so obscure, his name Lord Hill should be ‘Lord Who?’ Because you know the British public couldn’t pick the bloke out of a line-up.”
Farage told Juncker: “I don’t think that the European public or commentators understand what the European Commission really is. The Commission is the executive, it is the Government of Europe and it has the sole right to propose legislation. It does so in consultation with 3,000 secret committees staffed mainly by big business and big capital and all the legislation is proposed in secret.”
Nigel Farage thanks European Commission President Barroso for making it clear that David Cameron is wrong when he says we can restrict free movement and still remain members of the EU – Cameron “was deceiving the British people and you made it clear”
• Today Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP and co-president of the European of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) in the European Parliament, was back in his front row seat at the parliament after his eurosceptic EFDD group defeated attempts by the eurofanatic leadership of the parliament to disband them and take away their speaking rights.
The victory of the group meant that the German Socialist President of the Parliament, Martin Schulz, who last week was accused by Nigel Farage of “manipulative backroom politics of the worst kind,” was forced to introduce “EFDD Mr Farage” to address the parliament. Farage rose to reply to a speech by outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.
The UKIP leader thanked outgoing Commission President Barroso “for appearing on British television, thank you for confirming that the real fantasist isn’t you, it’s David Cameron, the British prime minister, who pretends that we can restrict free movement and remain members of the European Union.”
EFDD Group Press Release
: Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall anounces the re-grouping of EFDD
• Nigel Farage MEP, Co-President of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group in the European Parliament, along with Co-President David Borrelli MEP, announced that a single new Polish member, Robert Jarosław IWASZKIEWICZ has joined the group. His signature was submitted to the Parliament administration service today at 3pm.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage commented: "To paraphrase Mark Twain 'Rumours of our death have been greatly exaggerated.' The Eurosceptics are now back with a bang, indeed we have never been away.
"Last week we were done over by the Feds, [European Federalists] but today the EFDD Group is alive obviously having friends in the very highest places.
"In wireless terms, the radio signal was weak for a few days but normal transmission has now been resumed.
"European Parliament President Schulz's part in trying to shut us down last week was contemptible. It was manipulative backroom politics of the worst kind. But in his eagerness to silence the Eurosceptic voice he acted prematurely.
The Rochester by-election is for me, for Ukip and of course for the brave Mark Reckless, political high noon. For Cameron too. - Ukip Leader Nigel Farage MEP (Express)
• The Ukip narrative is changing so quickly, I can barely keep up, let alone the swathes of commentators in Westminster who have become too reliant on reporting a status quo over the last decade that they simply cannot get their head around what is currently happening in UK politics.
Whether old Labour voters, traditional Tories, disenfranchised non-voters or even the odd ex Lib Dem, one thing that unites what seem a disparate band of supporters is the appetite for change.
Of course that sounds like typical politician's cliché. All votes represent change, be it a new government, a fresh manifesto, or the turning of the page into a brighter future. But it's more than just policy. My feeling is that many voters have grown weary of the political game itself.
For decades now the two main parties have passed power between themselves, and never had to face the prospect of actually having to listen to the voter. They were either in power, or in opposition, and focussed entirely on outfoxing the party on the opposite benches.
"I had to do it to get elected"
- Iveta Grigule MEP, former EFDD member [pictured, inset]
"If we are correct in our understanding about the events, President Schulz [pictured] would be more suited to being the president of a parliament in a banana republic."
- UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, Co-President of the EFDD group
• The EFDD Group in the European Parliament has folded after the resignation, yesterday, of Latvian member Iveta Grigule. Concerning her resignation, Ms Grigule told the secretary general of the EFDD Group that “I had to do it to get elected.” She told the General Secretary of the EFDD Group that the EPP chairman Manfred Weber and European Parliament President Martin Schulz told her she must resign from the EFDD Group in order to attain the presidency of a Parliamentary delegation to Kazakhstan.
In this term, EFDD Group members have been systematically excluded from their expected positions in EP delegations and chairmanships under the D’Hondt system which is the normal practice over many years.
Ms Grigule signed her letter of resignation in the office of Mr Schulz yesterday morning following which he informed the Conference of Presidents of her resignation, thus folding the group.
Statement by Gerard Batten MEP
• Panorama filmed an interview with me during the European elections in April. They said that they wanted to focus on UKIP’s electoral prospects, and the kind of people who support us.
I agreed to be interviewed in June, and a Panorama presenter came to Romford to film me there. He then asked for a further interview at my office. During the interview it became apparent that he was more interested in trying to dig up dirt on Nigel Farage than talking about politics.
Since then various sources have informed me that they were contacting people long-ago disassociated from the Party and I believe, attempting to procure hearsay evidence regarding various unfounded accusations.
I am sorry to conclude that Panorama is planning a hatchet job on UKIP, far removed from what I was led to believe I was participating in. I am very sorry that this once again supports my view that the BBC is institutionally politically biased. The BBC is of course on the Brussels payroll, the EU gave the BBC €24,435,906 (£19.2m) in funds between 2007-2012, Panorama didn't mention this.
Want to help? Join the campaign to elect Mark Reckless!
• Infectious enthusiasm was the mood on Rochester High street for Saturday's launch to send Mark Reckless to Westminster under UKIP colours.
Fresh from making British political history by the seaside in Essex, Douglas Carswell MP told gathered supporters in Kent that he would be 'chief leafleter in Rochester's most marginal ward' seeking the election of his friend of twenty years.
After UKIP's combined vote in the Clacton and Heywood & Middleton by-elections defied the pundits to total more than the vote of the next four parties combined, UKIP leader Nigel Farage told Rochester activists 'we are targeting everyone in this campaign'.
And highlighting his opposition to plans to impose a massive unwanted development of 5,000 new homes over Rochester & Strood's environmentally-crucial bird sanctuary, candidate Mark Reckless pledged a 'positive campaign on the local issues'.
It's been twenty years since I scraped a handful of votes in the party's first ever by-election - UKIP Leader Nigel Farage in the The Independent.
• How extraordinary it is to walk around Clacton and see the town painted purple, to glance at the front pages of the local papers to see the word Ukip writ large, to speak to voters not only pledging their support, but fired up and excited about the prospect of playing a part in history.
The Frinton and Walton Gazette has the most astonishing splash of all. On a whole-page black background, the date 10.10.2014 jumps out at any gaze that happens graze the paper’s cover. The subtitle: “The historic date town reveal their new MP and change British politics forever.” Honestly, not a word of persuasion from Team Purple. The electricity of being part of a schism in UK politics that could alter the narrative forever is palpable. The people lining up at polling stations, many of whom hope to touch the page that could turn over a new chapter for this generation of voters.
What a far cry from Ukip’s ever first by-election two decades ago. None could have predicted what would be taking place today. It was 1994 and the party’s candidate was a raven-haired, fresh-faced 40-year-old commodity broker, with a big mouth and even bigger ideas.