16th January 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on Homelessness.
"The cause of homelessness that is unmentionable, by the silent conspiracy of liberal consensus, is immigration and asylum. Every person or family entering a country, adds to the demand for housing by one. If there are homeless among the indigenous population, a house provided for a new arrival is a house denied to an existing resident.
"The decision takers - MEPs, MPs and local councillors - are not among the homeless. Indeed, most cannot number the homeless among their circle of acquaintances. To them, the homeless are just statistics and not real people.
"Decision takers feel terribly generous for granting a home to a newcomer but, funnily enough, they don't feel mean for denying one to an existing resident.
"We heard this morning from UKIP that it was opposed to mass immigration. However, its leader said recently: "We welcome immigration; we want immigration. In 2010, he said that the UK needed 250,000 each year. (UKIP is a party of fraud and deception)*.
* Andrew's speaking time had elapsed before he could add this final sentence.
Homelessness should be easy to define - somebody lacking a home. The extreme and most visible form of homelessness is that of a person living in the open air punctuated by the odd night in a refuge. Then there are those in hostels waiting to be housed. The least visible form of homelessness is that endured by those who sleep on the floors or settees of friends on a temporary basis.
16th January 2014: Yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons was unsuccessful in his attempt to make a Catch the Eye contribution to a debate on Freedom of Movement.
Had he been called to speak, Andrew would have said:
"The term freedom of movement is a dishonest understatement - a euphemism.
"What is really meant is freedom to settle, to work and to claim.
"Of course two-thirds of immigrants to the UK come from Africa and Asia but no mention is made of them by UKIP or the British Government.
"In the EU, when there are greatly differing wage rates the numbers moving can lead to job losses and overloading of the infrastructure in the host countries, and in the countries of origin there have been losses of valuable workers.
"A lot of attention has been paid to Bulgarians and Romanians and to their alleged behaviour.
"In fact responsibility for certain strains of criminality cannot be attributed to ordinary nationals of those countries but to a sizeable minority among them who were identified by President Schulz back in 2010 as “a difficult minority”.
"The right to decide on who may or may not enter a country is the defining characteristic of a state and must be restored.
"This afternoon, we have heard too much hate speech from the Political Class about right wing extremists and populists."
16th January 2014: Yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons asked a Blue Card Question to Dimitar Stoyanov during a debate on the Right of Freedom of Movement.
"Mr Farage recently said that Bulgarians and Romanians were responsible for a lot of the street crime in London.
"Would you agree that these crimes are not attributable to ordinary Bulgarians and Romanians but to a significant minority among them who were referred to by President Schulz in 2010 as 'a difficult minority'?"
Andrew commented afterwards:
"Mr Stoyanov seemed to agree with my conclusion, but neither he nor I felt able to identify this 'difficult minority'."
14th January 2014: Today at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons had hoped to make the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on a proposed directive on honey manufacturing***.
He would have told his fellow MEPs:
"There is sometimes a tacit assumption among Euro-sceptics that there can be nothing worse than the Lisbon Treaty.
"There can and it was contained in the original Commission proposal!
"Article 290(3) of the Lisbon Treaty gives Parliament* and the Council* the ability to pass to the Commission the power to pass delegated acts** supplementing or amending EU legislation. However, they must give only the power to pass delegated acts that relate to non-essential (as distinct from essential ) elements of a legislative act.
"We have been told by the Rapporteur that the original Commission proposal was for Parliament and the Council to grant the Commission the power to amend or supplement essential elements of the legislative act
"The Rapporteur is to be acknowledged for noticing this, amending the proposal and bringing it to the attention of the Parliament.
"Whether this was simply an error by the Commission or was a conscious attempt to grab surreptitiously a power that it did not have, we might never know. Control of the production of honey is not a usual preoccupation of tyrants.
"Nevertheless, this instance has made Parliament aware of this question for the future."
* Parliament and the Council share the power to pass EU legislation. They must both consent to it. However, the legislation must have been suggested to them by the Commission.
** Delegated acts are a form of delegated legislation. This is the power to add supplementary provisions to the original legislation or even the power to amend it.
*** I had to leave the Chamber and attend an important meeting.
14th January 2014: Today at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on a proposed regulation on the reciprocal access public procurement markets for EU and non-EU countries*.
"I am not reassured that this proposal is not protectionist, because that is exactly what it ought to be!. The countries of Europe, individually or collectively, should protect their jobs and protect their businesses.
"The question that is not asked is whether it is in the interests of any country (or trading bloc if you will) to open its public procurement market to other countries or blocs.
"Public expenditure is ultimately funded by domestic taxes and, if it generates economic activity and it does, it should be for the benefit of that country's own people or those countries own peoples.
"The Report confirms that market access by companies from third countries is part of the Common Commercial Policy which falls under the exclusive competence of the Union.
"The EU's wish to maximise international access to these markets shows that the EU is not so much not a European Union as it is a Global Union in waiting.
* Public procurement occurs when the public sector invites tenders for a good or a service - often a building contract. The issue is whether tenders should be invited only from companies in our own countries, the EU, selected non-EU countries or the world as a whole. This debate is about whether the EU should refuse access by companies in particular non-EU countries in retaliation for those countries refusing access to EU countries to their public procurement markets.
14th January 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate on the record of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council.
"The Lithuanian Presidency claims credit for progress on Banking Union and enhanced EU control over the economies of member states - especially over those in the Eurozone, as though they were simply means of achieving economic wellbeing. However, they are not means to an end but an end in itself - centralised control of member states.
"The Presidency has boasted of its achievements on hate crime, which properly refers to criminal acts - violence, abuse and property damage motivated by hatred of a particular category of people and should always be deplored. Hatred is always destructive of the hater as well as the hated.
"However, assaults and extreme violence and damage motivated by hatred and contempt are not perpetrated only, or even mainly, by the indigenous populations against ethnic minorities, as we know from the cases of Lee Rigby, Kris Donald, Richard Everitt, the London riots in 2011 and the countless victims of Asian grooming
"Lithuania boasts of hosting a conference in November of the Fundamental Rights Agency which believes that disapproved expressions of opinion on ethnicity should be criminalised, including racism a word undefined but coined by Trotsky and xenophobia which can only be defined as an Orwellian thought crime.
"Ironically, the application of these words to political opponents, a favourite activity of the FRA and Eurocrats, is a subliminal message of hatred: Stop reading! Stop listening! Stop judging for yourself! Hate the speaker; hate the writer!"
* The Council comprises one representative of each member state. It shares, with the Parliament, the power to legislate on proposals from the Commission. It is presided over by a representative of a different country every six months. Lithuania held the Presidency of the Council from 1st July 2013 to 31st December 2013.
12th December 2013: Yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in his seventh speech of the week, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the 'Catch the Eye' procedure, to a debate on the Lamassoure Report into the relations between EU institutions.
"It is tempting to applaud the proposals for increasing the power of Parliament and increasing the responsibility of the President of the European Council to it.
"Equally, it is very easy to deprecate the behaviour of the European Council* for trying to extend its role.
"If I were an enthusiast for the EU Project, I would succumb to both temptations. However, I am not so I shall not.
"Do I look at the European Council through rose-tinted spectacles? No! My view of some of them might involve the use of unparliamentary language. However, whatever I think of particular members of the European Council, its members represent member states and are ultimately responsible to their electorates and removable by them.
"The Parliament, whatever its merits, is not responsible to a single electorate with a consciousness of its identity, so its electorate cannot take a conscious collective decision as to choice of Commission President**. Its decision will resemble that of a ouija board."
* The European Council comprises the heads of government of most countries and the head of state of France
** The main parties want each European political party to nominate a candidate for the position of President of the Commission and so turn the next European elections into an indirect election of the President of the Commission. This would be comparable with the indirect election of the British Prime Minister at a General Election, except that Britain has an electorate with a collective consciousness, whereas the electorates of the twenty-eight members of the European Union do not.
12th December 2013: Yesterday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the 'Catch the Eye' procedure, to a debate on constitutional problems of multi-tier governance in the EU.
"In paragraph B.13 of the Report, the Rapporteurs express their dislike of member states excluding themselves from a treaty or legislation from the outset and would prefer legislation to allow for derogations, later.
"This effectively makes the default position that all treaties and legislation should apply to all member states, unless they negotiate an opt-out and only for as long as they retain it.
"However, the express disapproval of derogations is intended to make them an exceptional and shameful procedure, for which member states should feel properly contrite.
"This means that agreements and legislation, concerning the Euro and instruments to serve it will apply to Britain and other Non-Euro countries, unless they and Britain ask for a derogation - control over our economy unless the Government asks for an opt-out.
"This would allow governments that are indolent or perhaps less Euro-sceptic then they pretend to be, to extend the EU's control without being seen to do so."
It is interesting that Article 3(4) of the Treaty on European Union (which is the Maastricht Treaty, as amended) "The Union shall establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the Euro. Protocol 14 on the Euro-group refers to "the need to lay down special provision for enhanced dialogue between the member states whose currency is the Euro, pending the Euro becoming the currency of all member states". It is clear that that is the destiny for all of us. It is only a matter of time!
11th December 2013: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons addressed a Blue Card question to Nigel Farage following a speech by him during a debate on the forthcoming meeting of the European Council to be held on 19th/20th December 2013.
Mr Farage gave a speech devoted to his opposition to the prospect of Bulgarian and Romanian immigration from the 1st January 2014, with emphasis on the costs to the educational and health systems and the benefits system. He said that 92% of ATM crime was committed by Romanians.
"You claim you are against immigration or you imply that you are against immigration. However, on 4th May 2010, on the Daily Politics Show, you said that Britain should issue 250,000 work permits each year.
"Just now, you referred to Romanians being responsible for ATM crime in London. In fact you could have been more specific. They were Romanian citizens of Roma origin."
Mr Farage Responed:
"Thank you for your question. Let me make this clear to you: UKIP is not against immigration. We welcome immigration; we want immigration."
11th December 2013: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution on the forthcoming European Council meeting (Defence procurement is a major item on the agenda).
"The Commission wants to see more Single Market competition for defence procurement, on the ground that fragmented markets create red tape and lead to duplication of defence programmes.
"It is not fragmentation that leads to red tape; it is the EU requirement that defence equipment contracts should be put out to tender.
"Britain could use the Lisbon Treaty, ironically, to avoid tendering on the ground of protecting national interests, as Poland has done, to its great credit.*
"The Commission will tackle what it calls market distortions, which will probably take away the rights of member states to protect their national interests, in this area.
"Defence is too important to the national interest to allow free market competition.
"Whilst another European war would be unthinkable, we must hope, our world interests might diverge. The UK cannot be dependent for equipment procurement on states opposed (say) to our protecting the Falklands from Argentinian aggression."
* Poland is increasing military equipment spending by $43,000 million over the next decade. The bulk of the contracts will go to Polish companies, primarily the state-owned company, Bumar. In the meanwhile, the UK has granted a contract to build four military super tankers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary to a South Korean shipyard. Whilst it is true that no British company submitted a tender, they could not be expected to compete against South Korean wage rates.
It should also be remembered that the British Government has allowed British shipbuilding to diminish with the end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth, with the loss of 1,775 jobs and the skills attached to them.