21st June 2011: There's an eye-catching new leaflet for Andrew Brons MEP which has just been published by his Constituency Office. This latest newsletter keeps the people of Yorkshire and the Humber completely up-to-date with the work of their British National Party MEP. There are reports of Andrew's speeches in the European Parliament, including his hard-hitting contributions to debates on immigration and asylum, as well as his work in the constituency in helping to raise the profile of the issues that matter most to his constituents. The leaflet is available to both official British National Party units and also recognised groups of supporters for distribution in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. If you would like supplies of Andrew's latest newsletter please contact
20th June 2011: Andrew Brons has signed a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, concerning Cypriot Property Developers operating out of the United Kingdom. The letter said: "We are writing to you regarding a matter of great concern to many of our constituents who have bought property in the Republic of Cyprus. As you are no doubt aware, over 50 000 British buyers of Cypriot properties are yet to receive their title deeds and are thus not the legal owners of their homes. The consequences of this for buyers are far-reaching and include being liable to high property charges, being burdened with huge legal fees, being unable to sell the property and being encumbered with the mortgage of a developer who has gone bankrupt. Title deeds and full legal ownership cannot be transferred to buyers until developer mortgages are settled in full. Given the worsening economic outlook for Cyprus and its property industry, the risk of developer default and the repossession of these homes can only become much greater. The developer debt has doubled in size in the last three years and now stands at nearly €6Billion. Cypriot developers and their agents in the UK Some of the larger Cypriot developers have registered sales offices in the UK, whilst they and others attend UK property exhibitions. Additionally, there are UK agents and websites which promote Cypriot property. These outlets all have one thing in common: none of them mention the huge risks associated with buying in Cyprus. The Channel 4 website, for example, apart from having a picture of the occupied Northern Cyprus heading the section, promotes a scheme whereby a safe UK home can be part exchanged for an unsafe Cyprus property without title deeds. UK Government’s promise Lord Jones of Cheltenham has previously raised the matter in the House of Lords. In one question he specifically raised the subject of Cypriot developers being prevented from selling in the UK. Below is the Hansard entry: Question: Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 8 June (WA 117), whether they will takes steps to close down the United Kingdom offices of Cypriot companies selling property and ban the promotion of Cyprus property at exhibitions of overseas property held in the United Kingdom; and what further steps they will take to protect United Kingdom citizens from individuals who retain title deeds after properties in Cyprus have been bought. [HL4263] 29 Jun 2009 : (Column WA6 ) Lord Brett: We will not take any steps to close down the UK offices of Cypriot companies selling property or ban the promotion of Cyprus property at exhibitions of overseas property held in the UK unless we receive evidence of illegal behaviour [emphasis added]. Our high commission in Nicosia continues to support the work of the Cyprus Property Action Group. Illegal Behaviour We believe and are currently seeking confirmation from the European Commission that Directive 2005/29/EC (Unfair Commercial Practices) is habitually broken by Cypriot developers by their withholding of title deeds from buyers. This Directive was brought into UK law on the 28th of June 2008 (2008 No. 1277 - Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008) and is enforced by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT). We believe that the failure to inform potential buyers that the title deeds for their homes will be withheld for an unspecified time and that the land on which their property is built is encumbered by a developer mortgage, two of the most common deceptions by Cypriot Developers that occur on UK soil, are "misleading actions" under Part 2 ('Prohibitions'), section 5 ('Misleading actions') of the Consumer Protection Regulations 2008 No. 1277 and "misleading omissions" under Part 2 ('Prohibitions'), section 6 ('Misleading omissions') of the same legislation. Request for Action The undersigned trust you will agree that, on UK soil at least, British citizens need to be afforded more consumer protection against the unfair practices of Cypriot developers. We are disappointed to discover that the OFT, contrary to the wishes of the Minister for Europe, David Lidington, have so far declined to investigate these matters, citing 'other priorities' as the reason. We therefore respectfully urge you to ensure that the OFT's priorities include investigating the illegal practices of Cypriot developers as soon as possible, including taking the appropriate measures to ensure adequate consumer protection. We have written to the Chief Executive of the OFT and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with the same request. It is important to remember that EU member states could be liable to pay damages to individuals who have been adversely affected by the non-implementation of an EU Directive. We can confirm that the European Commission is now referring British buyers who complain directly to them to the OFT. Finally, we would urge that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office website is updated to strengthen the warning to prospective buyers of the potential pitfalls of buying property directly from Cypriot developers. We have also written to the Foreign Secretary on the matter. Andrew also signed a letter to Viviane Reding, Vice President, Commissioner at the European Commission concerning Cypriot Property Developers and Unfair Commercial Practice The letter said: "Bearing in mind responses to previous questions asked by several of the undersigned, we would like to point out to the Commission explicitly where we think that various Cypriot property developers have broken and continue to break European law (and, of course, the national law that transposes it). Accordingly, we would like you to propose a small amendment to the relevant EU Directive. As you are aware from previous research into the topic, over 50 000 British buyers of Cypriot properties are yet to receive their title deeds and are thus not the legal owners of their homes. The consequences of this for buyers are far-reaching, including the risk of losing their home should their developer become bankrupt before ownership is transferred. Additionally, the practice of retaining legal ownership, apart from devaluing these properties and making them more difficult to sell, also gives rise to other unfair and aggressive practices. Given how long it has taken to acquire full knowledge of the protection available to them, and the likely long and protracted journey towards remedy that lies ahead of them, we would like to assure our constituents that they have the support of the European Union through EU legislation which protects their consumer rights. Directive 2005/29/EC - Unfair Commercial Practices The undersigned firmly believe that the practice of withholding title deeds or legal ownership of properties which have been paid for in full by the purchasers is an infringement of Directive 2005/29/EC and the Cyprus Law 103 (I) /2007 which transposes it, regardless of when any sales contract was signed. Below are the parts of the Directive we believe to be relevant. Recitals (9 - financial services and immovable property) Article 2 (h - definition of 'professional diligence') Article 3 clause 1 (application of the Directive to unfair practices occurring before, during and after a transaction) The practice is "unfair" according to Article 5 clause 2 The practice is "misleading" according to Article 6 and Article 7 clauses 1 & 2 Requests for action Firstly, we wish the Commission to confirm that, in its view, the practice of withholding property title deeds is, in all circumstances, an unfair commercial practice and thus an infringement of Directive 2005/29/EC. Secondly, we would like the Commission to confirm that the law applies to all current cases where title deeds have not yet been transferred, regardless of when any sales contract was signed. Finally, we strongly urge the Commission to recommend that the withholding of title deeds or legal ownership of immovable property after purchase be added to Annex 1 of Directive 2005/29/EC, which lists 31 "Commercial practices which are in all circumstances considered unfair".
20th May 2011: As a result of the Government's targeted cuts in our National Health Service, the Children’s Heart Surgery Unit at the Yorkshire Heart Centre in Leeds is now at risk.
The unit provides specialist surgery and care to children from all over Yorkshire and the Humber.
If the unit were to close, the hundreds of children who require life-saving surgery each year would have to travel long distances – possibly hundreds of miles – to another facility. This could put those children’s lives in even greater jeopardy.
It would also cause severe distress for the patients and their families, and would see the end of a great team of specialist surgeons and experienced nurses who have worked so hard to provide unrivalled service and care.
If this were allowed to happen, it would affect not only the hundreds of families who rely on the unit each year, but everyone in the region who believes Yorkshire should retain its essential healthcare services.
To show his support for the Children’s Heart Surgery Unit, Andrew Brons MEP has written to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
Andrew told the Minister:
"I have been contacted by constituents asking me to support the campaign for Leeds General Infirmary to retain its Paediatric Cardiac Unit.
As you know, the closure would require patients to travel long distances to Newcastle or Liverpool for treatment.
Whilst some of these visits are routine and infrequent, others are emergencies and it is essential for patients to reach hospital as quickly as possible.
The closure of the unit could result in the deaths of seriously ill children.
Leeds General Infirmary has a maternity unit within the cardiac unit, so that newly born children with heart conditions can be treated as soon as possible. Would this arrangement be replicated in Newcastle or Liverpool, if the LGI unit were to be moved to either of those hospitals?
Would the capacity of Newcastle or Liverpool be expanded to match the lost capacity at LGI?
I would urge you to reconsider the decision to close the unit. Closure could amount to a death warrant for an inestimable number of children requiring emergency treatment."
12th May 2011: Last Saturday, Andrew Brons and his constituency team held another successful street surgery, this time in the traditional North Yorkshire town of Northallerton.
It was market day and the high street, which was full of stalls, attracted shoppers from across the locality.
There was a steady stream of visitors to Andrew's table and the MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber was able to get across his message of 'working from within the EU to get Britain out'. This was very well received by everyone.
Constituents were also given a copy of Andrew's Annual Report and the latest issue of his newsletter.
When rain finally put an end to the activity at around 1.30pm, it was back to Andrew's Harrogate home for a working lunch and a strategy meeting.
10th May 2011: Andrew Brons MEP has written to Commissioner John Dalli, the Director General of Health and Consumer Protection at the European Commission, in support of a campaign called 'Save Our Supplements' which is being promoted by an organisation called Consumers for Health Choice.
The European Union is trying to establish a 'one size fits all' in terms of health, with all countries selling the same products and dose levels, but the British market in food supplements has its own traditional characteristics and consumers want this protected.
Dear Commissioner Dalli,
Food Supplements Directive: Maximum Permitted Levels
Like many members of the Parliament, I continue to receive communications from constituents expressing their fears for the future availability of safe and popular higher potency vitamin and mineral supplements once the Commission brings forward proposals to set maximum permitted levels for nutrients in such supplements under the provisions of Article 5 of the Food Supplements Directive.
A previous Director General of your Directorate advised United Kingdom industry representatives that the price they must pay to achieve a harmonised market is the loss of a wide range of higher potency supplements which are currently accepted as safe and appropriately labelled by the UK Competent Authority, the Food Standards Agency. Industry has in turn estimated that the impact of introducing figures on this basis would be the loss of 4,000 jobs in the UK and the closure of 700 retail outlets – putting under threat the viability of many high streets in these challenging economic times.
It seems to me that the rapid growth in the internet and mail-order industry brings into question the whole foundation of this legislation. A restrictive interpretation of Article 5 will do nothing to enhance consumer safety as consumers, determined to source safe and popular products that they use to maintain optimum health, will be driven to potentially unregulated overseas suppliers.
It seems therefore unjustified to be even considering restricting consumer choice when there is little if anything to be gained in terms of consumer protection that could not be achieved in other ways, for example through labelling and advice.
I fully appreciate that there is no specific timetable for this project, but it does seem to me that we might take this opportunity of the pause in developing proposals to question the principles that are being followed and to ask whether we really do need to meddle to such an extent in matters which are probably best left to Member States to manage in the light of national circumstances and wide variations in nutritional intake around the Union.
I for one would not wish the Parliament to be presented for scrutiny in the future with proposals for maximum permitted levels that would deny my constituents access to safe and popular products that have been on the market for many years with no evidence of any harm to consumers.
I would therefore be grateful if you were to consider these points and to respond letting me know your current thinking and how, specifically, you intend to preserve consumer choice in the implementation of this legislation.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Andrew received a rather lengthy reply from the Commissioner in which he failed to answer many of the points raised. He did claim that Consumer Associations, in the main, backed the changes and that the new stringent legislation would, in fact, provide a wider choice of products!
28th April 2011: On Tuesday, Andrew Brons MEP visited a church in his Yorkshire and the Humber Euro-constituency and gave the vicar a cheque for £500 to help with urgent repairs to part of the belfry. Andrew was very pleased he was able to support this church's appeal for funds for the repairs, and enjoyed a tour of the church accompanied by the vicar who told him of the history of the building and on the points of interest connected with the church. The leaded windows particularly impressed the MEP, with the coloured glass imagery specifically designed to capitalise on the sunlight streaming into the church. Andrew is especially keen to support such heritage projects within his constituency, as he believes that protecting and securing Britain's past for future generations is of immense importance at this time given the rapidly changing face of Britain.
6th April 2011: Our party believes in local responsibility and local democracy. We believe the people best qualified to make local decisions are those elected in their local communities. We therefore believe authority should be devolved to the lowest practical local level.
We also believe local referendums, called by popular demand, should bind local authorities. Our councillors will press for such measures.
We believe it is the elementary right of local people everywhere to feel secure in their homes and their communities and to demand the best of their police. Our policy is one of zero tolerance on crime and we mean it.
Within this document, we have attempted to restrict ourselves to the powers controlled by local authorities. Naturally, we cannot entirely ignore the wider issues of central government and its detrimental effect on local government throughout our country. For example, the torrent of Directives from the EU, EU regulation and EU costs inflict an enormous burden on local people and local councils. The UK’s membership fees to the EU of over £45 million/day come from your pockets, while the EU’s Landfill Directive – to quote one example - is estimated to cost the average council as much as £3m/annum. We will withdraw the UK from the EU, lift the burden of regulation and restore democracy to our own elected parliamentary and council representatives.
Immigration and multiculturalism are further burdens, which cost our country over £35 million/day. Multiculturalism divides local communities and creates expensive strains in terms of crime, the availability of housing, health provision, education and care for our elderly. Not least, local councils spend a fortune enforcing political-correctness with ‘diversity’ training schemes and the employment of ‘community’ equality officers, ‘climate change’ advisors, race-relations officials and the like. We will halt immigration, reverse the multicultural society – which the Lib/Lab/Cons have imposed without any consent or consultation – and sever all these unnecessary costs. We will endeavour to put this money back into your pocket, where it belongs and we shall always put the British people first.
In our national manifesto in 2010, we promised to “devolve all powers properly capable of exercise to local level and revived County Council government, returning to the ancient and traditional pre-1974 boundaries. These powers to include control over Planning.” We also promised to abolish all regional government and authorities. These remain our national aims.*
Over the next two years, the Lib-Con coalition government will cut essential local services, finishing where Labour began. They will do nothing to cut real waste and bureaucracy. By contrast, we shall end all council salaries over £100,000. We shall also keep all essential services for local people.
* Our 2010 manifesto may be read via the link:
Policies in a nutshell
* Halt greenfield development: the countryside is a rural heritage, which we wish safeguarded for future generations.
Rural development creates congestion, noise, pollution, expensive infrastructure, new roads and raises the risk of flooding – and it hastens the decline of local agriculture.
The underlying reason for new housing – which CON/Lib/Lab/Green/Ukip spokesmen dare not explain – is mass immigration and the growing families of high birth-rate migrants. This process causes local people to flee from the crime-ridden multicultural cities.
* Restrict new development to ‘brown field’ sites and sympathetic infill, excepting in exceptional circumstances, approved by local referenda.
Our desire is to preserve what remains of our counties, hamlets, heritage, traditions and communities.
* Halt all windfarms, which are inefficient, expensive and a blight on the landscape.
* Zero tolerance for travellers and their illegal anti-social activities. We shall require their prompt eviction from private and council land and ensure they are held financially accountable for their costly activities.
* Devolve power to the lowest practical local level.
* Grant local people the right to call binding local referenda on local issues, such as major planning proposals – 12.5% threshold of the registered electorate sufficient to qualify to demand a poll.
Cut Unnecessary Council Expenditure
* End all council salaries over £100,000.
* Cut councillors’ expenses and remuneration.
* Abolish all targets and quotas for minority representation in all areas of council employment, including companies engaged by councils.
* Abolish politically-correct training and indoctrination of the police, teachers, and employees in the public sector.
* Abolish minority-specific bodies and similar organisations.
* Ensure that the only languages permitted in local council literature are English, Welsh and Gaelic, where applicable.
* End bogus ‘climate change’ expenditure on salaries and advisors (nationally, this is costing the UK £20bn/annum)
Putting Local People First in Housing, Education, Health and Care
* We shall always put local people first in terms of housing, accommodation, education, health and care – unless specifically forbidden by central government authority.
* Campaign to cease all further immigration, which overwhelms our social services, hospitals, educational facilities and reduces the availability of housing for our young and elderly.
* Discourage the settlement of migrants and asylum seekers, who arrive as a result of central government policies.
* Secure local housing for local people and end the politically-correct criteria that gives preference to migrants with large families.
* Zero tolerance for all crime: We shall ensure criminals live in fear, not their victims.
* Police: We shall ensure the police increase their patrols, cut internal red tape and target anti-social crime, drug related offences, vandalism, theft and burglary.
* Evict trouble-makers from estates.
* Remove politically-correct senior police officers and ensure the police remain the servants of the people, not the servants of the state.
* Ensure that local people are able to demand a referendum to impose policing priorities where County Councillors fail to represent public opinion.
* Campaign to end votes for prisoners, campaign to build more jails and campaign to employ prison labour to strengthen our coastline and sea defences.
Transport for Local Communities
* Place a moratorium on out-of-town retail developments, which encourage car dependence, increase congestion, disadvantage the high street, pensioners, single mothers and the poor. All developments to concentrate on brown-field sites, linked by public transport.
* Phase out speed cameras excepting in documented accident black spots.
* Re-open disused rail lines, where there is local demand with a view to easing congestion.
* Oppose cuts to local bus services.
Securing Local Services for Local People
* We shall increase the presence of the police in the community.
* Raise the availability of free parking in local towns by introducing taxes on out-of-town shopping centres.
* Prioritise the availability of local sports facilities for young people. Sport encourages espirit de corps, camaraderie, friendship and teamwork.
* Put local pensioners before migrants and asylum seekers.
* Oppose cuts to libraries.
* Encourage local business to employ local people with incentives including local business rates’ relief.
* Encourage new businesses with local business rates’ relief.
* Crack down on the burglary epidemic afflicting small business premises.
Local Health Care for Local People
* No downgrading of local hospitals “on the quiet”. We believe in care in the community and oppose plans to scrap local hospitals in favour of giant, impersonal factory-type hospitals that are distant and remote to relatives.
* Prioritise health care for the elderly.
* Slash wasteful NHS bureaucracy and cease end all NHS salaries over £100,000.
* Campaign to end the scandal of foreign ‘health tourism’, which costs the exchequer over £2bn/annum, often to treat Third World diseases. We shall campaign to end immigration, which places an additional cumbersome burden on the NHS, at the expense of our local people.
* Place emphasis is placed on healthy living and healthy diets. Reintroduce traditional school meals, rich in vegetables and fibre.
* Ensure that, wherever possible, hospitals purchase locally produced food, which will be fresher and healthier. This will assist local business and strengthen the links between hospitals and their local communities.
* Terminate the unfair recruitment of doctors and nurses from the developing world where their skills are urgently in demand.
* Introduce democracy to the current NHS Boards, to which an proportion of health care professionals will be elected at the time of local elections.
* Restore to hospitals the authority of the traditional matron, with special authority over hygiene. This, we anticipate, will reduce bureaucracy.
* Halt cuts to front line doctors, nurses and specialists.
* Reintroduce free parking at hospitals.
Education for Local People
* Emphasise the “three Rs”, reintroduce British history and end useless, politically-correct, social engineering courses in such subjects as world citizenship studies.
* Reintroduce Christian assembly, as a benchmark for a decent, civilized society.
* End special language coaching for minorities, which drains resources from local children.
* Encourage competitive sports, which teaches espirit de corps, teamwork, social interaction and promotes good health.
* Re-introduce Grammar schools.
* Campaign to reverse cuts to tuition fees and reintroduce the student grant.
* End bogus overseas student studying scams.
* Reintroduce vocational apprenticeships and cut useless degrees.
March 28th 2011: Andrew Brons and a team of activists were out in Sowerby and Thirsk on Saturday distributing the MEP's new Constituency Newsletter.
The latest issue of this regular bulletin to the people of Yorkshire and the Humber, focussed on Andrew's Community Fund.
It not only reported on the good causes the MEP has helped in the past, but also told constituents how they can apply for funding if they believe they have a suitable 'good cause' that needs the MEP's support.
27th January 2011: The turmoil facing the European Parliament’s European Conservative and Reformists (ECR) political grouping, which includes the UK Tory Party, has hit the headlines again today. Michal Kaminski (left), who resigned from his Law and Justice Party a few months ago amid whimperings that the party was being ‘taken over by the far right’, has now also resigned as chairman of the ECR group. The reason given was, you’ve guessed it, problems with extremist fellow MEPs, who, he alleges, have ‘hounded him out’. It is fascinating to muse what the Tories are playing at. On the one hand they are members of a political group whose leaders has supposedly just been hounded out by extremist right wing elements, yet on the other hand they are members of a party whose leader has publicly endorsed the extreme-left UAF terror group. Today’s news reports on the above story brought to my mind a letter sent by Andrew Brons to Mr Kaminski back in October of last year, which is worth reproducing in full here. Mr Kaminski did not bother to reply to this email. "Dear Mr Kaminski, Yesterday in parliament you spoke of the dreadful attack carried out on your party offices in Lodz, in which one person was killed and another was seriously wounded. I find such violence utterly abhorrent and I offer my deepest sympathies to the victims of this attack and their friends and families. You should be aware that the UK Conservative Party, with which your party is aligned, has a leader who has publicly endorsed an organisation which is the UK equivalent of the people who carried out this murderous attack on your party offices. David Cameron started to sponsor publicly the UAF in 2009 or earlier. In March 2009, the UAF carried out a physical attack on one of our members, Tony Ward, with a claw hammer causing a seven inch head wound. In July 2009, the UAF carried out a physical attack on me and my colleague, Nick Griffin, outside the Houses of Parliament, throwing metal darts at our heads. In October 2009, the UAF assembled a mob outside the BBC Television Centre in protest against the appearance by my colleague Nick Griffin on Question Time. The UAF launched an attack on the police injuring three of them in an attempt to get into the Television Centre. David Cameron has been challenged repeatedly to renounce his sponsorship publicly and he has failed to do so. You might like to ask your colleagues in the British Conservative Party what they think of their party leader's sponsorship of an organisation that advocates and carries out political violence. It is possible that they might persuade Mr. Cameron to withdraw his sponsorship publicly. Best wishes, Andrew Brons *Chris Beverley (right) is a Parliamentary Assistant and the Constituency Office Manager to Andrew Brons MEP.
17th January 2011: A constituent from Leeds has written to Andrew Brons MEP to voice her concerns over the Government's Green Paper on the Justice System.
This is what she had to say:
"I am writing to you in the hope that you will be able to support my concerns over 'The Revolution of Justice', recently announced by Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke. It is my understanding that various offender management organizations, both strategic and non strategic, and offenders were consulted when developing the Green Paper. However, no victims or victims organizations were asked for opinion or input. The paper has therefore been developed without any consideration toward the impact of these changes on victims and secondary victims of crime.
There are aspects of the Green Paper that are causing myself, and many in the victim community grave concern.
Far from placing victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, this disregards them and the effects of the crime on them entirely, as far as sentencing is concerned. Judges should have clear guidance when sentencing those offenders who murder, if there is to be any justice for secondary victims.
The idea that offenders should financially compensate victims is very ill conceived. Although this may be effective in cases of low level crime, secondary victims of homicide, rape victims, domestic violence victims and victims of child abuse, for example, would be highly unlikely to want or accept such a payment.
Further to this, the paper does nothing to address prevention or use of sentencing as a deterrent is concerned. There should be no punishment without determined efforts to rehabilitate, but there should be no rehabilitation without punishment, unless we are going to disregard the fact that victims are as entitled to fair and just treatment as offenders are.
I seriously believe this paper should be withdrawn, and reworked, as in its current form it is extremely flawed, and could lead (by Mr Clarkes own admission) to more violence on our streets I hope that you are able to understand my very real concerns regarding the paper and I look forward to hearing back from you on this issue."
Responding on behalf of the MEP, Constituency Manager Chris Beverley, wrote:
"Many thanks for your email regarding this very important subject. Mr Brons agrees with many of the points you have made here. It is entirely wrong for justice and public safety to be sacrificed in the name of saving money and promoting a politically correct approach to the subject of law and order.
"As an MEP, rather than a Westminster Member of Parliament, Mr Brons cannot vote on any of the proposed legislation that will bring in the changes discussed, however he will certainly do all that he can to campaign on this issue and highlight the warped thinking behind these that values justice and public safety less than saving money."