16th April 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate on the situation in Ukraine.
"We are hearing the 1914 language of self-righteous indignation to imply that one side is completely in the right and the other completely in the wrong.
"We might not like Mr Yanukovych (and there is much about him that I don't like, if it is true) but his removal as President did not fall into the categories in Article 108 of the Constitution and the procedure for impeachment in Article 111 did not seem to have been followed.
"The civil disturbances in Ukraine were orchestrated from the EU when Yanukovych rejected the EU trade agreement. This was just as much interference in Ukraine and with less justification as anything that Russia has done to Ukraine.
"The taped conversation of Janet Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt about who should lead Ukraine was evidence of blatant US interference.
"It is all very well to call the referendum held by the Government of the Crimean Autonomous Republic illegal, but no more than the removal of Mr Yanukovych.
"Crimea had traditionally been part of Russia since the 18th century (when the United States was founded) and was so until 1954, when it was handed over by Mr Krushchev, a Soviet leader of Ukrainian descent.
"The recent referendum was hurried and insufficiently debated but the result was hardly ambiguous.
"Large powers like Russia and the United States have what they see as legitimate spheres of interest. The United States was not going to allow Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962. Russia was not prepared to accept with equanimity another member of the EU and possibly of NATO with its previous and traditional borders.
Mr Possult the German CSU MEP asked an incomprehensible question to which Andrew replied:
"I could not discover a question among Mr Possult's words. However, I have never defended everything that Mr Putin has said or done with regard to the Ukraine. What I have said is that there has been interference both by the West (the EU and the US) and by Russia in the affairs of Ukraine."
15th April 2014:This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution to a debate on product safety and consumer protection.
"The 2012 Report of RAPEX* reported that there had been a 26% increase in the number of alerts for dangerous products. This was not just the result of greater market surveillance, the Rapporteur said. The number of dangerous products was increasing. Do we know the countries of origin of these goods? There have been some coded hints this morning but only coded hints.
"On 20th January this year, we learned from a debate on a proposed regulation for consumer protection that 58% of notifications for dangerous products related to goods from China and that in a further 16% of cases, it was not possible to identify the country of origin.
"Importation of cheap products from emergent economies does not only undermine our manufacturing bases and the jobs of our workers. It also has the potential for injuring our consumers.
"Freedom of movement of goods, not just within the EU but globally, is the root cause of dangerous goods being in our markets.
"The EU is not so much a European Union as it is becoming a Global Union."
* The Rapid Alert System fort non-food dangerous products.
15th April 2014:This morning at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following one minute speech, under Rule 150, during a debate on Nature v. Nurture.
"The Nature-Nurture debate used to be the most important in Politics and was the key to a whole range of political views. The Nurture side had much to be said for it, such as perceived kindness and fairness and, of course, non-discrimination. The Nature side had only evidence to support it.
"However, now Nurture seems to have been declared the winner without a contest. Indeed, Nature has been airbrushed out of the picture, even as a contestant. All public policy, whether devised by Left, Right, Centrist or Populist Safety Valve is based on a false assumption.
"They assume equal potential ability which does no favours to those without it.
"They assume that Third World migrants can be substitute Europeans when they can only turn Europe into the Third World.
"They confuse social mobility with equality of opportunity and do not realise that the latter will eventually bring the former to a shuddering halt.
"They throw money at continents that cannot benefit from it because Europe takes their brightest and best."
15th April 2014: Yesterday evening at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Andrew Brons made the following contribution, under the Catch the Eye procedure, to a debate on Animal Health.
"EU legislation, unlike trade, does not extend beyond its borders, so it might not answer all of the needs of animal health, originating in third countries. This regulation would replace complex, existing legislation and much of its substantive content would be beneficial.
"Healthy farm animals are recognised as a pre-requisite of human health.
"Whilst the Rapporteur acknowledges that this is not primarily an animal protection law, she quotes, with approval, the description in parallel regulation that animals were sentient beings and wrote that the legislation protecting live animals travelling should be amended to reflect distances travelled, rather than just borders crossed.
"Sentient beings can feel pain and suffer from discomfort and fear.
"Ritualistic slaughter of animals, without pre-stunning is, self-evidently, the cruel treatment of a sentient being. Food from such an animal will not of course be a hazard to human health but it is a wound to civilised sensibilities."