27th November 2012
British Liberal Democrats and Socialists have let slip their ambitions to build a European superstate when they voted in favour of radical changes to EU election rules.
After much delay from the European Commission, the UK government can at last proceed with its rural broadband projects.
21st November 2012
The Prime Minister will be arriving in Brussels later this week for key talks on the EU’s next 7-year budget. With the European Commission demanding a 5% increase above inflation, these negotiations will be no easy feat. Net EU contributors, such as the UK and the Netherlands, want a freeze in the EU budget. Net EU recipients, such as Poland and Hungary, don’t want their precious regional cohesion funds to be reduced. France, meanwhile, certainly won’t let its farmers suffer a reduction in agricultural funding.
As part of the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) campaign to scrap the Beer Duty Escalator I took the opportunity to visit the Uley Brewery near Dursley in Gloucestershire to meet with Ken Lush, the Head Brewer. Ken very kindly showed me around the brewery and explained the hard work that goes into making their excellent ales.
7th November 2012
Another year passes and the European Union still can’t get a grip on the way it spends our money. For an astonishing 18 years, the European Court of Auditors has been unable to give the EU a clean bill of financial health. This year the Court has estimated an error rate of 3.9% in the 2011 EU accounts – a rate that is increasing year-on-year.
15th October 2012
I was pleased to learn that the Home Secretary intends to call time on our involvement with the EU Justice & Home Affairs Programme. Mrs May has made it clear that the UK will opt-out of over 130 separate pieces of EU legislation including abandoning the highly controversial EU Arrest Warrant and an EU level Public Prosecutor.
12th October 2012
A vote in the European Parliaments budget committee yesterday has put the European Parliament on a collision course with the British Government at next month's emergency summit. It was hoped that the November meeting might crack the deadlock over the European Union's next seven year budget framework that runs from 2014 until 2020, that hope now looks fragile indeed.
5th October 2012
For a whole variety of reasons people sometimes find themselves without the means to feed either themselves or their family. When this happens there is often little support. We are all used to reading tabloid stories of how they are ‘scroungers’ or have spent all their money on drugs or drink, but for the vast majority of people in this situation this isn’t the case.