Letter – For once Cameron is right, UKIP voters should return “home” – to UKIP

Dear Editor,

David Cameron has written in the Telegraph asking UKIP voters to ‘return home’, naively assuming that if UKIP weren’t there we’d vote Conservative. That’s just not true: most UKIP voters I meet would never vote Conservative even if UKIP didn’t exist.

But for once, I’m going to agree with David Cameron. I too call on UKIP voters to return home, though not in the way that he means. Those who are considering voting Labour in case it ‘lets the Conservatives in’, or those who are thinking about voting Conservative in case it ‘lets Labour in’ probably balance each other out in the end anyway. You could return home to UKIP, standing firm in your belief that we can control our borders, save billions of pounds on the EU and foreign aid, scrap Income Tax on the minimum wage and reward hard work.

In fact in most North East seats, the Conservatives don’t stand a chance and the main challengers to Labour are UKIP. It shouldn’t be ‘vote UKIP, get Labour’ or ‘vote UKIP, get Conservative’ but ‘vote UKIP, get UKIP.’

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP
MEP for the North East region and UKIP PPC for Easington

Letter – Politicians must bow to the will of the people and scrap the bedroom tax

Dear Sir,

The North East Manifesto finding almost 76% of those surveyed want the ‘bedroom tax’ scrapping comes as little surprise.

This tax operates unfairly and takes insufficient account of the needs of families and the disabled. It is a major concern for tens of thousands of households in the region and this under-occupancy penalty would be ditched by UKIP.

It causes a great deal of hardship and suffering and inevitably affects those least able to deal with it. It is wrong in principle and people should not be forced out of their homes or have their housing benefits cut.

There is an increasing need for new housing largely caused by the unprecedented immigration of the last decade and that pressure will continue until we leave the European Union.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Arnott MEP,

UKIP PPC for Easington

My Column – An Open Letter About ‘That’ Anti-Ukip Note

To the person who posted this note on the window of the UKIP office in Bromley:

I’d like to start by saying ‘thank you’. That might seem strange given that your note attacks UKIP, but you may be aware that recently in different parts of the country we’ve had offices attacked by criminals. We’ve seen intimidation, violence and threats of violence against us. And of course, only recently, our Party Leader Nigel Farage MEP was enjoying lunch with his 10-year-old and 15-year-old daughters when he was accosted by a group of ‘activists’ who so terrified his children by their antics that they ran away and had to be returned home by police. The behaviour of those thugs (and I’m sorry but I can’t think of a better word to describe them) was so bad that their hired coach driver refused to transport them back.

So, thank you for displaying your message and making your political point in a reasonable and dignified way. That’s what genuine political debate and the freedom to protest is all about, and you have taught your teenage son a powerful lesson: your message has been circulated widely online and had a greater impact than those who don’t respect that we live in a democratic country.

I hope that I can respond to you in a similar fashion. You speak of fear, hatred and prejudice. Yet UKIP is the only party, and I mean the only party, that has a genuinely fair, ethical and colour-blind policy on immigration. If that surprises you, think of this: UKIP believes in controlled immigration into the UK. We wouldn’t discriminate between someone from Poland and someone from Pakistan: we would very simply treat everyone equally. In the 1980s and 1990s we had average net migration in the order of 30,000 per year. Today, that figure has increased ten-fold to 300,000 per year. It is reasonable, I think, for a party to say that the scale of this increase is unsustainable.

You also must consider the effect that emigration has upon those countries who lose people that their economies can ill-afford to lose. In my constituency, I might give the example of a very hard-working local taxi driver. He is a qualified teacher in Romania, yet now regularly works 70 or 80 hours a week in the UK, at or around minimum wage. He earns money that he could never have dreamed of in Romania, yet here he does a job which does not require a degree. We currently have a massive oversupply of unskilled and semi-skilled labour in the UK. There are fewer such jobs today: our factories are now managed by complex computer systems requiring degree-educated workers to operate them, and even our supermarkets are turning to automated checkouts. Yet the open door from Europe means that anyone can come in to the UK.

So Romania is deprived of a teacher, someone desperately needed to help to develop that country’s economy. Meanwhile, because he is prepared to work for minimum wage this has the effect of driving down the wages of those already in the UK, and he takes a job which someone currently unemployed could have learned to do. Whilst he might personally be richer, both the UK and Romania are poorer because of it.

But what if someone is moving to the UK from a country where they have an oversupply of skills yet we are deficient in that area? In that case, the migration would benefit both countries: their unemployment would be lower, and it would help to develop British business. That would be an obvious example of the kind of immigration which is beneficial to the UK. Now, in the long-term we might ask the question whether our own skill shortages reflect a deficiency in our education system.

And when Syria started being torn apart by unrest and violence leading to civil war, who was it who led the way in demanding that the British government should do our bit and take our fair share of refugees? Why it was none other than UKIP Leader Nigel Farage! At the time, Anna Musgrave of the Refugee Council said “We really hope that David Cameron listens to these people, listens to the likes of Nigel Farage, and acts upon it”.

You see, controlling immigration isn’t about race, or hatred, or prejudice. It’s about doing the right thing – not just for our country, but for other countries as well. So you need not feel shame or indignation when you walk past a UKIP office.

As for your allegation that we’re ‘racist’, former members of the BNP, English Defence League, National Front and similar organisations are banned for life from joining UKIP. We don’t want racists in our midst, thank you very much. And whilst it’s true that some of our members have said bad things, we do not accept it and we’re the Party that takes swift disciplinary action against them. The media have certainly ‘cherry-picked’ though: when a UKIP candidate says bad things it’s headline news – whereas when it’s an establishment Party candidate it rarely goes beyond the local newspapers.

You can read the rest of this article at my Huffington Post blog here.

Commission Question – Subject: Legality of leaving the euro In light of recent speculation that Greece may leave the euro, can the Commission please comment on the legality of a euro zone member state leaving the euro without also leaving the EU?

Question for written answer E-001163/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Legality of leaving the euro

In light of recent speculation that Greece may leave the euro, can the Commission please comment on the legality of a euro zone member state leaving the euro without also leaving the EU?

EN

E-001163/2015

Answer given by Mr Moscovici

on behalf of the Commission

(16.3.2015)

 

 

The irrevocability of membership in the euro area is an integral part of the Treaty framework and is expressed under Article 140(3) TFEU. On this basis, the adoption of the euro is an irreversible step and no change of currency in any of the euro-area countries is provided for. As the guardian of the EU Treaties, the Commission, fully respects this principle and protects the integrity of the euro area.

 

 

Commission Question – Subject: Review of golden handshakes In light of the press coverage of Herman Van Rompuy’s severance package, can the Council confirm whether any review is scheduled to take place to ensure that such astronomical sums of taxpayers’ money are not used in this way again?

Question for written answer E-010450/2014

to the Council

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Review of golden handshakes

In light of the press coverage of Herman Van Rompuy’s severance package, can the Council confirm whether any review is scheduled to take place to ensure that such astronomical sums of taxpayers’ money are not used in this way again?

EN

E-010450/2014

Reply

(4.3.2015)

The conditions of employment of the President of the European Council are laid down in Council Decision 2009/909/EU (OJ L 322, 9.12.2009, p. 35).

No revision of this Decision is foreseen in the Council at present.

 

Commission Question – Subject: Norway’s access to the single market Could the Commission please provide details of the circumstances in which Norway enjoys any derogations from full compliance with the single market legislation?

Question for written answer E-010449/2014

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Norway’s access to the single market

Could the Commission please provide details of the circumstances in which Norway enjoys any derogations from full compliance with the single market legislation?

 

 

EN

E-010449/2014

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(5.3.2015) 

 

 

Norway is a contracting party to the EEA Agreement. As far as the scope of this Agreement is concerned, it covers the four freedoms and other related policies, however it does not cover the following areas: Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies; Customs Union, Common Trade Policy, Common Foreign and Security Policy, Justice and Home Affairs (even though the EFTA countries are part of the Schengen area), or Monetary Union (EMU).

 

In principle, all EU acquis related to the internal market has to be incorporated and applied by the EFTA States as such. Exceptionally, they may be granted derogation, however this has to be agreed by both parties in a Joint Committee Decision.

 

 

Commission Question – Subject: Switzerland and the single market It is my understanding that Switzerland’s relationship with the EU includes access to the single market on a sector-by-sector basis. Could the Commission please provide details of which sectors are included and which are excluded from Switzerland’s arrangement with the EU?

Question for written answer E-010451/2014

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Switzerland and the single market

It is my understanding that Switzerland’s relationship with the EU includes access to the single market on a sector-by-sector basis.

Could the Commission please provide details of which sectors are included and which are excluded from Switzerland’s arrangement with the EU?

EN

E-010451/2014

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(5.3.2015) 

 

 

Switzerland is participating in a number of areas of the internal market. This participation is governed by twenty major and more than hundred further bilateral cooperation and technical agreements concluded since the Swiss electorate’s rejection of accession to the European Economic Area in 1992.

 

Switzerland currently participates in the free movement of people. Main further agreements concern:

 

Air and road transport, the mutual recognition of conformity assessments, trade in agricultural and processed agricultural products, public procurement, research cooperation, statistics, cooperation in fraud pursuits, participation in the Schengen and the Dublin system.

 

 

Commission Question – Subject: Ebola aid Could the Commission please provide figures for the amount of money provided by the EU in 2014 to support each of the countries affected by Ebola

Question for written answer E-000249/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Ebola aid

Could the Commission please provide figures for the amount of money provided by the EU in 2014 to support each of the countries affected by Ebola

EN

E-000249/2015

Answer given by Mr Stylianides

on behalf of the Commission

(4.3.2015)

 

 

The EU is using all available resources to help fighting Ebola and has, together with its Member states, made available since the beginning of the epidemic more than EUR 1.2 billion for humanitarian and development aid, as well as for preparedness actions in the neighbouring countries and for medical research aiming to develop a vaccine. Moreover, numerous Member States are also supporting the fight against Ebola through in-kind assistance and the Commission has managed non-financial tools providing transport and coordination for aid through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, deploying experts and mobile laboratories to help with faster diagnosis and enabling medical evacuation for humanitarian workers who have contracted the disease.

 

Out of the above mentioned total pledges, an amount of about EUR 696 million has been committed as of 4 February 2015 and the EU is fully engaged in committing the remaining funding at the earliest. The breakdown per country of the present commitments includes EUR 247 million for Sierra Leone, EUR 129 million for Guinea and EUR 76 million for Liberia. An amount of EUR 244 million has been committed for regional actions including the three most affected countries and the neighbouring countries. The highest amount allocated for Sierra Leone is justified by the high number of Ebola cases in this country.

 

 

Commission Question – Subject: London air ambulance It has been reported in the British press1 that London was without its air ambulance service for three weeks owing to new EU rules. Could the Commission shed any light on this situation, and refer to the relevant regulation or directive?

Question for written answer E-000251/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: London air ambulance

It has been reported in the British press1 that London was without its air ambulance service for three weeks owing to new EU rules.

Could the Commission shed any light on this situation, and refer to the relevant regulation or directive?

 

1  http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/550574/European-Union-EU-regulations-London-Air-Ambulance-missing-helicopter

 

EN

E-000251/2015

Answer given by Ms Bulc

on behalf of the Commission

(3.3.2015) 

On the basis of the information available to the Commission, it appears that London Air Ambulance Service helicopter was out of service for three weeks for planned maintenance. The Service made an operational decision not to use an alternative helicopter during this period.  It would thus not seem the case that this decision was the result of EU legislative or regulatory requirements.

 

 

 

Commission Question – Subject: Middle East and North Africa trade status Which countries in the Middle East and North Africa enjoy Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status with the EU in terms of trade?

Question for written answer E-000250/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Middle East and North Africa trade status

Which countries in the Middle East and North Africa enjoy Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status with the EU in terms of trade?

EN

E-000250/2015

Answer given by Ms Malmström

on behalf of the Commission

(3.3.2015) 

 

 

At this stage, there are 13 beneficiaries of the EU Generalised scheme of preferences plus (GSP+) arrangement but none of them are from Middle East or North Africa regions. They are Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Mongolia, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the Philippines.