Commission Question – Maritime regional capacity in the Horn of Africa

Question for written answer E-008850/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD) and Julia Reid (EFDD)

Subject: Maritime regional capacity in the Horn of Africa

The Draft Budget for 2016 mentions a project concerning Maritime Regional Capacity in the Horn of Africa (EUCAP Nestor). What key elements are involved in this project?

1. Will it involve security and defence support by EU Member States?

2. What evaluation has been made to safeguard the coastal population’s economic interests and livelihoods?

3. Please provide a full cost analysis of this particular project, and supply information relating to the key economic benefits relating to the Horn of Africa.

EN

E-008850/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(8.9.2015) 

EUCAP Nestor is a civilian CSDP mission, launched in July 2012 with the current mandate expiring on 12 December 2016. The mission aims at strengthening the maritime security capacity of states in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean to reinforce their ability to fight piracy through advising, mentoring and training.

EUCAP Nestor is part of the EU comprehensive approach to the Horn of Africa in general and to the fight against piracy in particular. The mission complements the other CSDP missions in the region, EUTM Somalia and EUNAVFOR Atalanta.

The primary focus of the mission is on Somalia, but it also supports capacity building in Djibouti, the Seychelles and Tanzania, even though an interim strategic review, carried out during spring 2015, proposed the mission to only focus on Somalia. Therefore, EUCAP Nestor will soon phase out activities in Tanzania, Djibouti and Seychelles.

EUCAP Nestor contributes to the economic development of the coastal populations in the Horn of Africa by strengthening their capacity for maritime governance so that they can take control of their territorial waters and exclusive economic zone as well as take ownership of the fight against piracy.

The current annual budget of the Mission is EUR 17.9 M.

My Column – What Should #refugeeswelcome Actually Mean?

Let’s remember, as far back as December 2013 a certain Nigel Farage was one of the first to call for us to take our fair share of Syrian refugees. So let’s have none of the nonsense claims stoking untruths and intolerance about Ukip that we hear from the Left of British politics on a daily basis.

Ukip’s always been in favour of helping those genuinely in need, according to our great British traditions. As Nigel Farage said, “I would like to point out that since the inception of this party Ukip has supported our proud tradition of helping those in need in terms of allowing entry to a sensible number of refugees. The problem has come with opening up our borders unconditionally to the whole of the EU.” That exact phrase – ‘proud tradition of helping those in need’ – was in handy pocket-sized guides to Ukip in 2008 (I know, because I wrote and designed the booklet concerned: over three million were produced).

Nothing could be more quintessentially British than the support we gave to refugees fleeing Hitler’s monstrosities during World War II for example. And ISIS’ butchery of all who dare disagree with them is every bit as callous, albeit on a smaller scale.

But in a modern world, a 21st Century crisis where Britain isn’t the major point of entry, the question is about ‘doing our bit’. Being compassionate mustn’t mean being naive, and we forget the law of unintended consequences at our peril: just look at how our involvement in Iraq turned out, because Blair failed to spot that artificially-enforced Westernisation carries risks. As Don MacLean put it years earlier in his famous song “We had to burn the city because they wouldn’t agree, that things work better with democracy”.

So if we use the hashtag #refugeeswelcome we need to make very clear what exactly we’re talking about. As a right-winger I filter my heartfelt desire to help, with careful consideration of whether it’ll actually work. That’s why the (ostensibly) left-wing Labour government of Tony Blair invaded Iraq, whilst we in Ukip said ‘hang on a minute, have we thought this through first?’. Being on the right is about being prepared to take tough decisions. A plan isn’t automatically right just because it hurts us to put it into practice; political masochism might ease my conscience but I need to ask about the consequences – just as Blair failed to do in Iraq. Take in refugees? Yes – but, and this is the crucial bit, not in the way that many are suggesting, which will simply lead to an even greater crisis.

To answer the question in the title, there’s a lot that we could – and should – do without being counterproductive:

1. We want to help those Syrian refugees displaced in countries like Turkey (1.8million), Lebanon (1.2million) and Jordan (over 600,000). This handy map of the region tells a story (but more on that later). Those who are vulnerable, elderly, women and children, and have no money to pay traffickers, generally remain in those countries. They should be a higher priority for our help than generally young, able-bodied men who pay traffickers to illegally traverse safe country after safe country (and who’s to say that money won’t end up financing terrorism?), risking their lives whilst leaving others behind.

2. We don’t welcome those who cynically use the crisis in Syria for their own ends. Those from Bangladesh and elsewhere who try to claim asylum, attempting to capitalise on the Syrians’ suffering, are making life worse for the Syrians.

3. We don’t welcome the European Union’s power grab, manipulating this crisis to seek to seize power over Britain’s borders through a Common Asylum Policy.

4. We don’t welcome those who seek to profit from the misfortune of others, selling pipe dreams and dangerous journeys through Europe from safe country to safe country. Those cruel mercenaries can be stopped, but only through effective border controls.

5. Public opinion is polarised in the UK because we allowed into the country 636,000 new immigrants in the last year. Roughly 96% were economic migrants. If you want to know why some people seem to lack compassion, it’s because our uncontrolled mass immigration system has enormous social consequences and puts many local people out of work. Stem that flow of mass immigration, and the vast majority of people will recognise the legitimate humanitarian concerns over Syria.

6. ISIS has threatened to use the refugee situation as cover to send terrorists into the UK and elsewhere in Europe. We need to take steps to weed out such people.

7. We need to expect the rich Gulf states to do their bit too. According to Amnesty International, six Gulf countries – Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain – have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees. Most of these are some of the richest countries in the world thanks to oil exports. They can afford to help; they should be helping. This isn’t a European crisis, it’s a global crisis. Frankly, Syria’s (near) neighbours should be pulling their weight.

Get this right, and I want us to take our share of refugees. Not from Europe, but from the places where the humanitarian crisis is greatest: Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. I want us to provide humanitarian aid in those countries.

Get it wrong, and our actions become counterproductive – easing consciences without helping to resolve the problem. Compassion? Yes, please. But not naïveté. Naïveté kills people, the very people you claim to want to protect.

The hashtag should probably be:

#refugeeswelcomebutletsdoitlegallyandsensiblycynicalexploitersofrefugeesunwelcome
economicmigrantsonlywelcomewhentheybringtheskillsweneed

But that might be a bit too long for Twitter. It’s not a simple, quick-fix soundbite but a nuanced, thought-out message. My heart wants to sign the #refugeeswelcome petition; my head recognises that being compassionate is also about being sensible. I can’t sign up to something that suggests we should be taking people in from Europe – we should be taking them from the countries where the worst crises lie.

You can read this article on my Huffington Post blog here.

Jonathan Arnott MEP comments on the recent controversial tweets from the Prime Minister

David Cameron tweet

 

David Cameron has faced  criticism after his official Twitter account tweeted about the Northern Powerhouse – but left out the North East.

When asked about the tweets North East UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott commented: “I’m not as bothered about the PM forgetting to include the North East in tweets about the Northern Powerhouse, as I am about him forgetting the North East in the so-called ‘powerhouse’ itself.

“We’ve seen plans for improvements to our rail network downgraded and delayed, and the latest proposals for the A1 will dual a pitiful 13 miles of the main highway from England to Edinburgh.

“Until we have the transport links to be an economic powerhouse, we won’t be one – whatever David Cameron wants to call it.

“He’s giving us the crumbs under the table, and perhaps in that tweet the mask has slipped a little.

“The Northern Powerhouse needs new batteries in the North East.”

Nigel Farage: UKIP leader visiting North East on Euro vote tour

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is to speak in the North East next month as part of his nationwide tour to highlight why he believes the UK should leave the European Union.

Mr Farage, who is co-president of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (EFDD) in the European Parliament will be at the event at The Sage Gateshead on Monday October 12.

The event starts at 7pm.

UKIP’s North East MEP Jonathan Arnott, who will also be speaking, said: “It is crucial that we should have control over who comes into our country but, while we are in the EU, we are powerless to stem those flooding in from the continent.”

Tickets for the event, which are free, can be obtained at www.sagegateshead.com/debate or by ringing 0191 443 4661.

A £2.50 booking fee will apply.

This article was originally published on the Shields Gazette website, you can read it here.

Jeremy Corbyn win could mean North East gets its first UKIP MP, claims Euro MP

Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing leadership could give the North East its first UKIP MP in five years’ time, it has been claimed.

Jonathan Arnott, Ukip Euro MP for the region, said that, should Labour’s frontrunner to be crowned leader succeed, his agenda could “polarise opinion” in places like Hartlepool, where Nigel Farage’s party narrowly missed out on winning in May.

Jeremy Corbyn is seeking to win the support of voters in the North by launching a new Labour group devoted to pushing regeneration projects in the party’s traditional heartlands, where Ukip picked up many votes in May.

His campaign has already garnered plenty of support in the region, with a recent visit attracting huge crowds in Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

And now, Mr Corbyn has said the Chancellor’s Northern Powerhouse drive is “little more than southern hot air” as he says his Northern Futures programme, backed by Easington MP Grahame Morris, will work to rebalance the economy.

Mr Corbyn said the North must be treated on a par with the South, adding: “For too long talk of northern regeneration has been little more than southern hot air.

“I am delighted that our astonishing campaign this summer has given birth to Northern Futures, an organisation which will put forward policy ideas to rebalance the economy more fairly in favour of the North.

“It’s a great example of the pattern of democratic process of consultation we will pursue if we win the leadership race.”

It comes as Andy Burnham spends the bank holiday touring North cities in a bid to win back UKIP voters.

The Shadow Health Secretary has cast himself as the candidate for the North and admits the party was guilty of “avoiding” difficult issues such as immigration, which allowed UKIP to take the advantage.

But Mr Arnott said a win for My Corbyn was not necessarily bad for Nigel Farage’s party.

He said: “Jeremy Corbyn is a maverick, shooting from the lip with policy suggestions that haven’t been properly considered.

“Some are good, some are bad – but no-one’s going to take him seriously as a potential Prime Minister.

“At least the Islington MP has seen through Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse mirage, and recognises the poor deal the North East has.

“Andy Burnham has also been caught in U-turn after U-turn; no-one knows what he really stands for.

“As immigration has become a key issue, he’s admitting the impact of Labour’s mass immigration on poorer communities, but lacks proposals to bring it under control.

“In seats like Hartlepool, with Ukip just 3,000 votes short of winning in May, Corbyn will polarise opinion – this could play into our hands.”

Extra EU funds for areas that face most pressure from new arrivals will be among Mr Corbyn’s proposed responses to a report commissioned from MP Dan Jarvis about the failure to take on Ukip.

In his report, Mr Jarvis said Labour had been “in denial for too long” about the threat of Ukip and was “in danger of becoming irrelevant” after falling to third place in some constituencies.

The party was “yet to develop an effective counter attack” to the eurosceptic advance which saw it shed crucial support across a swathe of seats in its traditional northern heartlands.

On immigration, Mr Burnham said: “For too long, Labour campaigners have been avoiding people’s eyes when this subject comes up on the doorstep.

“We need to respond to people’s legitimate concerns about the challenges that EU migration creates in some of our poorest communities.”

This story was originally published on The Chronicle website, you can read it here.

 

Commission Question – Migration NGOs in Latin America

Question for written answer E-009117/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Migration NGOs in Latin America

Could the Commission please provide details of what assistance and support it provides to NGOs and other civil society organisations in Latin America which are active in the field of migration?

EN

E-009117/2015

Answer given by Mr Mimica

on behalf of the Commission

(4.9.2015) 

Migration and development has been a long-standing priority area of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, which provides an overarching framework for EU external migration policy. The new European Agenda for Migration also includes “addressing the root causes through development cooperation and humanitarian assistance” as one of its key actions.

In Latin America, the Commission has supported NGOs and Civil Society Organisations working with migration-related issues via both geographic (Development Cooperation Instrument1) and thematic instruments.

As far as thematic instruments are concerned, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights2 has given support through both global Calls for Proposals and local Calls for Proposals that are managed by EU Delegations.

The Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace3 has supported a project for the prevention and care of victims of human trafficking in Central America with a special focus on women and minors of age.

Finally, to complement such support to Civil Society, and in the framework of the Structured and Comprehensive EU-CELAC Dialogue on Migration, the EU has funded the project “Strengthening the dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean” which was implemented from 2011 to July 2015.

1  Regulation (EU) No 233/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation for the period 2014-2020 (OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 44-76)

2  Regulation (EU) No 235/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a financing instrument for democracy and human rights worldwide (OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 85–94)

3  Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing an instrument contributing to stability and peace (OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 1–10 )

Commission Question – Germany’s failure to comply with EU airport security law

Question to the Commission for written answer E-010271/2015

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Germany’s failure to comply with EU airport security law

It is understood that a case will be referred to the Court of Justice for a decision as to whether Germany failed to fully comply with EU airport security regulations.

Does the Commission know of any other Member States which have also failed to comply and, if so, what action will be taken in respect of this?

EN

E-010271/2015

Answer given on behalf of the Commission by Ms Bulc (7.9.2015) 

The Commission continuously monitors the application of the Union’s aviation security legislation and is regularly conducting aviation security inspections in all Member States in order to verify the effectiveness of their national quality control programmes regarding civil aviation security.

It is in the context of such an inspection that the Commission established that Germany did not respect the legal requirements and decided that the case should be referred to the Court of Justice.

Should Commission inspections reveal in future that other Member States fail to fulfill the legal requirements, appropriate steps, up to the referral to the EU Court of Justice, if necessary, shall be taken.

Nissan announcement shatters Labour EU campaign

A major plank of Labour’s campaign to remain in the European Union has been ‘shattered’ today, according to Sunderland’s UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

All parties have welcomed the news that Nissan is to invest a further £100 million in its Sunderland plant, but comments by Nissan Europe chairman Paul Willcox on the ‘Today’ programme make it clear that Nissan is investing in the UK, irrespective of the result of the UK’s referendum on European Union membership.

Mr Willcox stated, “our position in terms of competitiveness is driven by not only the situation in Europe in terms of whether we’re in or out of the EU, but more importantly the commitment of the people in the North East and supply chain. Focus really should be in that area because that is why we have such a great success story – the combined impact of our investment but also supply chain and a great workforce.”

Labour’s MEPs had threatened that Nissan could leave the UK if Britain voted ‘out’ in the referendum. The Labour MEPs’ website still states “Nissan have said they’d consider leaving the UK if we left the EU. Other countries might prefer if Nissan relocated there rather than have us enter a free trade deal with them.”

But UKIP’s Jonathan Arnott said “We are absolutely delighted that more investment is coming to our region, directly guaranteeing 6,700 jobs and a further 27,000 in the supply chain, despite a general lack of government investment in our infrastructure.

“We also welcome today’s categorical confirmation that Nissan is here to stay, as we knew all along. We have guarantees of a free trade deal if we were to leave the EU, and World Trade Organisation rules would prevent the kind of punitive tariffs Labour are warning about.

“Labour’s claims have been utterly shattered, and this news is a huge blow for them. In ten separate articles on their website, local Labour MEPs claim that we must stay in the EU to prevent firms like Nissan leaving the UK.

“Labour gold-plated Nissan’s actual words to seek votes, and now their scaremongering has come back to bite them. It’s a low blow to threaten people with unemployment if they don’t support the European Union, and today’s announcements will set many minds at rest. There’s a key question of trust here; Labour needs to stop putting words into the mouth of big business and using them as a political football.

“Outside the European Union, not only would we trade freely with Europe but we’d also regain the power to negotiate our own trade deals. Suddenly, deals with emerging markets like China and a special relationship with the Commonwealth countries might be on the horizon.

“As the EU’s share of world GDP declines, it’s time to look to the future and to a wider world of trading possibilities,” he said.