UK citizens are the EU’s Magic Money Tree

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott  has pointed out that last year the UK paid the European Union £159 million per week more than it received back.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the total ‘membership fee’ was £363 million per week, but the net figure comes after taking into account our rebate and EU funding.

This means that, between the date of the referendum and leaving the EU in March 2019, the British taxpayer will have forked out – net – an incredible £22.8 billion to the European Union.

UKIP’s Treasury spokesman Jonathan Arnott MEP said: “To put these figures into context, the net membership fee alone is the equivalent of over two pence in the pound on income tax.

“This isn’t what people thought they were voting for in the EU referendum. We voted to end British cash going to the European Union, not for the tap to keep flowing. It truly beggars belief that even these eye-watering amounts of money aren’t giving Theresa May pause to think – she’s still agreeing to hand many billions more over to the EU in a so-called ‘divorce bill’, which hasn’t the slightest legal basis.

“British politicians often pretend they have a magic money tree, but the European Union actually has one. It’s called the British taxpayer.

“In a surprisingly political move by the Office for National Statistics, the figures for 2016 have been calculated differently to all previous years – removing the rebate, in an apparent bid to undermine figures used by Vote Leave during the referendum campaign,” he added.

Bull fighting cash shown the red card

Bull fighting cash from taxpayers’ money may be about to end – after North-East Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott successfully got an EU budget amendment passed.

Over the last three years animal lover Mr Arnott has been a consistent campaigner against British taxpayers’ money going to support bullfighting in other European countries.

And today (Wed) he walked into the record books – by being the first UKIP MEP to get a budget amendment passed by the European Parliament.

“I am delighted that this important animal welfare measure has gone through the European Parliament. Whatever you think about bullfighting, it is morally indefensible for British taxpayers’ money to be spent supporting it,” said Mr Arnott.

“I remember being taken to a bullfight as part of a school exchange trip when I was a teenager, and I’ll never forget the stench of blood or the baying of the crowd, cheering on the death of a defenceless animal. I just hope that this measure is not now watered down by the European Commission.”

Three bullfighting amendments written by Mr. Arnott were passed the European Parliament by votes of 385-242, 386-238 and 401-217 respectively.

It is believed to be the first time that a UKIP amendment of any kind has been approved by the full European Parliament, let alone on a Budgetary vote, although previous UKIP amendments have succeeded in committee stages or on changes to the European Parliament’s agenda.

The irony of a UKIP proposal being passed in the European Parliament is not lost on Mr. Arnott: “I’ve joked with some of my colleagues that I might be in trouble with the Party leadership if one of my proposals has actually gone through.

“Seriously though, I am disappointed that my other proposals for ‘victimless cuts’ to the EU budget have fallen on deaf ears, but it makes a change to be able to actually make some kind of genuine difference out here,” he said.

The amendments state: “Appropriations will not be used to support the breeding or rearing of bulls for bull fighting activities. Takes note of the Commission’s 2015 executability letter on this topic which stated: ‘This amendment modifies the legal provisions of the CAP, in particular Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and is therefore not executable.’ Demands, therefore, that proposals be initiated to change the relevant pieces of legislation to ensure no appropriations are used to support the breeding or rearing of bulls for fighting.”

Jonathan Arnott MEP has condemned the European Council for ordering 4,000 bottles of Champagne.

Local Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott has condemned the European Council for ordering 4,000 bottles of Champagne.

“This is taxpayers’ money and meanwhile so many of my constituents in the North East struggle to buy foodstuffs, never mind splash out on expensive fizz,” he said.

“When they divide up the EU’s assets, will this country be entitled to receive 500 of these bottles? And if so, can we please use them to raise a glass to toast Brexit and the end of these obscene wastes of taxpayers’ money for once and for all? “

Mr Arnott, EU Budget Committee member and UKIP’s Treasury spokesman, made his comments in the wake of the European Council putting out a tender for 1,000 bottles of champagne a year for a four year stint.

“The profligate waste of taxpayers’ money over the years is one of the reasons people in this country voted for Brexit but European bureaucrats are still acting in “Carry on Regardless” mode,” he said.

Statement on my appointment as Political Advisor and Treasury Spokesman

I’m delighted to have been appointed to the roles of Political Advisor and Treasury Spokesman by the new Party Leader Henry Bolton.

 

Promotions for Jim, Margot, and Mike, are well-deserved. I look forward to working with them as the Party must now move forward.

 

The Labour Party has become a threat to the Brexit which the people voted for, and which they supported in their Manifesto.

 

Sadly, the Conservative government has pursued a weak and insipid negotiation strategy which is weakening our national hand whilst emboldening an intransigent Brussels.

 

UKIP must now be back in the game, for the sake of our nation. To that end, we must rally around Henry as Party Leader, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.

Labour’s Brexit immigration lie

Statement on the UKIP leadership election result

First of all, I would like to offer my congratulations to Henry Bolton on winning the UKIP leadership election. His will be a difficult, and in many ways unenviable, task.

We must now get back to showing what we stand *for*, not what – or who – some wish us to stand against. The Party has made its decision. Barely one in five Party members supported the ideology which would have dragged this Party into the gutter. I am glad that this is the case.

There is a huge amount of work ahead for our new Leader. He will be given a window of opportunity by the media, because his election was unanticipated by them, in which to define his position.

He now has a huge challenge, and I’ll limit my comments for space reasons to just five of the biggest ones:

1. To persuade the many good UKIP members who left the Party over the last year to return.

2. To prove that UKIP is relevant to people across the country. That means that we need to start talking about the issues which people raise with us on the doorstep, not the other way way around: not just Brexit, but jobs, the economy, health, education, crime, housing, and everything that people care about which affects their everyday lives.

3. To put together a ‘top team’ which is able to appeal to a broad spectrum of the electorate, a team with the talent, ability and drive to make a difference.

4. To organise and professionalise the Party. This means that we have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot, as we have already done many times in just the past few days. It means that we need to take firm action, kicking out of the Party those who deserve to be kicked out. It also means that we need to become a credible and effective fighting force at elections once again.

5. To motivate our activists to get out and campaign. The lifeblood of any political party is its activists, and in UKIP perhaps even more so than most because we cannot rely upon a tradition of a century of past successes, of laurels to rest on. We need to enthuse our people with a drive and determination to go out there, work hard, and to succeed.

I have not agreed with everything which Henry Bolton said during the election campaign, but there are many things which I could support.

He has vast leadership experience, but this is not political in nature and it will be an incredibly difficult and steep learning curve for him to transfer these skills to the leadership of a political party.

This Party has been given another chance, one final opportunity to bounce back from the mistakes that have been made over recent times.

I truly hope that Henry Bolton will prove himself to be equal to this task. Please, Henry, deliver a party which I can once again feel that absolute sense of pride in representing. It’s felt so distant of late; please give us a future.

EU ‘daft’ spending plans slammed

Following the green light for an EU raft of “daft” spending proposals North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has hit out at the massive waste of taxpayers’ money.

The Eurocrats have earmarked €12 million to fund gap year teenagers with free ‘inter-railing’ around Europe and a further €2 million to help them volunteer in Africa for up to a year.

A further €800,000 is to be spent helping volunteers plant trees in the same continent and €3 million-plus on ‘ocean literacy classes’; teaching refugees to play football and on a butterfly monitoring project.

UKIP Euro-MP Mr Arnott, a member of the EU parliament’s budget committee, said: “This EU budget and so-called Brexit Bill are outrageous.”

“The EU is barking up the wrong tree if it thinks splurging taxpayers’ money on pointless projects will make it more popular.

“People are sick to death of the EU trying to bribe young people, and throwing money away. These outrageously daft proposals just reinforce why people were right to vote for Brexit,” he added.

The spending plans were amongst some 2,324 amendments to the EU’s draft Budget agreed by the Parliament’s Budget Committee this week. They will go to a full vote of the European Parliament on 25 October.

Call for tougher animal cruelty sentences backed

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott is again backing a call for tougher sentences for animal cruelty.

The Centre for Crime Prevention is recommending that the maximum sentence is increased from six months – the lowest in Europe – to five years.

Figures have revealed that more than 92% of offenders convicted of animal cruelty over ten years ending in 2015 in England and Wales avoided prison.

“I have long advocated tougher sentences and I was particularly sickened by the case of the two Redcar thugs who walked free from court last year after subjecting a bulldog to a horrific attack,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“If only that were an isolated instance. Yet despite daily examples of unspeakable cruelty, I genuinely can’t remember the last time anyone actually served more than 2 months in prison before early release – even for the most heinous of offences against animals.

“It is all very well for the government to mutter that it is reviewing the matter and any changes to legislation should always be carefully considered before implementation.

“But this problem has been apparent for years. It’s not a complex matter to add animal cruelty offences to the list for which ‘unduly lenient’ sentences can be reviewed, or to toughen up on making sure that bans on keeping animals are properly enforced.

“Nor is it a complex matter to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty so that culprits can be dealt with in a proper manner and more in keeping with their heartless crimes.

“The public are righty outraged at our government’s rudderless leadership and the leniency shown to such offenders. Those who deliberately harm animals should face sentences which actually deliver justice,” said Mr Arnott.

HS2 is not, and never will be, value for money and it should be scrapped

North East residents will suffer not benefit from HS2, said local MEP Jonathan Arnott today.

“The project is currently estimated at £55.7billion and of course this will prove to be a hideous under-estimate by the time it is completed.

“The government should end this folly in its tracks right now and stop wasting these mega-bucks which frankly this country cannot afford and which will cost every taxpayer in the land dearly, including those in my constituency,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“The only beneficiaries are the companies involved in its development and businesses in London. It is a myth that it will encourage businesses to set up in the Midlands and the North, it will largely encourage growth in the capital, as happened in Paris with the TGV.

“It is nonsense for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to say it will help re-balance the economy. I am particularly concerned about the urgent need for investment in the North East and some of the cash being lavished on this white elephant project could be spent there.

“It is also a disaster for the environment and is blighting the lives of those whose homes and livelihoods are near the proposed route.

“HS2 is not, and never will be, value for money and it should be scrapped and instead resources directed to other transport projects, which unlike this scheme, are actually needed. Existing rail lines should be upgraded and where practical old disused lines should be re-opened.

“Also the A1 should be upgraded to motorway throughout the North East, it is just not good enough that parts of it are just single carriageway,” said Mr Arnott.

No, Muslims aren’t about to ‘take over’ the UK and enforce Sharia Law

I’ve put forward strong proposals to deal with terrorism and extremism in my booklet ‘Britain Beyond Brexit’; there is a serious issue that we need to deal with as a country, but that issue isn’t a ‘Muslim takeover’ of Britain.

I’m writing this article in response to the kind of comment that I’m seeing over and over again from UKIP members. It’s just not true, and I’m writing to challenge it from a reasoned and evidence-based perspective.

One member wrote an article for UKIPDaily suggesting that “Few UK voters realise the UK’s current legal system and democracy could easily be replaced by Sharia Law as soon as 2040”.

Former UKIP NEC member Anish Patel tweeted yesterday “Eventually, when there is enough of them. They will start up their own political party. And then they will democratically vote for full sharia law and there will be absolutely nothing at all that we can do about it.”

Just half an hour before I started writing this article, Anne-Marie Waters retweeted “All other policies are moot if we’re subject to 2nd class status in Islamic UK.”

All of this would indeed be terrifying, if the evidence weren’t completely against it.

The argument is that ‘the Gatestone Institute projects that in 2021, Muslims will make up 10% of the UK population. That’s 2.2 times the percentage in the 2011 census. And if you keep multiplying by 2.2, you’ll hit 50% in around 2040. Then Muslims will immediately institute Sharia Law in the UK.’

The Gatestone Institute doesn’t provide evidence for that assertion, so the secondary claim is that from 2001 to 2011 the Muslim percentage grew from 2.7% to 4.4%, an increase of 1.6 times, so then they keep multiplying by 1.6 instead.

The problem is that population doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t increase exponentially but settles down over time – the higher the Muslim population gets, the less the impact of immigration on the overall percentage for example.

From 1961 to 1971 the Muslim population increased 5-fold; from 1971 to 1981 2.4-fold; from 1981 to 1991 1.6-fold; from 1991 to 2001 1.6-fold and from 2001 to 2011 1.6-fold. Those numbers would have continued to decline dramatically were it not for the increase in immigration under Blair, and (because the Muslim population is now higher) the immigration effect will lessen even if immigration itself were to remain high.

There is no mathematical argument whatsoever for assuming such exponential growth could continue – it would require immigration levels from Muslim countries to be 10 to 20 times higher than they are now.

Yet the human brain ‘likes’ such projections. It’s the reason why so many people fall for pyramid-selling schemes for example.

The Muslim birth rate may well be higher than that of the general population at present, which does (slowly – and we-re talking a century or two, not a decade or two) impact upon the Muslim population. But hang on a second: that’s normally the case in countries with lower life expectancies than the UK. It’s not a religious reason for having more kids, it’s something likely to decrease in the second, third, and fourth generations of those coming to the UK.

Pew Research (who are the people the anti-Muslims in UKIP like to quote) have actually done the analysis based on actual birth rates (Muslim women in Europe have on average 2.2 children at present), immigration rates and conversion rates, and they conclude that by 2050 the UK population is likely to be 11.3% Muslim. See The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, Pew Research.

Then, and somewhat bizarrely, nobody really seems to consider the documented likelihood that any Muslims at all are becoming integrated into the UK.

The ICM poll – the most comprehensive ever conducted – shows that of British Muslims, 49% of those born in the UK (compared with 32% of those born outside the UK) either ‘never’ attend mosque or do so ‘only on special occasions’. And that figure by any measure, is rising over time: it’s just 18% for those aged 65+ and 46% for those aged 18-24 for example.

Do we really, honestly, think that they’re plotting a Muslim takeover of Britain if they don’t even turn up to their local mosque? Seriously? Because EVEN IF – and it’s already a statistical nonsense – the UK became ‘majority Muslim’ do we really think the rising percentage of ‘in name only’ Muslims would support the introduction of Sharia?

Well we can check that against the polling data too. Instead of asking what Muslims in other countries think (which is where the higher figures such as the claimed 75% come from), we’d be well advised to ask what Muslims actually in the UK think.

(And before anyone suggests that Muslims ‘lie’ to opinion polls because they’re engaging in ‘taqiyya’ – which unbelievably is actually a serious suggestion in some quarters, a) Many Muslims are admitting in the same poll to various views which are somewhat illiberal – and b) They would hardly lie about not attending mosque if their aim were to promote Islam: they’d pretend they were more devout than they are not less.)

It shows that 6% of 18-24 year old Muslims ‘strongly support’ Sharia law in ‘areas’ of Britain and a further 18% ‘tend to support’ it. At most, that’s 24% rather than 75% – which is a whole lot less alarming. In actual fact, it’s probably a lot less because:

a) The reference is to ‘areas’ rather than across Britain
b) ‘Tend to support’ is lukewarm support, which would be unlikely to be an attitude of someone keen on a democratic takeover to force that point of view across society
c) Polling of Muslims is almost always in ‘high output areas’ which pretty much by definition polls the least integrated into British society, thus skewing the data

That 24% is, in fact, lower than that for older age groups: it’s 30% (note rounding error) for those aged 65+, of which 14% (compared with 6%) ‘strongly support it. This would imply to me that younger Muslims are perhaps less likely to support the introduction of Sharia.

The same poll finds that support is far lower amongst those born in the UK (5% strongly support, 14% tend to support) than those born overseas (8% support, 19% tend to support). It seems likely therefore that these figures will decline further, as each generation goes by.

So even if there were a Muslim majority in the UK by 2100, which is itself incredibly unlikely for the above reasons, there are strong reasons to suppose that only a very small percentage of them would support Sharia law.