It is universally acknowledged that the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has created enormous environmental and economical damage. Discards and over fishing being the two most prominent examples. In turn with plummeting fish stocks, thousands of jobs have also been lost damaging communities and cultures based on the fishing sector. This report and uncosted proposal outlines a ‘Big Data’ response. What is actually require is a complete overhaul and revision of EU fisheries policy. Effective and efficient data management has its place BUT only if applied to a policy that is effective, workable and sustainable. All the time that the existing damaging CFP is allowed to continue, no amount of ‘Big Data’ management and application will resolve the current known issues. It will merely confirm what is already known. This Parliament should deny approval of this proposal and request a major re-think of existing policies instead. That is an action I would and could support.
Within the last 24 hours the EU has proposed yet another attack on free speech and views expression, this time via starving anti-EU parties of funding. Not only is this undemocratic but it flies in the face of evidence of increasing disengagement with the EU project by voters across all member states. Democracy is not a perfect system, but the alternatives do not bear thinking about. Examples of abandoning democracy are widespread - does the EU really want comparisons with dictatorships or communism? The key component of democracy is the representation of the wishes of as many subjects and citizens as possible, and accepting that there are always contrasting views, but allowing the debate. Trying to ignore, stop or prevent Eurosceptism by withdrawing what the EU perceives to be its oxygen, namely the funding of Eurosceptism parties, is an affront to democratic evolution across Europe. The EU may not have liked the result of the UK referendum, but the result cannot be denied. The terms of Brexit will be considered by this institution and the supporters of Brexit should not be denied their valid share of resources. Every European pays for the EU through taxation, and it is only right that all views enjoy equal privileges including democratic expression.
Speaking Notes: This afternoon the plenary session was addressed by President Juncker. In his address he launched his White Paper regarding the future of the European Union. In doing so he acknowledged the depth of disengagement with the EU project across Europe. He declined to accept where the blame lay for an EU project that has been derailed by EU actions, by lack of sensible and coherent action, or by no action at all. Despite his denials, all the 5 scenarios outline and continue an outcome of ‘Closer Europe’ with the emphasis on monetary union, overseas aid, climate change and defence strategies. Effectively there will no deviations from the strategic scripts already in place. All of which to date have produced all that the EU claims are counterproductive and detrimental to the federal EU project. In doing so the nurturing of what is seen as threats will continue to prosper - sowing the seeds for further disengagement and discontent. Mr Juncker may claim to have read the mood of the continent. Yet citizens will not be offered the direct option via Referenda to select their scenario of choice - even if that is the least of the worst options. An inkling of what Mr Juncker wants can be found on page 25 within the 5th scenario by the way. This White Paper is simply a last gasp effort to restore control but just like the regret associated with the opening of Pandora’s box - that time and opportunity has been lost. Mr Juncker announced he will retire at the end of the Parliament term. His legacy will be a White Paper, launched to late, too many words and lacking the focus or content that could pull the EU back from the brink.
Download a copy of the Juncker White Paper on the future of the European Union below:
Thank you for joining me in Brussels for what is called a mini plenary session. Unlike the 4 days spent in Strasbourg for voting purposes, minary plenaries involve only 2 days and a relatively lighter voting agenda. This week at the European Parliament I will be voting on the following three issues:
1. The gender balance among judges at the European Court of Justice.
2. Breaches of current freedom of movement rights of EU citizens residing in the UK and the use of six-month expulsions.
3. Tackling the disappearance of migrant children in Europe.
As ever in all three cases I shall be voting along lines that best reflect the sovereign interests of the United Kingdom. This position is now especially important since whilst the UK remains in the European Union the hundreds, if
not thousands, of votes taken each year at the Parliament will continue to affect the way in which the UK is governed. The votes may not necessarily lead to immediate UK compliance legislation but make no mistake all the time the UK is an EU member, it must adopt and enact legislation unless an ‘opt-out’ is involved, hence my position that in each case I vote according to how I perceive that UK national interests are best served.
These votes also have a second level of importance specifically in the context of the pre-Brexit world. As negotiations regarding Brexit get off the starting block in March with the invoking of Article 50, so shaping the type of deal that
the UK can expect from the negotiations becomes paramount. Voting by UK MEPs thus assumes an even greater level of national responsibility. As a fervent Leaver my approach is likely to be vastly different to that of my Remainer colleagues, who vote according to the best interests of the EU itself. If you want the evidence do take the time to see how your MEP has voted via the EU website and check for yourself whether he or she is now working and voting in the UK’s best interests or that of the EU federalist project.
Diane in the EU Parliament
This page shows some of the work that Diane does representing south east England voters in the European Parliament