UKIP Logo

 

Isambard Kingdom Brunel Bristol

Talking points

Many issues that affect us adversely, stem from our membership of the European Union. Politicians in Westminster continue to make promises when they want your vote, but before you lend them your support, ask yourself if they can follow up on them? You may be surprised how restricted our government is by EU directives and regulations.

In the beginning was the word, then came the Eurocrats with their regulatory gobbledygook

Pythagoras' Theorem: 24 words.
Lord's Prayer: 66 words.
Archimedes' Principle: 67 words.
Ten Commandments: 179 words.
Gettysburg Address: 286 words.
US Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words.
US Constitution with all 27 amendments: 7,818 words.
EU Regulations on the sale of cabbages: 26,911 words.

William is out and about campaigning across the South West for the May 22nd European elections

UKIP Dorset Collage

William visited Dorset whilst campaigning for the European election campaign in the South West. He met many constituents on a walkabout in Poole old town and despite the inclement weather many took an interest in what UKIP have to say. Visiting the newly opened office in Dorchester he remarked on how many UKIP signs he had seen right across the county.

UKIP in Dorset at the Dorchester County Show

UKIP at the Dorchester show in DorsetAt a meeting of UKIP Dorchester on August 5th it was decided that we should attempt to have a stand at the Dorchester County Show (7th & 8th Sept) to advertise UKIP to the many visitors expected at the Show. It was felt this was too good an opportunity to be missed at this crucial time for UKIP. An extra meeting of the group on 19th August at the new venue of the Dorchester Bowls Club was planned in case we were going ahead. By that time a double sized pitch, the only one available, was booked, the promise of a sizeable donation from Langham Industries secured and a 6m x 3m tent ordered. After discussion of what might be achieved in the time available a Show committee of interested members was organised and details for a draft rota assembled for manning the pitch, setting up beforehand and breaking down afterwards.
The philosophy of the pitch was to portray a homely and inviting appeal and to be more reactive than proactive to the passing public. The merits of a flagpole, or some front centrepiece were discussed, as were an additional tent behind for preparation of tea and coffee for volunteers and interested punters prepared for a longer conversation. Also the notion of a tv monitor playing appropriate UKIP video clips and a notice board with newspaper headlines rather than lengthy articles were all discussed.
The committee took these ideas forward. The front centrepiece finally emerged as an 8 foot tall, triangular cross section “Totem Pole”, a simple but eye catching vertical UKIP sign with the £ logo top and bottom, professionally printed on corex board, on each face. It was made in two 4 foot sections for easier transport.
On Thursday the pitch was marked out, having been previously mown, and the two popup tents erected. On Friday the finishing touches were provided with groundsheets, six small and two larger tables, table cloths, hot water urn, ten Union Jack beach chairs, mural showing the Houses of Parliament, message and notice boards and Union Jack guitar! All added to the homely atmosphere.
The weather on Saturday could not have been better. By 8.00am final additions of tv and laptops, a box containing lots of literature to give away, headlines on the notice boards, and hot water in the urn with a set of suitable mugs and disposable Union Jack plates and cups and cold box with supply of milk were all in place, as was the Totem Pole in front, suitably weighted down with sand bags inside.
The day progressed very well with a stream of interested public passing by, greeted and informed about UKIP by willing volunteers, including two from mid Dorset, all according to the rota. David Glossop and Chairman Keith Hansford from W. Dorset came and MEP William Dartmouth managed a visit on his way from Exeter to Gibraltar! While no count was made, a conservative estimate from each of the volunteers involved suggest some 200 members of the public were engaged in conversation and many picked up literature from the two tables in front. Some came into the tent and were offered refreshments. The rock cakes were delicious.
Sunday was showery which interfered with putting tables of literature out front. There was also less footfall, but plenty were engaged in conversation and five new members were signed up. A key convert will hopefully be the ‘perfume lady’ from the next door stand when she moves back to Dorchester. With five volunteers from other Dorset regions present there was plenty of time for volunteers to look around the Show.
Breakdown of the stand was extremely efficient with all helpers in place and a van to take away the bulky items for storage in a safe barn in Stinsford. The final items were all removed by 6.50pm.
The Dorchester UKIP group certainly rose to the occasion and with their combined purposeful effort, ingenuity and cheerful application they achieved a memorable and effective weekend for UKIP. The visitors were well impressed and the “Totem Pole” should remain in the mind of many passers-by.

The CBI's '"Doing things by halves? ... lessons from Switzerland and Norway" is only half the story.

It is not only Norway and Switzerland that cannot "set the agenda and influence EU legislation".
The CBI's emphasis on "influence" in its pamphlet unwittingly exposes the inconvenient truth about the UK and the European Union, writes UKIP National Spokesman on Trade, William Dartmouth MEP.
The CBI states (Press Release July 5th) that it is "...calling for the debate on Europe to focus on credible options for the UK's future relationship with the EU, warning that half-way house models such as Norway and Switzerland are not the answer...."
The CBI in its lengthy pamphlet - which bears the hall marks of an institution seeking to arrive at a predetermined conclusion - makes much of Norway and Switzerland lacking any "influence" on the EU.
Were Switzerland and Norway members of the EU, Switzerland would have 10 votes out of 352 and Norway would have 7 votes out of 352 in the Council of Ministers. (The weighting of votes in the Council of Ministers is based primarily on population.)
It is noteworthy that the UK has only 29 votes (of 352) on the Council of Ministers.
The compelling point is that it is not only Norway and Switzerland that cannot (to quote the CBI) "set the agenda and influence EU legislation". It is also the UK.
The CBI's emphasis on "influence" in its pamphlet unwittingly exposes the inconvenient truth about the UK and the European Union.

The case against a European Union army

William DartmouthIt is clear that the EU is making concrete plans to create a European army with little in the way of public discussion, despite the potential damage to NATO, writes UKIP MEP William Dartmouth.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said recently that the European Union is not about peace, but about power. We know now that Blair was greatly in favour of waging war. In his first six years in office, Blair ordered British troops into battle five times. Indeed, more than any other prime minister in British history. It included wars in Iraq twice; Kosovo in 1999; Sierra Leone in 2000 and Afghanistan in 2001.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, of which I am a member, on Tuesday voted in favour of a report authored by Elmar Brok and Roberto Gualtieri calling for, among other things, EU battle groups as well as a permanent military operational headquarters - in which every national delegation is to have a military attaché. All this is part of expanding the role and scope of the European External Action Service, which currently has a budget of €500m per year.
And of course, the report talked about economies of scale, downplaying national embassies and upsizing EEAS representations. There has been a lot of talk in the last month about growing German hegemony in Europe. Who can ignore German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her Kalspreis speech, in Aachen on May 13, 2010 when she said: "We have a shared currency but no real economic or political union. This must change. If we were to achieve this, therein lies the opportunity of the crisis and beyond the economic, after the shared currency, we will perhaps dare to take further steps, for example for a European army."
Where most people think that talk of a European army is pie in the sky, it is now a matter of military boots on the ground. It is clear that the EU is making concrete plans to create a European army. These are very dangerous people indeed. It is one thing to have federalist fantasy of a currency union and economic union. That is bad enough. Just ask the suffering people of Greece, Cyprus and Spain.
However it becomes incredibly dangerous when this EU political union, with little public discussion, creates a military arm ready for war and looking to expand. This whole thing could also be perceived by the Americans to be a threat to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and this is detrimental to the military protection of every nation state in Europe. The United Kingdom should refuse to become involved in building up a common EU army. The political and economic consequences of the union are bad enough without giving it a military wing as well.
I would hate to see British soldiers being used as cannon fodder for the EU as it attempts to expand its empire. The report by Brok and Gualtieri called on the EU to "implement the full potential of the Lisbon Treaty by pursuing a comprehensive approach that integrates diplomatic, economic, development and - in the last resort and in full compliance with the United Nations charter – military means behind common union strategic policy guidelines in order to promote the security and the prosperity of EU citizens and their neighbours".
We already have in place a European Defence Agency and EU battle groups. The EDA was established with an initial budget of €1.9m in 2004 and by 2011, this budget had grown to €30.5m. The EDA was legalised and made part of the Lisbon Treaty. Its role in encouraging the militarisation of the EU was consolidated by Article 28.3. As the then European Commission President Romano Prodi said on February 13, 2001, to the European Parliament: "Are we all clear that we want to build something that can aspire to be a world power?"
At a press conference on Strasbourg on the July 10, 2007, current European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said:
"Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of empire. We have the dimensions of empire."
We must no longer think of the EU as a free trade area - it never was one. It is a custom union, which has grown into a currency union and is looking at present to become a full fiscal and monetary union. Everyone is clear; it is currently a political union.
The next step is to become a military union with its own foreign policy, command and military force. The very shrewd then German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck said in 1880:
"I have always found the word 'Europe' on the lips of those who wanted something from others which they dared not demand in their own names."
It is clear that is EU wishes to become a concrete and active military power to compliment its expansionary political union. It is the duty of every peace-loving respecter of democracy to resist this threatening advance.

The EU, the UK and the single market

The single market is not a free-trade area, but a customs union with a common external tariff. Free trade would be markedly different. There would be no tariff on the import or export of goods.
The main thrust driving the single market - and eliminating internal tariffs - was the 1986 Single European Act. Because of the large differences between member states, after 27 years, the single market is still incomplete in many sectors.
The key point is that the cost of regulation to level the playing field between the different countries far outweighs any benefits from reduced internal trade barriers. The European Commission has estimated that between 1986 and 2002 the single market increased EU GDP by €165bn. But the former Industry Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen, estimated in 2006 that EU legislation cost European business €600bn (£405bn) a year. This is almost twice the previous estimate of €320bn, and represents 5.5% of total EU GDP. It is equivalent to the EU losing the entire output of, for example, the Netherlands every year.
As for the UK, the costs of EU regulation from the single market have been estimated at up to 10% of GDP. Further, just 13% of the UK's GDP is dependent on exports to the EU - and that proportion is going down. The consequence of the single market legislation is that the entire UK economy - that is 100% - is subject to, and handicapped by, job-destroying and growth-toxic EU rules.
The single market does not make economic sense for the UK. The single market is political. It is a critical step along the way of the European Union's goal of political union.

Five Inconvenient Truths of the UK's Trade with the EU

The UK's trade with the EU, which was in surplus before we joined in 1973, has been in deficit in all subsequent years but one. (Over the last six years, the UK's cumulative trade deficit with the EU was £190 billion, but it ran a £21 billion surplus with the rest of the world during the same period). It is also worth noting that over the period of UK membership in the EU as a whole, we have maintained a cumulative trade surplus with every continent in the world except Europe.

Our membership of the EU ties our hands when we want to form coherent trade policy.  Far from advancing the UK's clout in the world economy, EU membership has eroded it. For example, when David Cameron proposed emergency trade preferences for Pakistan in September 2010 at an EU summit following catastrophic flooding, he ran into stiff opposition from France, Portugal and Italy. All of those countries were concerned that the proposal would threaten their textile manufacturing – not a concern of the UK. As a result, the trade preferences for Pakistan - which Cameron explicitly intended to be emergency trade preferences - took a full two years to get through the EU legislative process.

What follows are five of the most glaring reasons why belonging to the EU is contrary to the UK's interest as a global trading nation. I have called these the inconvenient truths.

1. The UK's trade with the outside world is already more important than its trade with the EU.

* The UK's trade with non-EU countries is greater than 60% of its total trade and is increasing. This figure - unlike figures commonly circulated by the EU - takes into account the distortion of the Rotterdam effect, whereby UK exports sent on to non-EU countries via Continental ports are erroneously counted as exports to the EU.
* A decade ago, the EU's share of global GDP was 25%, but by 2050 it is expected to fall to 15%. 
* The US and Canada together account for nearly a third of the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK, while the UK is the largest foreign investor in the US.

2. The UK's financial payments to the EU are enormous.

* In 2011, the net transfer from the UK to EU institutions was approximately £10 billion, with the gross transfer nearly £16 billion.
* While only 13% of the UK's GDP is dependent on exports to companies and individuals in the EU, 100% of our GDP is subject to EU regulation.
* It is estimated that cancelling the UK's membership of the EU but keeping its membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) will lead to a 70% reduction in regulations coming from outside the UK.
* EU membership is now costing us roughly 10% of our GDP - £150 billion - each year.

3. The UK has no meaningful influence in the EU. The UK’s membership in the EU reduces our influence in the world.

* Despite having the world's seventh-largest economy and over 60% of the EU's financial-services industry, the UK will have just 8.3% of the votes in the Council of Ministers when Croatia joins the EU next July.
* Should the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Labour and the Greens have their way and Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Iceland and Turkey become full members of the EU, the UK's vote will be diminished, the more so given the change to population-based voting in 2014.
* Britain has influence in the world deriving from its membership of over 125 international organisations – for example the UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The UK’s membership of the EU places at risk our position at the UN and elsewhere.
* Upon joining the EU, we lost our seat at the World Trade Organization (WTO), whereas the former British colony of Hong Kong has its own seat at the WTO.
* If the UK left the EU, we would regain our seat at the WTO and our ability to negotiate bilateral trade agreements.

4. EU legislation harms British trading interests.

* The UK cannot negotiate trade treaties on its own behalf. Since 1975, the EU Trade Commissioner has negotiated all trade treaties involving the UK.
* As an EU member, we are bound by the Common External Tariff and are often prevented from adopting more liberal positions on trade by the interests of subsidized producers elsewhere in the EU.
* The Common Fisheries Policy has the effect that vessels from other EU member states are subsidised to comb UK waters and take our fish. 
* The Common Agricultural Policy has inhibited Britain's ability to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in the emerging markets of developing nations.

5. The proposition that the UK’s exit from the EU would cause the UK’s trade with companies and individuals in EU member states to cease is ludicrous.

* Tariffs are declining globally, and in 2010 the only goods entering the EU which carried rates higher than 5% were footwear and clothing. It is reasonable to assume that leaving the EU would not saddle the UK with heavy tariff barriers to the EU or any other world market.
* The fact is that the UK is running a trade deficit with the EU countries amounting to £420 billion since 1973. Since the EU countries benefit from this trade, it will continue if we leave.
* Norway and Switzerland - two countries that are not part of the EU - annually export 2.5 and 4.5 times as much per capita to the EU, respectively, as does the UK.

With an exit from the EU, the UK would once again be able to negotiate bilateral free trade agreements on its own behalf with the dynamic economies outside the EU – a right it forfeited in 1973. While the EU's share of global GDP is declining from 20% now to a projected 15% in 2050, the rest of the world is growing economically: since 2010, UK exports to Brazil, Russia, and China have risen substantially, while the economies of the Commonwealth are expected to grow at an annual rate of 7.3% for the next five years.  In contrast, the UK’s membership in the EU has shackled it to a bureaucratic morass that is stifling our global economic competitiveness.

To take advantage of what is happening in the world outside the EU, especially in terms of economic growth, the UK must repatriate trade policy, as well as our national sovereignty, from EU control. Switzerland, which is outside the EU, has had a Trade Agreement with Japan since September 2009. The EU – which means the UK - has no such agreement. 

UKIP stand firm against ACTA whilst the Tories wobble.

Ant ACTA DemonstrationUKIP voted against the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement following a committee vote in the Parliament.
Key to the International Trade Committee vote on whether or not to reject the agreement was a Tory Party MEP's bid to delay a decision until after hearing from the European Court of Justice, having being asked by the European Commission to do so.
UKIP's spokesman on International Trade and committee member William Dartmouth MEP said: "The spirit of the Tory amendment not only goes against the wishes of the majority of citizens around Europe, who want this agreement rejected, but also implicitly condones the competence of, and accepts the authority of, the European Court of Justice itself by accepting its authority over vital matters that affect the rights of citizens of the UK.
"It shows how out of touch the Tories are with their UK constituents.
"What they fail to understand is that ACTA will have a negative impact on the access to life-saving drugs in the developing world and at the same time will weaken our fundamental freedom of expression and is an attack on our civil liberties."
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a multinational treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement establishing an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the internet. It would create a new governing body outside existing forums such as the World Trade Organisation, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, or the United Nations.

The unknown war Britain must win

Free Chris TappinBritain is now engaged in two wars, the War on Terror and the War on Crime. Opinion is divided as to whether we are winning these wars or not.
But Britain is fighting another war and this is one we are losing.
In this war we are failing in the fight against the wiping- out of hard won tradition and fair play established over centuries. This war is the War to protect our Liberties.
Britain faces a twin attack on our Liberties, on the one hand via the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), on the other from the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).
Between the two, they are crushing the rights and liberties of British citizens and residents. The EAW removes Britain's ability to protect its own citizens from being deported.
Meanwhile the ECHR has taken away Britain’s right to remove from our country those who plan to harm us or have committed crimes against us.
The Liberties of 60 million British citizens are trapped in a pincer movement between the EAW and the ECHR. To put it another way, we cannot deport convicted foreign criminals: At the same time we cannot protect our own people from being deported.
There is no half-way house of simply withdrawing our signature from the ECHR. Our membership of the European Union makes the UK's signature obligatory. So there it is, in a nutshell, until and unless the UK leaves the EU, we cannot withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and must live with consequences.
Yet though Britain cannot deport foreign criminals, it seems to be the easiest thing in the world for our own citizens and residents to be whisked out of the UK by means of the EAW.
In Britain we have all been shocked by the extradition to the USA of 65 year old Kent businessman Christopher Tappin. The Americans claim he sold batteries to Iran as part of a missile components project. Apparently, the Americans' allegations are based on an FBI "sting operation".
Mr Tappin has been unable to give evidence in his defence to any British Court. As a result he appeared in chains at a court in El Paso, Texas and is being held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. The US-UK Extradition Treaty is one-sided and there are now strong calls that the Treaty be changed.
In my own South West constituency I have been involved with two young men, Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick, who were held in appalling conditions in a Budapest prison for 114 days. Without the campaign on their behalf they, under Hungarian Law could have languished there without coming to trial for three years - extendable to four years.
They were victims of the EAW that led to them being taken from their homes in handcuffs and handed over on British soil to the Hungarian special police. On arrival in Hungary, Michael and Jason were led through Budapest airport by a chain around their necks, as if on a dog lead.
Their alleged crime, involving a failed business with debts of the equivalent of £18,000 spread over 120 people, would, in my opinion, in Britain, have been heard by a Civil Court. And probably a Small Claims Court at that.
Michael and Jason will not know their fate until June this year (2012). The alleged offences took place 2003-2005. At no time has a British Court been able to hear the evidence.
Since the EAW was established in 2004 it has effectively thrown out the long-established protection of British law, specifically Habeas Corpus - no imprisonment without trial.
Under British law, a Court must justify the detention of any person. . There is always the Presumption of Innocence.
The EAW recognises none of this. Under the EAW extradition has been reduced to a box-ticking exercise. When the boxes have been ticked, deportation takes place. British judges no longer have the right to consider primary evidence and deny extradition.
So now British citizens can be carted off to some former Eastern Bloc country and be subjected to a legal system where people can be locked up without trial literally for years.
The EAW was portrayed as an answer to terrorism. It was pushed through in the wake of 9/11. But it has been transformed and mutated in a process which shames those who proposed it and still support it. All in the name of European integration. The EAW was spearheaded by the Liberal Democrats.
The concept that criminals and terrorists should not be able to flee and hide behind a technicality is a good one.
However, we do not have to trash the hard won liberties of the British and the integrity of British laws for Governments and police forces to co-operate throughout the world.
For example, Britain has been a member of Interpol since 1923 and has extradition arrangements with numerous other sovereign nations - including for example a fast-track extradition Treaty with Spain.
It is a fact that Governments and police forces could, did and do cooperate to fight terror and organised crime. Indeed that is what happens now with non-EU governments.
We can fully cooperate with countries on the European continent without ourselves being signed up to the EAW.
Most of us have despaired at the way the European Court of Human Rights has interpreted the European Convention on Human Rights as a "scoundrels' charter". People convicted of serious crimes and known terror suspects walk freely in Britain by their cynical use of these "rights".
How many times have we heard of their "human right" to have a family life or even a family pet or that they face serious punishment in their own countries if they are returned. In consequence, we cannot deport Abu Qatada and his kind, at the same time we cannot deport our own.
Yet when UK citizens have tried to appeal against a European Arrest warrant on the grounds that THEIR Human Rights were being breached none have so far been allowed.
To protect the basic Liberties of all of us in Britain the Coalition Government must, at the very least, suspend the EAW forthwith.
The obsessive supporters of a common European Justice System and the European Court of Human Rights are placing at risk our basic Liberties. We are no longer protected against random arrest and violent foreign criminals.
This is the war, the war to protect our hard-won Liberties, established since Magna Carta, that the Establishment politicians are losing, but we must not lose.

William Dartmouth

The Door marked exit - William replies to Guy Verhofstadt

Guy VerhofstadtWilliam replies to this letter from Guy Verhofstadt
Dear Mr. Verhofstadt,
You refer in the first paragraph (2nd sentence) of your letter dated 27.09.11 to Senhor Barroso
(also circulated to assistants and MEPs) to an "Exit Strategy".
Surely, the most effective Exit Strategy is - simply - to Exit ?
Yours sincerely William Dartmouth

A Ham-Fisted Herbal Remedy from the EU.

Herbal MedicinesOn the 1st of May this year the EU’s Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive came into full effect.
No longer can you walk into a shop to buy unregistered herbal remedies, No longer can you buy them online. It is illegal. These remedies are now treated like licensed pharmaceuticals: they must be dispensed under the supervision of a practitioner
There were good reasons for drugs to be tested and licensed. They are chemicals the body has never experienced before and can kill. The reason we have been using herbal remedies for millennia is that correctly prescribed they generally work. Indeed as sold under food law (until April 30th) they had to be safer than a slice of bread. No deaths have been recorded due to herbal remedies properly sold under food law for 40 years. Objectively, there is really no case to subject herbal remedies to a similar regulatory structure to pharmaceuticals.
In contrast, properly licensed drugs are, despite all attempts to regulate away risk, a big killer. More than 40,000 deaths are recorded in the UK alone. This is a well known problem in the medical profession, so well known that they have a name for the branch of medicine that cures the ills caused by risky prescribing and doctoring - Iatrogenics (classical Greek for ‘caused by doctor’).
As a result of the EU’S meddling we will be left with a much reduced choice of herbal remedies and supplements. So far that list is 100, though more may be added. Herbal medicines are not a tiny niche market: a quarter of the adult population in the UK buys them. The wholesale market here is worth more than £3bn a year
All pills and potions made from herbs marketed as having medicinal properties have to be registered under the Traditional Herbal Registration scheme. Packs must have a THR number on the back.
To get this ‘kite mark: the manufacturer must prove the herb has been used for the condition for at least 30 years and for at least 15 years inside the EU; that it is made to strict standards and contains a consistent and clearly marked dose.
Like prescription pharmaceuticals; products must include a leaflet with safety information. These changes almost all superfluous make it much more difficult both to manufacture and sell herbal medicines.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are already subject to EU rules under a separate directive ostensibly to protect the free movement of goods. I should declare an interest here, I have taken vitamins and mineral supplements for more than 40 years and continue to do so. Moreover, my grandmother, Dame Barbara Cartland, - best known as a novelist - was strongly committed to herbal medicines and vitamin and mineral supplements. Indeed, my grandmother helped found, and was the first President of, the National Association for Health.
The manufacturers and retailers of herbal medicines and vitamins tend to be small and medium-sized businesses. The EU directives constitute a significant regulatory burden. Already some shops and websites specializing in natural remedies have either closed or emigrated outside the EU; the US is one destination.
It is of course a nonsense to attempt, as the EU is doing, to regulate natural herbs, used since time immemorial, as though they were licensed drugs. It is difficult if not ridiculous to patent natural substances, so companies cannot afford to do safety studies - they will not recoup their investment
Remedies threatened include traditional herbal cures using hawthorn and meadowsweet plus a swathe of herbs used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic, Chinese and Amazonian remedies. If the product does not fit into a food supplement category its sale is illegal.
The EU is trying to do the impossible. Is garlic, which some studies show lowers cholesterol, a herb or a food? If garlic pills are sold as “a traditional herbal medicinal product used to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy heart” they must have a THR number on the pack. If the same product is sold as a garlic pill it could be classified as a food supplement and fall under a less stringent set of rules.
This is highlighted by the different ways member states now sell herbal remedies. The Czech Republic and the Netherlands adopted a liberal approach so many herbal remedies are construed as ordinary foodstuffs, which indeed they are, and escape regulation.
The UK and Belgium are more illiberal in their interpretation of the EU’s directive, outlawing many more unregistered herbal remedies.
To add to the muddle, some plants are available in both herbal and homeopathic products. Arnica creams contain plant extracts which have some action on bruising. But arnica pills are homeopathic remedies that do not contain any measurable arnica. Until now, both herbal and homeopathic remedies have fallen under the same regulatory umbrellas.
It could have been even worse: remedies made up by herbalists could have been banned altogether. Earlier this year the British government provided a get-out clause. EU rules allow the sale of herbal medicines prescribed by a registered health professional SO the government opened the Health Professions Council to herbalists. Now they have the right to prescribe individualised remedies.
Even though the EU is trying to do the impossible, these directives will disadvantage the enterprises and the people involved in the world of natural herbal remedies and vitamins. It has been demonstrated over time that herbal remedies and vitamin and mineral supplements can have an invaluable part to play in maintaining health - so more worrying still, the directives are likely to be adverse to people’s overall health.

William Dartmouth

Thank you.

Mark TurnerDear William,
I Hope you will excuse the informal style of address but I feel we have been through a lot together since my son Michael was first extradited to Hungary. I am presently sat here with my other son Paul who you have of course met. We are searching for words that could express our gratitude to you for your fearless and relentless campaign to secure the release of Michael from that former KGB prison in Budapest.
Clearly words will never be enough to express or explain our gratitude. Our government and it's judicial system appeared powerless to intervene in my sons case, even when it became clear that he was being subjected to psychological torture. As a family we didn't know where to turn.
As the only British political party to oppose the European Arrest Warrant legislation we contacted UKIP.
Your response has been overwhelming and your personal endeavours well beyond the call of duty. You were the only British politician to take the bull by the horns and travel to Budapest, meeting the Hungarian authorities face to face and demanding justice for your constituents. A task which displayed incredible courage and fortitude in this overbearing post Communist regime.
You took their case to the European Parliament, you brought the injustice to the attention of the press, you reassured our family and Michael's friends...... The rest is history, Michael is now back with us amongst his friends and family. A wonderful conclusion to a formidable campaign.
Standing firm on the steps of the Hungarian Embassy in London, confronting the Hungarian authorities in Budapest or debating the matter on the floor of the European parliament, you never faltered in your fight for justice. As dark clouds appear to gather over European politics there will always be light as long as men as brave as you are prepared to carry the torch.
Your efforts have clearly gone beyond politics and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, we hope that one day will be our guest of honour at The Castle Inn and Michael will be able to serve you a pint of traditional local ale.
You will always be remembered in our hearts and prayers.
Yours Sincerely,
Mark Turner, on behalf of The Turner family, and the village of Corfe Castle, The Castle Inn, 63 East Street Wareham, Dorset.

EUJosé Manuel Barroso, thanks his supporters, (which include the Tories), for choosing him as President of the European Commission.

"Mr. President, Honourable Members
First and foremost I'd like to express my warm thanks to you for this expression of enormous confidence in me. That expression of confidence is a great honour for me, it is very exciting and it also gives me a strong sense of responsibility. That expression of confidence is also a signal from this Parliament that it is fully involved in the ambitious program of activities that I have in mind for the next five years.
As I said in the discussion we had before the vote, I want to work with all the political groups that have signed up to this ambitious program for a Europe of solidarity and freedom. Of course, I also need to add my particular thanks to the European Peoples' Party which before the elections took a risk in Warsaw by expressing their support for my program. Thus setting out from the very beginning a commitment to European parliamentary democracy but as I said in plenary yesterday and over the last few days as President of the Commission my party is going to be Europe and anyone who wants to come on board on this exciting journey that is the integration of Europe then they are needed to provide the necessary consensus for a united Europe.
May I take this opportunity also to add a word about my own country: Without the initiative and the support of the government there Mr. José Socrates' Prime Minister I wouldn't be able to be standing as candidate and I thank the President of the Republic Mr. Cavaco Silva. I also thank all of those who have supported me through their belief in Europe and their determination to see the European project succeed.
And to all members of this house, my sincere determination to work closer with you during the next five years so that you can build a stronger European parliamentary democracy. I believe that the European Parliament and the European Commission as a typical community institutions have a special duty towards our citizens. And that is exactly what I said I would do and that is exactly what I am going to do: A stronger Europe for freedom and solidarity.
Thank you very much."

rssGuest Spot - What links the Copenhagen conference with the steelworks closing in Redcar? - by renowned Sunday Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker

Christopher BookerWhat is the connection between Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the Indian railway engineer who has been much in evidence at the Copenhagen climate conference, as chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and an Indian-owned steel company's decision to mothball its giant Teesside steel works next month, ripping the heart out of the town of Redcar by putting 1,700 people out of work?
Nothing of this complex story is likely to be heard in the dreary concrete shed outside Copenhagen where, as temperatures drop towards freezing, 17,000 prime ministers, officials and climate activists are earnestly discussing how the planet is warming up towards extinction. But it certainly sheds a little light on a colossal worldwide racket these delegates are helping to promote, because the end of the story is that we shall all be paying to export thousands of British jobs to new steel plants in India, for no gain in the reduction of worldwide CO2 emissions.
Thirty years ago Britain's state-owned steel industry, over-manned and highly subsidised, was the most inefficient in Europe. By 1988, after Mrs Thatcher's privatisation and having lost two thirds of its workforce, it was as efficient as any in the world. In 1999, for reasons never fully explained, much of it was sold off to the Dutch firm Corus, which in 2007 was bought by the Indian giant, Tata Steel.
One of Corus's prizes was the Redcar steel works, once Europe's largest blast furnace. It is this which is now to be mothballed, according to Corus because of worldwide "over-production". But this is transparently not the case, since its new owner, Tata, is planning to more than double its steel production in India over the next three years. Furthermore, only last month Corus announced plans to build a 20 million euro plant in the Netherlands, with the help of 15 million Euros from the EU and 5 million euros from the Dutch government. Our Government says it is unable to help over the closure of Redcar because this would not be allowed under EU state-aid rules, although Gordon Brown says he may be able to offer a little "re-training".
The real gain to Corus from stopping production at Redcar, however, is the saving it will make on its carbon allowances, allocated by the EU under its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). By ceasing to emit a potential six million tonnes of CO2 a year, Corus will benefit from carbon allowances which could soon, according to European Commission projections, be worth up to £600 million over the three years before current allocations expire.
But this is only half the story. In India, Corus's owner, Tata, plans to increase steel production from 53 million tonnes to 124 million over the same period. By replacing inefficient old plants with new ones which emit only "European levels" of CO2, Tata could claim a further £600 million under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism, which is operated by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – the organisers of the Copenhagen conference. Under this scheme, organisations in developed countries such as Britain – ranging from electricity supply companies to the NHS – can buy the right to exceed their CO2 allocations from those in developing countries, such as India. The huge but hidden cost of these "carbon permits" will be passed on to all of us, notably through our electricity bills.
Thus, at the end of the day, Redcar will lose its biggest employer and one of the largest manufacturing plants left in Britain. Tata, having gained up to £1.2 billion from "carbon credits", will get its new steel plants – while the net amount of CO2 emitted worldwide will not have been reduced a jot.
And the connection with Dr Pachauri? Directly there is no connection at all. But it just happens that Dr Pachauri's other main job, apart from being chairman of the IPCC, is as director-general of the Tata Energy Research Institute, funded by Tata, which he has run since 1981.
He may not benefit in any way personally from Tata's exploitation of the various carbon trading schemes set up to implement the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, but it is the IPCC which provides the recommendations which drive those schemes, Last year, on official figures, buying and selling the right to emit CO2 was worth $126 billion across the world. This market, now enriching many of our leading financial institutions (not to mention Al Gore), is growing so fast that within a few years it is predicted to be worth trillions, making carbon the most valuable traded commodity in the world.
Forget Big Oil: the new world power is Big Carbon. Truly it has been a miracle of our time that they have managed to transform carbon dioxide, a gas upon which all life on earth depends, into a "pollutant", worth more than diamonds, let alone oil. And many of those now gathered in Copenhagen are making a great deal of money out of it.
Christopher Booker's The Real Global Warming Disaster (Continuum, £16.99) is available from Telegraph Books for £14.99 plus £1.25 p&p

Christopher Booker

Did you know?

The Lisbon treaty is a 'self-amending' treaty. This means that no further treaties will be necessary or have to be put to the vote. Click here for an easy to understand illustration of what's at stake.