The Report on “Promoting inland waterway transport” was further debated and voted on. It was adopted by 34 to 3 votes. Some of our UKIP members have expressed concern about this, not least because the construction of HS2 will have an impact on the canals. Not sure there needs to be concern because this report is all about connecting the big rivers of Europe together. But wait and see. If you wonder if the rapporteur has sufficient knowledge of canal systems don’t worry. This is not really about the mechanics or geography of linking the waterways. It is about social provisions! They use much bigger barges over here so if some of them are taken out of service there will be less employment and therefore benefits will increase.
In the “Growth and Employment” debate it turns out that the UK is a stumbling block. Article 351 requires that ratification of this report must have a legal base and that will need a UK Parliamentary Bill to bring all the items it covers into one document. Apparently this can only happen once a year. Germany is in exactly the same position and both Germany and the UK have yet to reply, hence the slow delivery. I can’t help wondering what the situation would be if it was just the UK with this problem.
In the debate on “employment…. Role of the Troika £EC, Commission, IMF)”, an interesting comment was made. An MEP stated that the countries most heavily in debt, including Italy and Greece, had not been forced into accepting the bail-outs, or that they have been put upon in any way. They themselves had asked for intervention with massive loans. The speaker did not mention that duly elected Prime Ministers had been ejected from their positions and replaced by unelected bureaucrats.
There were 5 “Discharge” votes. That is, authorising expenditure after the money has been spent. If you ask why not before spending millions of public money, remember the comments I made a few months ago, and my intervention in the House. The budget was voted on last autumn but in such a way that it was impossible to know exactly what each amount was being spent on. When I complained that alterations to some amendments were made in such a way that it was impossible to relate the changes to the items listed I was told that, “this is how we do things”. Meanwhile the Auditors continue to refuse to sign the books off.
And so to, “conditions of Entry and resident of third country nationals”, meaning non-EU people. So please see this video of my contribution and the President’s comment in reply to me. In itself it is unusual to get such a response but I think you will guess what my reaction will be; http://www.ukipmeps.org/articles_794_EU-illegally-discriminating-against-Commonwealth-nationals.html
I hope you are not disappointed in me in not taking the chair of this committee. A presidential shortage occurred with the President herself absent, as were all but two deputies. One of these disappeared so one of the Committee secretarial staff came over to see me. The remaining deputy, who had taken then chair, was also about to depart. The rules require an authorised president to conduct committee meeting sand, in the absence of all elected deputies, that becomes the oldest member, i.e. Me! I declined with thanks and it passed to the next oldest. Just think of the fun I might have had, but I am not there to help them on their way.
Derek Clark MEP Brussels 13th February 2014.