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Speeches & Articles - Archive

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

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Multiple Sclerosis - Speech in Plenary - December 18 2003
May I first of all welcome my constituent Louise McVay from Loughborough in the East Midlands, who is in the gallery. She has been a tireless campaigner for MS sufferers, and I commend her for her courage and hard work.

At last! Good news from Brussels! - Lincolnshire Echo - December 15 2003
It was wonderful last Saturday (13th Dec) to hear that the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) of EU heads of government in Brussels to agree the EU Constitution had broken up in disarray. The proposed Constitution was a huge threat to Britain's independence and self-determination, and we can heave a collective sigh of relief to see it kicked into touch.

Failure of Inter Governmental Conference - Speech in Plenary - December 15 2003
I would like to congratulate Spain and Poland on their courageous and principled stand at the recent IGC, which resulted in the failure of the wretched draft Constitution.

The false "benefits" of EU membership - Lincolnshire Echo - December 4 2003
I recently heard a europhile speaker, who started by nodding in the direction of Conservative policy on Europe. He spoke warmly of a Europe of independent, sovereign nation states, trading and co-operating together. But it is a cruel deception to suggest that the EU as it is meets that definition -- and still less the new EU of the draft Constitution.

A Constitutional outrage - Lincolnshire Echo - November 4 2003
Tom Paine was an eighteenth-century firebrand revolutionary and political thinker. His ideas had a huge influence on the American Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. And he said a remarkable thing about constitutions: "A Constitution is not the act of a government. It is the act of a people constituting a government".

Conference, Which Conference? - Lincolnshire Echo - October 24 2003
Earlier this month I attended the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool. And I heard yet again a question which I have heard at every Conference I have attended – but this time it was louder and more urgent.

The benefits of EU membership are self-evident - aren't they? - September 25 2003
Lord Pearson of Rannoch, a doughty euro-realist in the House of Lords, has been trying for some time to get the government to publish a white paper on the benefits of EU membership. The government is refusing.

Ten things you should know about the EU Constitution - Lincolnshire Echo - September 22 2003
Spot the odd one out from the following four statements about the proposed EU Constitution.

Estonia faces the EU propaganda barrage - August 27 2003
Ten new countries are expected to join the EU in 2004. Eight have had referendums and voted YES. Only Estonia and Latvia have yet to vote. It seems that the so-called "accession states" are actually far keener on the EU than existing member-states. But the reasons are not hard to find.

Inward investment - the big lie - August 13 2003
The euro - the EU's single currency - is a massive economic experiment that is spectacularly failing as we watch it. Germany is flirting with deflation. It has around 4½ million unemployed - double the UK rate. France has massive unemployment. Italy is dipping into recession.

Federalism in the USA and the EU - August 8 2003
Cheyenne (pronounced "Shy-Anne") -- a name redolent of the myths and legends of the old West, of cowboys and Indians, of Saturday matinees at the Odeon Cinema. I was delighted to discover recently that Cheyenne is more than a name from the old movies. It is a real place, the capital of Wyoming, and I have recently met several of its residents and legislators.

Impact of the European Charter - August 2003
This article is a summary of a text on the impact of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the proposed EU constitution on the domestic policies of EU member states, by Prof Richard Wilkins of Brigham Young University,

Are fishing ponds the new golf courses? - Lincolnshire Echo - August 6 2003
Planners and environmentalists used to get hot under the collar over golf courses, which seemed to be springing up everywhere. Where most of us saw landscaped fairways and beautifully tended greens, they saw excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides, chemical run-off, and an artificial, manicured landscape replacing prime agricultural land. Perhaps there was also a subconscious prejudice against what was perceived as an elitist sport.

Transport of live animals - Lincolnshire Echo - August 1 2003
As an MEP, I have been shocked to hear very distressing stories of the suffering of live animals in transit. I was especially struck by the briefings I have received from the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH), and from the beautiful Joanna Lumley (who takes a keen interest in the issue), about the trade in horses from central and Eastern Europe into the EU, and especially to abattoirs in Southern Italy, where they are slaughtered for the meat trade.

How long do we keep the EU on life-support? - Lincolnshire Echo - July 18 2003
Nick Clegg is a good egg, at least by the standards of the Lib-Dem group of MEPs in the European parliament, so perhaps it is a pity that he has become disillusioned with the job he was elected to do for the East Midlands in 1999, and has decided not to stand again in next year's euro-elections. Certainly none of the candidates the Lib-Dems are fielding for 2004 are up to his calibre.

The wrong choice in Europe - Lincolnshire Echo - July 3 2003
Bill Newton Dunn MEP, in his recent article, offers Britain a stark choice. Either we must be positive, enthusiastic Europeans, hitching our wagon to the EU's twelve yellow stars, and gaining influence in Brussels, he says, or we will be isolated and excluded, sitting in the corner and crying into our beer.

In their own words - July 3 2003
We are constantly being told that Euro is an economic project, that it is nothing to do with the foundation of a European Superstate. Well, perhaps some of the following quotations from prominent EU figures might enlighten us to what is really going on.

Robert Kagan on the Trans-Atlantic Relationship - June 30 2003
Robert Kagan went to Carnegie Endowment to direct the U.S. Leadership project in September, 1997. Mr. Kagan is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard. Previously, he worked in the Department of State from 1985-1988, as a Deputy for Policy in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs and as principal speechwriter to the Secretary of State.

Estonia at the Crossroads - June 18 2003
On Saturday I arrived in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, to find the flags flying at half mast. (It's just a short hop south of Helsinki, in case you were wondering!). I found I had arrived on the 62nd anniversary of the start of the great deportations, when the Russians took tens of thousands of Estonian citizens to Siberia.

The EU Constitution - what if we vote NO - Lincolnshire Echo - June 6 2003
The up-coming EU Constitution gives us a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to resolve our relationship with the EU in a radical way. Tony Blair and his government are saying that they will never give the British people the right to vote in a referendum on the proposed EU Constitution.

The EU Constitution - Derby Telegraph - May 27 2003
The proposed EU Constitution, incorporating the so-called "Charter of Fundamental Rights", will lead to a vast transfer of power from Britain to the EU, and from elected institutions to unelected, federalist judges.

The luck of the Irish - Lincolnshire Echo - May 7 2003
When I'm in Brussels, I usually wake up to the BBC World Service. If you make allowances for the BBC's soft-left, Guardianista bias, and its constant uncritical support for the EU, it still remains the best way of getting a quick up-date on the day's news agenda.

Seoul, a city held hostage - April 25 2003
I'm writing on the 21st floor of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, conscious that around 14,000 North Korean artillery pieces are trained on the city, and that I am just six minutes flying time away from North Korean airspace.

Football broadens the mind - Lincolnshire Echo - March 27 2003
Lichtenstein is one of those places that scarcely registers on our radar screens. Less familiar than Monaco, or even Andorra, it could be a fanciful name from a comic opera, like Ruritania. But in fact it's a very successful little country.

France is a cross we have to bear - Lincolnshire Echo - March 14 2003
Winston Churchill, looking back on the Second World War, said "The heaviest cross I had to bear was the Cross of Lorraine" (symbol of France). As the French themselves might say, Plus ça change…! It could well be that Tony Blair and George Dubbya Bush still regard France, in 2003, as the heaviest cross they have to bear.

Can the hare survive a hunt ban? - Lincolnshire Echo - February 28 2003
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the Hare Supper, at the Haycock Inn at Wansford, near Peterborough. This annual event has been going for fifty years. It attracts mainly farmers and those associated with the land from the East Midlands and farther afield.

Re-selection Speech - January 26 2003
I'm delighted to be here today in Leicester, and I'd like to thank you for giving up your afternoon to be here too. I'd also like to thank you once again for all the hard work you did, as party members and activists, back in 1999.

Give a dog a bad name - January 13 2003
There is a fashion these days for companies to re-brand themselves - a practice which I personally find very irritating, as I can never remember what the new name represents. Who on earth are Accenture, or Lucent Technologies, or Consignia? And how long will they last?

Open letter to Giscard d'Estaing - January 8 2003
I understand you recently proposed that the organisation previously known as the EU should receive a new name. May I offer you my own thoughts on this question.

What if the EU had never existed? - January 6 2003
January 1st marked the thirtieth anniversary of Britain joining the (then) Common Market, now the EU. To mark the event, I was asked to join a debate on New Year's Eve on BBC Radio 5 Live, on a fascinating question: "What would Britain be like if the EU had never happened?".

Memo to Blair: We care about our country! - January 6 2003
hey say that history is the new cookery. Suddenly our TV screens have been hit with a blizzard of programmes about history, ancient and modern. We have had Simon Schama's epic History of Britain, closely followed by David Starkey's programmes - I especially enjoyed his Henry the Eighth.