from Europe Issue 1/2004
EU Directive on Precious Metals would have allowed manufacturers and
importers in Europe to self-certify their jewellery and sell it in the EU
without submission for testing by an independent third-party Assay Office.
This Directive would have been a dangerous threat to consumers making it
impossible to trace the origin and reliability of any set of marks and
depriving consumers of any independent guarantee of quality.
a direct result of my intense lobbying, supported by Conservative MEPs, nine
EU member governments, including the UK, now oppose the proposal to
harmonise hallmarking practices. It is likely that such opposition in the
Council of Ministers will result in the proposal being rejected.
shall continue to monitor this issue and will fight to ensure this Directive is completely withdrawn from the
list of legislative proposals.
HERBAL MEDICINES VICTORY
has its own rules on access to herbal medication. Our right to such access
was at risk under proposals from the EU Commission which threatened to
remove from the market herbal products sold in the UK for less than 15
month, the European Parliament voted to protect the use of traditional
herbal medicines in the EU. MEPs opted for a special dispensation for
remedies with a proven safety record. Those of us who buy Echinacea and
Rescue Remedy can be sure that these safe and effective herbal remedies will
continue to be available in the UK.
proposal also stipulates that labels and packaging leaflets should contain
indications regarding potential toxicity and possible interactions with
food, drinks and other drugs taken simultaneously.
BIOMETRIC IDENTITY CARDS
the 15 EU nations, each with their own ID cards and passports, have their
own regulations on the necessity to carry such a document. These ID cards,
valid at every national border within the EU, are difficult to verify and
this task will become even worse when a further 10 nations join the EU in
the wake of September 11, the US Government has adopted a wide range of
security measures. From October 2004, all EU passports without biometric
data will no longer benefit from the visa waiver system that allows EU
nationals to enter the US without a visa.
the EU needs to establish
greater co-operation in order to facilitate travel, improve security and
combat the entry of illegal immigrants. The European Commission has tabled
two new draft Regulations requiring all visas and travel documents issued to
non-EU nationals to contain biometric data in digital form that will
uniquely identify the individual carrying the documents.
EU proposal, if unanimously approved by all
Member States, will require photographs on visa and residence permits
for non-EU nationals by 2005, and biometric data by 2007. A microchip will
need to be inserted in both ID cards and passports, including fingerprint
and iris characteristics. At all border posts throughout the EU, high tech
equipment will check and compare data digitally to determine and confirm
believe that the UK needs a policy of controlled immigration based on
national manpower requirements and supported by efficient border vigilance.
Such a policy will diminish the importance of extreme political parties,
reassure the public, and preserve the fabric of our harmonious society.
beet is indispensable not only for East Anglia's rural economy but also
its environment. Almost 7,000 farmers and 20,000 workers, involved with
growing and transporting sugar beet, allow our sugar factories to save the
economy £1bn per annum in
forthcoming reform of the EU's sugar regime must not penalise the UK. We
are a substantial net importer of sugar from African, Caribbean and
Pacific (ACP) countries since domestic production of sugar is insufficient
to meet UK demand. Excessive production on the continent (France produces
twice its requirement) creates a crisis for the least developed ACP
European Commission must formulate a proposal that is equitable such that
the UK, a net importer at higher EU prices, is exempt from any cuts in
quota. We must not accept any proposal that will disadvantage or threaten
East Anglian livelihoods.
options are being considered by the European Commission:-
will introduce modest cuts in quota and price.
involve a cut of 40% in price that would
make our sugar beet farmers unprofitable.
abandons all price controls and will allow subsidised Brazilian farmers to
dominate world markets, harming both ACP and UK farmers.
shall fight hard in Brussels to ensure that the Commission proposal is
based on Option 1 with no quota
cut for the UK. I urge constituents to defend our sugar industry and lobby
their local chamber of commerce, councillors, MP, MEP and write to both
the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for DEFRA. The UK Government can
and must stand up for its farmers at the top table in the EU.
FEWER MEPs FOR UK
June 1999, each County in East
Anglia elected its own MEP on a first past the post system. In 1999,
despite Conservative Party opposition, the Government chose to switch to
proportional representation and extended the constituency from one county
to an 'Eastern Region' comprising six counties (Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex,
Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire). Our Eastern Region, with
5.5 million people, is represented by 8 MEPs.
the 1994 European Elections, the UK turnout
was 36%. Not surprisingly, with proportional representation and a
larger constituency in 1999, giving less choice to the electorate, it
dropped to 23% - the lowest in the European Union.
MPs represent the six counties of Eastern Region in the Westminster
Parliament. How can only 8 MEPs hold surgeries, respond to the needs of
constituents and distribute Newsletters to brief you all?
1999, the four Conservative MEPs decided to divide the Eastern Region into
four areas (Norfolk & Suffolk; Cambridgeshire & Bedfordshire; Hertfordshire; Essex) offering each MEP the
chance to serve in one Area in particular and the Region in general.
chose to focus on the needs of Norfolk and Suffolk, although I regularly
respond to and serve constituents in the other counties. I am always ready
to attend any event throughout the six counties and I publish a regular Newsletter (In Touch) that is available to
anyone registered on our email database. Please send us an email and
secure your name on our list for future copies.
the European Parliament, I sit on the Industry, External Trade, Research
and Energy Committee as well as the Committee for International
Co-operation and Development. I participate actively in shaping EU
legislation relating to health, the environment, agriculture, fisheries,
financial services and EU fraud and mismanagement.
next European Elections will take place on June 10 this year. With the EU
enlarging from its current 15 to 25 Member States, the UK allocation of
MEPs will be reduced from 87 to 78 and our Eastern Region will have only 7
MEPs. A high turnout of Conservative supporters is essential to ensure
that we win most seats. We can and must win!
Promoted & Printed by Conservative MEPs in the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Brussels: Khanbhai, Sturdy, Beazley & Van Orden