Newsletter from Europe 03/02
Bashir Khanbhai MEP
(Norfolk and Suffolk)




The EU bureaucrats wish to make it more expensive and more difficult for us to maintain the health and welfare of our animals! Under the Commission's proposed changes in regulation of veterinary medicine distribution, all animal medicines for horses and farm animals would become Prescription Only Medicines (POM) requiring a veterinary prescription.

As a pharmacist with over 30 years experience, I confirm that Britain already has very stringent laws regulating the distribution of veterinary medicines, supported by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

The current system in the UK is based on the Prescribed Merchant List (PML) including veterinary products such as wormers, dips, vaccines and external parasite treatments. We have been buying these veterinary medicines for decades under supervision from Agricultural Merchants. Such facility allows ready access to common medicines used in the treatment of minor infections of farm animals and horses. The system works well, promotes animal welfare and is cost effective.

New EU legislation would force all farmers keeping livestock and some of us with pets to incur unnecessary costs in charges for consulting a veterinary surgeon for a prescription! It would make almost 3500 SQPs (Specially Qualified Persons) redundant and precipitate the closure of Agricultural Merchant outlets, especially in rural areas!

Why should we succumb to the whims of faceless bureaucrats in Brussels who seem to have nothing better to do than to create useless legislation? If the Europeans on the continent do not have a distribution system as effective as ours then let them adopt our system!

I am the shadow Rapporteur for this EU Directive in the Industry Committee of the European Parliament. I will try my best to persuade colleagues to reject this idiotic legislative proposal from the European Commission!



The Müller Report, due for voting this month in the European Parliament, will regulate the sale of products containing food supplements such as vitamins and minerals.

We have an extensive list of such products available for sale in the UK – products that have been issued for approval by our Ministry of Health. Many of these products offer vitamins and minerals in different combinations to suit the demands of so many, especially our elderly citizens.

The EU wishes to change the criteria for sale of these products with the result that over 300 supplements will be banned in the UK unless new approvals are secured! Such a ban will seriously affect supply and those using these products will be obliged to import them from outside the EU at higher prices! How dare the European Commission restrict our freedom in this way? If the EU is a free open competitive market for its member states then why should such bureaucratic blunders be allowed?

There is no scientific evidence to support the European Commission proposals. There has not been one case of death reported from use of such products in 20 years. The European Parliament must reject such legislation if it wishes to be credible and serve the citizens of Europe! I will have no hesitation in opposing this Report’s recommendations in this respect.



More new employment regulations have been adopted in the UK in the past two years than in the previous twenty, thanks to Blair’s reversal of the Conservative “opt out” from the Social Chapter that imposes high non-wage costs for employers wanting to hire employees.

We cannot create new jobs and sustain existing ones if we impose extra financial burdens on our businesses. Over a million temporary workers in the UK, many employed in the Eastern Region, should be free to conclude contracts with their employers without EU intervention. There is no evidence of exploitation of our part time workers in the UK and if there are bad employers there is a mechanism for immediate action – both our media and the courts will oblige!

I shall vote against any extension of the Social Chapter legislation and hope that all British MEPs will support me in this respect.


105 men and women from 28 European nations have started discussions about the constitutional settlement of Europe. How can the EU institutions be reformed to accommodate enlargement of the EU from its 15 Member States to a possible 26? Should the EU Treaties be incorporated into some kind of a Constitution? Should the EU citizens elect Commissioners and should there be a limit on their number even if this means that some Member States may not have representation? Should the European Parliament be expanded and should it have the right to initiate and propose legislation – a function of the European Commission at present? Should the EU impose a direct tax on its citizens or continue with the present system? How should the voting strength of each Member State in the Council of Ministers be determined and should there be a veto for specific areas of policy?

Mr.Giscard, as the President, is associated with three major changes in Europe – creating the Council of Ministers at which important decisions are made; having the European Parliament elected directly and establishing the monetary union that gave birth to the Euro.

What will be the outcome of such an assembly? What authority should the non-members of the existing EU have in determining the future of the EU? Will there be a single European Referendum to seek approval or will there be different national referenda?  Will the democratically elected European Parliament have the opportunity to debate the outcome and express an opinion?    



1. 13-15Feb ACP-Conference - Nairobi, Kenya

2. 19Feb Woodbridge Women Group

3. 19Feb FCN Panel: farmers in Mendlesham

4. 22Feb W.Suffolk Ladies Forum, Barningham

5. 28Feb Norfolk & Suffolk Area Dinner

6. 1Mar Horning Branch lunch

7. 4Mar E.Region Cons.Women AGM






 Promoted & Printed by Conservative MEPs in the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Brussels: Khanbhai, Sturdy, Beazley & Van Orden