Monday, 23 January 2012

English Parliament et al

It is my view that the Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh Assembly, should be made up of those Members of Parliament sitting respectively for Scotland and Wales.

English MPs sitting as such would conducted English business but it may well be that there is a need for an England Act, to formalise English MPs sitting as such, with power to elect a First Minister and to create an English Executive. That English Parliament then would have powers similar to Scotland.

There would, of course, be a need for Acts of Parliament to remove MSPs and Assembly Members, to be replaced by MPs, and possibly also to amend and enhance the Welsh Assembly's powers and status to that of a Welsh Parliament, fully equivalent to the Scottish and English Parliaments.

MPs would continue to serve as they do now at Westminster, working together for the UK, and with their feet on the ground within the devolved Parliaments.

Battle for British Unity

It is time that people realise that the Battle for British unity will be fought in Scotland.

The future of the United Kingdom will be decided right here, in Scotland. This is the political battleground. The attack on the UK began when a Labour Government and Donald Dewar created the Scottish Parliament. That was the equivalent of offering the SNP a beachhead and Alex Salmond has long since secured it.

The SNP have carried out political guerrilla raids, creating as many divides as possible, giving away freebies here to cause disgruntlement in England. The Scottish Parliament has been the battlefield tank forcing divides over student fees, prescription charges, and so called free home care. Even Tories in Holyrood have succumbed to the momentum, believing somehow that more autonomous power will mend the widening gap.

The shockwaves are now rippling to the surface, discombobulating the English, many of whom are now reacting exactly as Salmond wishes. We now see the predictable reaction which Salmond wanted as formerly sober minds in England call for an English Parliament.

They would rue it - we all will.

Already, in Scotland, MPs and the proper Parliament are being alienated from the electorate.

Very few people ever go to see an MP about a reserved powers issue - people need to see their highest elected representatives about more domestic concerns: housing, hospitals, pharmacies or schools threatened with closure, vandalism, crime rates and police numbers, yes, even dog dirt. In Scotland, this means that MSPs have the better interface with the electorate while our Scottish MPs become aloof, are channelled towards weighty national and international issues.

These are vital issues but the interaction of Westminster MPs and British subjects in Scotland, and Wales, is waning; the domestic issues that keep MPs in touch, which keep their feet on the ground, are no longer there in Scotland.

The same happening in England as well, will make the UK government increasingly remote from the people. The "assemblies" will become the focus and the Union will erode; that is why I say we must not replicate the error of the devolved bodies as constituted.

UKIP has a firm and sensible policy on this: the electorate should elect one MP for their constituency and that MP should be in Westminster most of the time and in the devolved more local parliament for the remainder.

The devolved body, the Scottish Parliament here, would continue as it is, but devoid of MSPs. In England, when Welsh and Scottish MPs are at work in their devolved home, English MPs would deal with England’s devolved issues. That means both UK national and domestic roles remained linked, through MPs who will keep a direct interface with the electorate and, exactly what is needed, excessive government is cut with fewer politicians overall with time on their hands to think of ways to rule us.

UK party leaders must not be tempted to balance the books by adding more overloaded assemblies to the mix - trim out instead - and engage the UK's number 1 enemy, Salmond, here, in the beachhead which he has established in Scotland

Friday, 20 January 2012

Vote UK Out of EU

I welcome the increasing mood across the country to challenge the government over membership of the EU.

Vote UK Out of EU has been set up by a businessman and the Electoral Reform Society will oversee a referendum in the constituencies of the Coalition leaders. The message has to be heard at some point - and the clarity of though displayed by Vote UK Out of EU is a lesson to the SNP, Cameron and others dithering over a vote on Scottish separation from the UK.

UKIP policy is that there should be a referendum on Scottish separation - it is Scotland's right to choice. UKIP, however, will campaign to keep the United Kingdom intact."

Sunday, 15 January 2012

EU rules prevented checks for faulty implants

EU rules prevented checks for faulty implants

Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in some circumstances, is prevented by legislation from carrying out full checks on medical products, including PIP breast implants. UKIP's Chairman in Scotland, Mike Scott-Hayward, is quoting work done by UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall.

"Paul has found that under EU law, national regulatory authorities can grant their own companies and products a CE (European Conformity) mark, which provides a guarantee of quality. EU law then forbids other national regulatory authorities, from conducting further checks.

"Apparently, in the case of the PIP implants, the French authorities granted the appropriate status. MHRA was obliged to permit the import and marketing of the implants as they bore the CE mark, and could not carry out their own checks.

"French Authorities did finally shut down PIP, but not before 40,000 British women had been fitted with these faulty implants. The MHRA is forced, under EU law, to permit the import and marketing of any device which bears a CE mark, even though it has no direct jurisdiction over the manufacturer.

Mr Nuttall said: "The blame is not with the clinics, nor is it with the British regulators - the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The real responsibility lies in a combination of regulatory failure in France, and then EU laws that prevent British authorities from protecting British consumers."

Mr Nuttall added: "I am writing to the European Commission to demand that in the future British authorities be allowed to make quality control border and spot checks on imported CE marked products, in order that they can in future do their job and protect the interests of British consumers." He is also calling on the Government to require the French authorities to provide compensation that will allow private clinics to remove and replace implants without being driven to bankruptcy through no fault of their own.