Powers to Brussels
The coalition government has opted in to 8 of the EU’s 13 new laws on crime, justice and immigration proposed or adopted since the general election. All of these shift power to Brussels, including the controversial European Investigation Order and a new IT Agency to oversee the EU’s vast crime and immigration databases.
The Daily Express has delivered to Downing Street a petition with 373,000 signatories calling for us to get out of the EU. The government has ended all pretence that it wants to take back powers from Brussels.
EU Foreign Minister Baroness Catherine Ashton pays the lower EU tax rate on her earnings. While the lower rates are automatic, EU officials can choose to pay the difference between that and national tax rates, giving the balance to the exchequer in their home country, but most, including Ashton, do not.
About a sixth of MEPs check in for work early on Friday mornings, in order to get the £258 daily allowance, before leaving for long weekends. Conservative MEP Robert Sturdy and Labour MEP Peter Skinner were both filmed signing in to work on 11 February and then arriving at the Eurostar, in a chauffeur-driven car, to catch the 8:29 a.m. train to London.
Stop the funding
Councillors on Medway Council in Kent unanimously backed a motion urging their local MPs to vote against any increase in funding for Brussels while local authorities had their budgets cut.
Costly and useless
The EU’s police training mission in Afghanistan has achieved very little in the past four years. About 70 per cent of Afghan police still cannot read or write so they cannot process basic paperwork. The mission will cost 54.6 million euros for the year 2010-11.
The no work zone
Youth unemployment in the eurozone is now 20.4 per cent, up from 14.6 per cent in February 2008, before the start of the economic crisis.