BREXIT: What are MEPs doing?

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I recently received a flyer from UKIP telling me what a great job its MEPs are doing for us in the European Parliament.

This got me wondering how the printing and distribution of the flyer was financed. If every household received a leaflet that would not come cheap. Hopefully, the EU, and thus us as taxpayers, did not fund it.

It also encouraged me to look at UKIP’s record in the European Parliament, to see how hard the MEPs are working.

I focussed on votes that transcend the interests of individual countries and which I thought most UK voters would like to see their MEPs support.

On December 13, there was a vote on ‘Draft recommendations following the inquiry on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion’. This is interesting following the ‘Paradise Papers’, showing how some people put their money beyond HMRC and thus put pressure on funding of public services, such as our NHS.

Some 492 MEPs voted in favour of the recommendations, 50 voted against, and 136 abstained. Jonathan Arnott, our local UKIP MEP, voted against, as did all other UKIP MEPs.

On December 14, there was a vote on ‘Implementation of the directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography’. Jonathan Arnott abstained, but 623 MEPs voted. Of those, 597 voted in favour, six against and 20 abstained, including all UKIP MEPs.

Draw your own conclusions about the valuable work that UKIP MEPs are doing.

In the letter from MP R Campbell about Brexit, he forgets to blame the Conservative government for austerity, (News Post Leader, December 7).

He blames the EU for Greece having to sell off assets to repay debts. That’s what happens when you get into debt, and that’s what Britain has been doing for decades.

He invokes the possibility that the EU is going to make us sell off the NHS. How or why this should be is not explained. The greatest threat to the NHS is our own government and its desperation to get a trade deal with the USA, no matter the cost.

Let’s not forget who got us into this situation. David Cameron won the 2015 general election with a Conservative majority and the UK economy was out-performing that of most developed countries, but he gambled that by having a referendum on membership of the EU, a complex issue.

The UK economy has now stalled. Apparently, government ministers cannot name a single country that has asked for a post-Brexit trade deal. I do not think I have seen a single prediction that we will be better off because of Brexit.

But we will have our blue passports. Bread and circuses.

Charles Thompson

Blyth