European Parliament debates

If you want to read what Richard has said in the European Parliament please click on the link below and read the different speeches that Richard has made in the past.

2013 budgetary procedure: work of the Conciliation Committee (debate)
Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 – Own resource based on the value added tax (debate)
Tuesday, 23 October 2012

General budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013 – all sections (debate)
Monday, 22 October 2012

Agricultural product quality schemes (debate)
Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Financial aid in the field of the trans-European transport and energy networks (debate)
Wednesday, 4 July 2012

2013 budget – mandate for trilogue (debate)
Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Preparation for the European Council meeting (28-29 June 2012) – Multiannual financial framework and own resources (debate)
ednesday, 13 June 2012

Delimitation of Less-Favoured Areas in the context of the reform of the CAP (debate)
Thursday, 19 April 2012

Draft amending budget no 1/2012: financing of ITER (debate)
Thursday, 19 April 2012

Estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2013 – Section I – Parliament (debate)
Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ashworth on EU budget “UK will not give into threats”

News Desk

Richard Ashworth the leader of the UK Conservatives in the European Parliament underlined the need for cool heads during the protracted EU budget talks.

“The UK veto may be a thorn in the side of some in Brussels, but it is a legal reality and it is there for a reason. They cannot just wish it away, it would require treaty change.”

A recent summit failed to reach agreement on the EU budget but Prime Minister David Cameron is still optimistic an “EU budget deal is still within grasp”.

A deal is still possible according to the Prime Minister who told Reuters that “a deal to secure a long-term budget deal could be agreed if cuts are made to spending “by cutting billions of euros”.

“We do believe a deal is still do-able. It is in our interests to get a deal. But that deal can not come at any cost.”

The long-term budget, covering about €1,000bn spending over seven years, requires unanimity by all member states to be passed.

The Daily Teleraph in a report said that European Council President Herman Van Rompuy last week tabled a draft budget that included €80bn in cuts from that proposed by the Commission but the UK is still pressing for further cuts, particularly to the salaries and benefits of EU civil servants.

Budget talks will resume in Brussels on Monday where Britain will try to push down ever-rising EU administrative costs, an estimated 70 per cent of which go on pay and perks.
According to official figures seen by The Daily Telegraph, some 18% of EU officials earn £100,000 per year compared to 0.5 per cent of British civil servants while around 1,000 EU officials earn more than the Prime Minister.

Ashworth call’s for an end to car rental charges rip off’s

Richard Ashworth Conservative MEP for the South East has called on car rental firms operating throughout the European Union  to stop “ripping off” customers with unfair and in some cases illegal charges when hiring cars.

Increasingly my constituents across the South-East of England who are travelling to other EU member states and hiring cars during holidays are being charged unfairly for the use of hire cars.

In one situation I was informed of a constituent who hired a car in Spain, and discovered that he was charged 256 EURO’s for a car shelf replacement in the vehicle, even though the vehicle did not have a car shelf.  In another case a constituent placed the keys of the hire car through a letter box and not a person at the desk as it was late at night, and the hire firm claimed the keys were lost and charged my constituent 300 EURO’s for a replacement key.

In many cases I believe that consumers feel vehicle hire companies have unfairly charged their credit cards when these were provided to the company as a guarantee to cover expenses in case anything would happen during the hire period. These charges are very often made without being accompanied by any kind of explanation and set up a disappointing surprise for the consumers. A negative conclusion of this practice is that these  charges are perceived  by consumers as non reasonable and non acceptable.

The general advice is when you are going to hire a car within the European Union, is to make sure you know how much you will be liable for in the event of accident inspect the vehicle carefully (with a car rental company employee present) when collecting and returning it.  Request a written statement that the car was returned in good working order before you leave.

I support a coherent legal EU-wide framework that governs car hire agreements and believe the  issue of vehicle hire is appropriate for EU action; and it is within the EU’s scope to act.   As the vehicle hire sector is mainly a cross-border market, this matter should be solved at EU level.  By harmonising Member States’ laws, regulations and administrative provisions on vehicle hire contracts, a common high level of consumer protection can therefore be better achieved at Community level than by the different Member States themselves

Richard Ashworth Conservative MEP for the South EastPlease send me your experiences to my email at