Richard Ashworth Conservative MEP for the South-East and leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament today attended the funeral of Baroness Thatcher along with 2,300 guests at St Pauls Cathedral.
“Baroness Thatcher was an inspiration to a generation. Her vision and leadership almost single-handedly transformed a dysfunctional economy”.
The late Prime Minister coffin was taken from the Palace of Westminster to the funeral at StPauls Cathedral. The procession was accompanied by the sounds of applause by those lining the route.
“We owe her a huge debt of gratitude – even those who may not be clear-sighted enough to acknowledge it.”
The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, attacked the deal reached on the next long-term EU budget by EU leaders
While no one would suggest that the deal represents perfection, I would criticise Mr Schulz’s somewhat misleading analysis of the agreement.
Firstly, we must remember that member states are operating in the most restrictive economic and fiscal environment in history. They are making budget cuts across the board, mostly at the request of the European Union itself.
Secondly, a closer examination of the deal reveals that there has been some shift towards future-orientated investment with an extra 37 per cent (or €34bn) for education, research and innovation, shifting money away from the direct subsidies given to farmers.
If Mr Schulz is serious about more money being spent in growth enhancing areas of the budget then he must have the courage to confront MEP’s themselves, who have frequently rejected any idea that funds should be moved from historic areas of expenditure to those which enhance Europe’s future competitiveness.
Sadly, Mr Schulz is instead proposing that MEPs should be allowed to vote on budget in a secret ballot safe from the legitimate scrutiny of either their domestic political leaders or their respective electorates. It is a confrontational and unnecessary attempt to create a rift between the Parliament and national governments when the sensible approach would be to seek accord.
Indeed, it is ironic that President Schulz, who criticised the European Council for an alleged lack of transparency in negotiating the budget agreement behind closed doors; is now the person calling for a secret ballot in parliament.
While the agreed budget is by no means ideal, we should agree to what is a pragmatic solution secured in difficult times.
Any move by MEPs to reject the budget would lead to a crisis and a serious blow to Europe’s image in the eyes of its citizens and voters.
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