• 05/02/2019


    “The decision by Sony, Hitachi and now Nissan UK to relocate from the UK, or halt future investments should act as an alarm bell to the Prime Minister that this could be the tip of the iceberg with other corporate boardrooms across the UK actively looking to protect their businesses post-Brexit with all options on the
    table”, Richard Ashworth MEP for South-East England has warned.

    “The Prime Minster and the Leave campaign did not obtain a mandate from the British people to proceed down the road of self-harm and make the UK materially poorer”.

    The former leader of the UK Conservative delegation in the European Parliament, who is now an independent MEP sitting in the EPP block in the European Parliament fears that the UK going back to the “1970s when industrial strife, isolation and division were common place in Britain.”

    “We have managed to undermine the very foundations of political stability, unfettered access to Single Market, that resulted in record levels of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) pre the Brexit referendum, with figures now showing a fall by 19 percent since the Brexit vote in 2016, seeing Germany overtake the UK as the number destination in Europe of foreign investments.”

  • 30/01/2019

    The Prime Minister and Parliament have failed to avert Brexit “No Deal” disaster

    The Prime Minister is “delusional” to believe that there is any realistic chance to revise or to “reopen” the Withdrawal Agreement over the Northern Ireland backstop, despite repeated warnings by the EU that there was no chance of this taking place.

    Richard Ashworth MEP for South East England reacting to the so called Graham Brady vote in Parliament on Tuesday 29 January said:
    “All this does is more “kicking the can down the road”. Legislating against ‘no deal’ is like making rules that there will be no gravity if you fall out of a tree.”

    “The Prime Minister going back to Brussels to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement is pure time wasting. The issue is the same today, as it was two years ago; either you are in the customs union (in which case there are no borders), or you are out of it (and you have borders, friction and all the associated costs and delays).”
    “Leavers are still deluding themselves that you can have benefits of customs union, but not have to abide by the rules and can still make our own independent trade deals around the world. If EU won’t agree to that (why would it?), then, by definition, you have a ‘no deal’ Brexit on March 29th anyway”.

  • 21/01/2019

    The Prime Minister must climb down over her “red lines”

    Following the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons on Monday 21 January, to outline the position of HM Government on avoiding a “no deal” outcome, Richard Ashworth MEP for South East England the former leader of the UK Conservative Party in the European Parliament, has called on the Prime Minister to start compromising over her “red lines” and rule out a “no deal” Brexit immediately.

    “It is HM Government intransigence over the so called “red lines” which has caused this ongoing impasse and has caused so much uncertainty and concern to all”.

    “Members of Parliament who voted the Prime Minister’s proposal down are clear what they did not want; it is now time for the PM to work with the House to determine what they do want. The inflexibility she has taken (over the Withdrawal Bill) highlights the need for her to go back to the House to ask exactly what they do want.”

  • 16/01/2019

    Be careful the conclusions you draw

    Richard Ashworth MEP speaking with BBC Radio Kent said that the Prime Minister Theresa May was “damaged” and that the vote in Parliament on Theresa Mays “Chequers Plan” was a “defeat by all opinions”.

    “There are three options now” according to Ashworth, firstly a General election; “both leaders share the same policy, so there is no point in having an election” Richard Ashworth said to Ian Collins on BBC Radio Kent.

    A second referendum Peoples Vote, the problem here is that MPs are decision makers, not delegates, they are best placed to judge what is in best interests of the nation’s prosperity and influence around the world.

    The third and final option is for the PM to play for time until the only choice remaining is between the agreement or a hard Brexit.

    Richard Ashworth MEP has added his name to calls supporting a second referendum, or a Peoples Vote.

  • 09/12/2018

    This is the only deal

    Richard Ashworth MEP for South-East England and member of the EPP group in the European Parliament has warned Members of Parliament wanting to vote against Theresa Mays “Brexit Plan” on Tuesday 11 December the so called “Chequers Deal”, that was the “only deal, without question or renegotiation”.

    “No deal means no transition, which will have a major impact on the South-East of England, hitting immediately freight from the ports of Dover into the EU, aviation out of Gatwick for UK registered airlines, and the cornerstone of being a member of the EU Freedom of Movement will be restricted.”

    Richard Ashworth MEP continued to stress that “with the Bank of England underlining repeatedly that in the best case scenario of leaving the EU is that we will be measurably worse off, the worse case scenario we would be significantly worse off after leaving the EU.”

    Referring to the referendum that took place on 23 June 2016 Richard Ashworth MEP said “people should ask themselves if this is what they really wanted.”

    Richard Ashworth MEP campaigned for the UK to remain in the UK during the UK referendum and has called on a second referendum to determine without equivocation the future of the UK relationship with the EU.

  • 02/10/2018

    Ashworth reacts to expulsion from Conservative Party


    Richard Ashworth, the former leader of the UK Conservative delegation in the European Parliament, was expelled from the Conservative party this week in a shock move by the party Chairman, Brandon Lewis.

    Speaking from Strasbourg, Ashworth said: “In October 2017, I, along with Julie Girling, voted in support of a European Parliament resolution that said, “Not enough progress has been made, by the EU and the UK, in resolving the question of the Irish border after Brexit”. Only five Conservative MEPs took part in the vote, which was not a political statement but a factual one.”

    In light of that vote, Prime Minister Theresa May announced at the following PMQs “I have suspended the party whip from two Conservative MEPs”.

    Subsequently, Both MEPs in defiance of the British Conservative delegation, voted to censure the far right Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban. Consequently, Party Chairman, Brandon Lewis, announced this week that Ashworth and Girling had been expelled from the Conservative party.

    Ashworth added: “Having been a party worker for over 30 years and, having been former group leader and party board member, I find this extremely disappointing. I always have been, and always will be, a Conservative. However, I am surprised that the party does not apply the same standards in Westminster and I am extremely concerned that this once broad-church pragmatic Conservative party has deserted the centre ground in favour of far right ideology and intolerance”.

  • 17/09/2018

    Statement by Richard Ashworth MEP

    It has come to my attention that I voted against an amendment to encourage national parliaments to ban “gay conversion therapies” on 1st March.

    As an MEP I vote on hundreds of amendments during a Strasbourg plenary session and occasionally I vote the wrong way. Normally this voting error would have been flagged up and corrected but it was missed.

    Regardless, this was a mistake which I deeply regret so I want to clarify I am opposed to so called “gay conversion therapies.” I also want to apologise for any offence caused.

    There were 48 other amendments to the report and, amongst other things, I voted in favour of:

    · the rights of same-sex couples to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States

    · welcoming the fact that more Member States have adapted their laws on same-sex marriage

    · calling on other Member States to adapt their laws

    · calling on the Commission to bring forward a proposal for the full recognition gender recognition and marriages across the EU and

    · on the final resolution (which was adopted)

  • 02/03/2018

    EPP leader welcomes Ashworth and Girling to group

    18-03-01 Weber meeting new UK MEPs-10

    The chairman of the European Peoples Party Manfred Webber welcomed British MEPs Richard Ashworth and Julie Girling into its ranks at a meeting held in Brussels on Tuesday 27 February 2018.

    Manfred Webber Chairman of the EPP said:

    “We are very happy to welcome two new members of the EPP Group today! Good to have British colleagues back to our group”.

    Richard Ashworth MEP for South East England said:
    “I am delighted to be back in the largest political grouping in the European Parliament which will allow me to better represent the interests of constituents during these very uncertain times for the United Kingdom.”

  • 28/02/2018


    Ashworth Bloomberg

    Wednesday 28 February 2018

    Richard Ashworth MEP and Julie Girling MEP confirm today that they will be leaving the ECR Group in the European Parliament and joining the EPP Group.

    “We wish to inform you that we will be leaving the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) and joining the European Peoples Party Group (EPP) in the European Parliament with immediate effect.”

    “It is our intention to remain members of the Conservative Party in the UK as we believe the activities and approach of the EPP will more effectively further the prospects of achieving the best possible future for our constituents. We will continue to work for our constituents from inside the largest and most influential Group in the European Parliament.”

    “We very much look forward to working with our new colleagues from all 28 member states.”


  • 08/10/2017



    The following news release was sent to media today Sunday 8 October 2017

    Richard Ashworth Conservative MEP for South East England responding to press coverage in the Sunday media, has made it clear that the vote in the European Parliament was not associated to infighting in Westminster, and is not in any way an act of disloyalty to the Prime Minister Theresa May; and has expressed his continued support to the Prime Minister.

    He went onto say that his vote was not a vote against Brexit, nor was he seeking to delay or hinder trade negotiations.

    Richard Ashworth MEP said:

    “From the outset I must insist this was NOT a vote against Brexit. The British people voted to leave the European Union, and their wish must be respected. Secondly, it was NOT a vote to derail or obstruct trade negotiations.”

    “Article 50 determines there be two stages to the negotiations. Next week the 27 European Prime ministers (the Council) will decide if enough progress has been made in phase one in order for them to authorise negotiations to move onto phase two. The European parliament resolution was to instruct the council whether or not sufficient progress had been made between the two parties.”

    “Time is limited and we urgently need to move on to the trade negotiations. However, it is my view that we have not yet made sufficient progress on phase one; and it is my judgement that moving to phase two before adequately completing phase one would ultimately lengthen the negotiation, not shorten it, and would diminish our chances of a successful outcome to our trade negotiations.”

    “A sound agreement needs to be made on sound foundations, we have made progress but we are not there yet.”