Cut Foreign Aid Budget to £2.5 Billion

Rethinking_aid_freeing_trade-page-001.jpgA paper released today by the UKIP Parliamentary Resource Unit (PRU) concludes that while Britain is right to support the development of poorer countries, prioritising foreign aid payments over our own public services is not an effective use of public resources. The paper, Rethinking Aid, Freeing Trade, by Simon Gordon, recommends phasing out development aid and repealing the Act that commits UK aid spending to 0.7% of GNI.

Having broken down aid spending in some detail, Gordon has been able to demonstrate that a significant portion of the budget is not spent on either emergency or development aid; is abused to fund political advocacy which harms developing nations; and that Britain’s multi-lateral aid partners rack up huge administrative costs.

Moreover, Gordon notes that development aid has largely failed to relieve long-term poverty – a fact which calls the original basis for the 0.7% aid target into question. He says:

“Development aid has not proven to be an effective means by which to promote economic development in poorer countries. The economic assumptions behind the 0.7% target have proved inaccurate. In some cases, aid can arguably make matters worse by perpetuating poor government; limiting the potential for change in developing countries to come from within; and therefore perpetuating poverty. In some cases, aid payments even go to organisations acting in direct opposition to British foreign policy.”

The paper recommends reducing foreign aid to £2.5 billion per annum to enable allowing the UK to deliver emergency and humanitarian aid; contribute to disease eradication; and enable the government to increase spending on stretched public services here in the UK. Rethinking Aid, Freeing Trade also advocates pursuing free trade agreements with developing countries post Brexit, via minimal and simple tariff regimes, in contrast to the current and complex EU tariff regime which puts up barriers to trade; is highly protectionist; and tends to punish poorer countries for economic growth.

UKIP Foreign Aid Spokeswoman, Lisa Duffy says: “I welcome this research by the UKIP PRU. For too long, our government has prioritised ineffective aid spending over its basic obligations to British citizens. That has to change, not just so we can help those struggling in our own country, but so we can act in the best interests of developing nations too.

“As this paper shows, an increasing body of evidence suggests that more aid is not the best path to prosperity for developing countries, but that more trade is.

“Decades of development aid have failed to grow poorer economies, but post-Brexit free trade deals will. It’s time to ditch the out-dated 0.7% aid spending target; relieve global poverty with a hand up, not a hand out; make cutting trade barriers with the developing world a priority; and fill the funding gaps in our own public services.”

Download and read the full paper here.


The true acid test of Brexit will be revoking EU fishing rights in UK waters

Screenshot_3.pngUKIP Fisheries Spokesman calls for unknown “Daddy” convention of the Common Fisheries Policy to be scrapped

UKIP Fisheries Spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP, has today called on Theresa May and David Davis to scrap a little-known, Pre-EU fishing agreement which offers EU vessels a “back door” to continue fishing in UK waters post-Brexit; saying, “This convention is the ‘daddy’ of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and must be revoked if we are to stand any chance of reclaiming the UK’s waters.”

The 1964 London Fisheries Convention – which predates by eight years the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) – was a Pre-EU agreement made between twelve European countries that gave flag vessels of each signatory nation the right to fish within the UK’s six to twelve-mile territorial limit.

However, under the terms of the convention, the UK can revoke this agreement by giving two years notice.

Describing the reclamation of the fishing industry as the “first serious test of Theresa May’s resolve on Brexit”, Mr Hookem said, “if this Government is serious about making a clean break from the EU and reclaiming our fishing grounds, the London Fishing Convention must be revoked.”

“Should the Convention be left in place, it will act as a ‘backdoor’ for EU vessels to continue fishing in British waters which currently costs this country £700 million a year on lost catch values alone.

“By not addressing this issue, it would indicate to me that the Government has no intention of returning UK waters to British control and could instead be planning to ‘sell-out’ British fishermen and continue with the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy.”

“From speaking to fishermen up and down the country, their biggest fear now is that the government will use the industry as a bargaining chip for concessions in other areas of Brexit.

“Therefore, I will be seeking assurances from David Davis that this is not the case and that the UK will fully withdraw from the CFP and return to administering its own 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“According to a recent report, the fishing industry has the potential to provide a £6.3bn boost to the UK economy following Brexit, which is more than the steel industry in this country is currently worth each year.

“I would hate to see the fishing industry sold down the river both on entry and exit from the EU! But if the Common Fisheries Policy is adopted into British Law as part of the Theresa May’s Great Repeal Bill, that is exactly what will happen.”


Douglas Carswell exposes secret plan to tie Britain to the EU Post-Brexit

Screenshot_56.pngUKIP MP Douglas Carswell will today put down an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons in a bid to stop an international treaty that will leave the UK subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, even when we have left the EU.

Douglas Carswell is objecting to what appears to be a stealth attempt by Ministers to sign up to the proposed Unitary Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) without anyone noticing, and without parliament having a vote on the matter.

Once ratified, the UPCA will establish a Unified Patent Court (UPC), a court to adjudicate exclusively on European patents, meaning it will settle all disputes relating to intellectual property in Europe. Once established, it also means the standards for British products and inventions will be set in Europe, not the UK. Anyone wishing to challenge a UPC ruling will have to appeal to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

UKIP in Parliament has discovered a video clip of a briefing by Kevin Mooney, the UK lawyer who has been working towards the creation of the UPC, in which he states he hopes the press ‘does not find out about’ the treaty.

Ministers appear to share his distaste for public scrutiny of the move. The Government has tabled it as ‘negative statutory instrument,’ meaning it will automatically go through parliament unless an MP formally objects, hence Douglas Carswell’s intervention.

Mr Carswell says “Leaving the EU should mean leaving the jurisdiction of the European courts, but if this proposal is allowed to pass, we would be required to accept the supremacy of EU law in its entirety with regard to any disputes within the jurisdiction of the UPC, including competition law, fundamental rights arising under the Charter, as well as any specific patent rules contained within EU Directives.

“How countries protect intellectual property is also often a key issue when negotiating trade deals, so allowing the EU to decide these matters for us will make it much harder for the UK to negotiate the free trade deals we need with big dynamic economies outside Europe.

“No wonder the Europhiles wanted to pass this into law under the radar, without proper debate. It has the potential to drive a huge stake into the heart of Brexit.”


UKIP winning in Stoke Central will be game, set and match for Brexit

gerard.jpgSpeaking in the Stoke Central constituency this morning, Gerard Batten MEP, and UKIP’s Spokesman on Brexit has urged the voters of Stoke to elect Paul Nuttall as their MP on 23rd Feb.

He said: “Labour stopped representing the working class a long time ago. Stoke Central needs Paul as their MP so that he can speak up for their interests and for the regeneration of Stoke-on-Trent.

“Brexit is in danger of being betrayed, and who better to demand a speedy exit from the EU in the House of Commons than than UKIP’s Leader.

“The 70% of Stoke’s voters who voted to leave the EU will endanger that decision if they elect another Labour MP.”

UKIP Leader and Stoke Central candidate Paul Nuttall said: “UKIP winning in Stoke Central will be game, set and match for Brexit.

“Every voter in the constituency has the opportunity to send a powerful signal to Remain MPs sitting in Leave constituencies that they’d better not attempt to frustrate the will of the people.”


All of our submarines are missing

bill2.jpgUKIP defence spokesman, Bill Etheridge MEP, has blasted the government for their lack of spending on the Royal Navy as news emerged that the entire UK fleet of seven submarines is out of service.

The problem-hit Astute class, which has slowly been replacing the older Trafalgar class is built by BAE Systems, along with Type 45 Destroyers which break down in hot weather.

Only one submarine, HMS Astute, is at sea and she is having sea trials after a refit. She is said to be weeks away from being able to undertake missions.

Mr Etheridge, MEP for the West Midlands, said “This story underlines two vital points that I have been making over the last few weeks. Firstly, that under-investment in our military capacity has left the cupboard bare – the slightest problem exposes the lack of back-up. Secondly, our defence procurement, headed by Tony Douglas, on a salary and bonus package in excess of £500k a year is definitely sub-standard.

“We now have ships that break down in warm water, aircraft carriers with no aircraft and not a single serviceable submarine.

“Quite honestly the man should do the honourable thing and resign. He has failed the troops, failed the tax-payer and failed the country!”


Conference Agenda announced

ConfBlurb17.jpgThe full agenda has been finalised for our Spring Conference in Bolton next week and we are pleased to say that it is packed with the Party’s talent.

Within a single day – Friday, February 17 – to showcase the best we have to offer, on stage we will have our Leader, Paul Nuttall, our former leader, Nigel Farage, joined by our Assembly Members and raft of policy spokesmen.

You can see the full Conference Agenda here.

There’s a load of media pushing for attendance and there should be a real buzz about the Macron Stadium. We’ll also have Expo and fringe events and in the evening, the massively popular gala dinner where we can all unwind, have a drink or two and swap battle plans for the journey to Stoke the next day – Saturday, February 18 – to help Paul Nuttall’s bid to win that crucial by-election on February 23.

So please, make sure you book your tickets now and encourage other members to do likewise as we head towards this momentous couple of days. We are really in place to make history, and we’d love you to be part of it.

We’ll see you next week!


Tough soundbites won’t cure NHS ills

WkQugaNu.jpegAccident and emergency patients in England experienced the worst month of delays this winter in the 13 years since the four-hour target was introduced, a leaked document suggests. The figures, compiled by regulator NHS Improvement, also reportedly suggest a record high for people waiting more than 12 hours for a bed after being seen in A&E.

The target, introduced in 2004, states that 95% of patients must be seen and either admitted or discharged in under four hours. But the document suggests that of 1.4 million visits in January, only 82% were dealt with within the time frame – while more than 60,000 people waited for up to 12 hours for a bed after being told they must be admitted.

UKIP’s NHS Champion Suzanne Evans said, “Too many people attending A&E, combined with a shortage of emergency medicine consultants, difficulty in getting GPs appointments and chronic underfunding, was bound to lead to precisely this kind of crisis. The government’s 95% target for patients visiting A&E to be seen within four hours has been looking hopelessly unrealistic for some time.

“Simply telling people not to go to A&E is not the answer. Getting an urgent GP appointment – let alone an out-of-hours GP appointment – is becoming increasingly difficult, and it’s not always easy for patients to know what is or isn’t a genuine emergency. Parents of young children (who make up a considerable portion of A&E attendances) especially don’t want to take risks with their children’s health.

“No doubt many politicians will come up with easy soundbites in response to this crisis, but the truth is there are no easy answers and no quick fixes. The NHS has suffered for decades from poor policy making by both this and previous governments, as well as massive under-investment and a ‘targets and terror’ regime, all of which has heaped pressure upon pressure and sent staff scuttling for the door.

“The NHS needs significantly more money, more frontline staff, more hospital beds, a fully joined up health and social care service, and much better management with a clear and relentless focus on frontline priorities.

“None of this is going to happen overnight, however I am confident that our forthcoming exit from the EU provides an opportunity to help the NHS recover in many ways, not least by diverting a considerable portion of the money we will save from leaving into the NHS. I hope it will also spur investment into planning for the long term and training up more of our own medical staff, instead of the short term fix of simply plundering them from overseas; and herald the introduction of a health insurance requirement for visitors to the UK which will also help relieve the pressure.”


Proposals for NHS hospitals in England to charge overseas patients upfront for non-urgent care will not work in practice

WkQugaNu.jpegProposals for NHS hospitals in England to charge overseas patients upfront for non-urgent care will not work in practice, says UKIP’s NHS Champion Suzanne Evans.

Suzanne Evans said: “It is beyond unreasonable to expect medics to ignore their Hippocratic oath and refuse to operate on seriously ill patients. Neither should hospitals be required to the job of Border Agency officials.”

“There is a simple, cost-free solution to the problem of health tourism, and that is to not allow any foreign national into the country unless they have comprehensive health and travel insurance. Where applicable, visas should not be granted without proof of such. Anyone else who is unable to present a certificate of health insurance at their point of entry to the UK, should either be given the choice to either buy approved health insurance there and then, or accept they will not be allowed into the country.”


Margot Parker backs worldwide day of zero tolerance on FGM

MargotParker.jpgMargot Parker MEP has backed the worldwide day of zero tolerance on FGM. The UKIP MEP and the party’s spokesman for Women and Equalities supported the United Nations call for more action to end the “barbaric practice.”

The day of action follows reports by Plan International UK that between April 2015 and March last year, doctors assessed 8,656 cases and recorded thousands of new historic cases.

Margot said: “FGM has been illegal in the UK for more than 30 years – including if girls are sent ‘home’ to be mutilated in the name of culture. Despite robust legislation existing to stop this abuse from occurring, there has not been a single conviction in all that time.

“There is no religious requirement for girls to undergo FGM, so even that flimsiest of excuses is absent.

“This is entirely about keeping women in their place, asserting power over them and destroying their sexual identities.

“The practice is barbaric and is something we should, as a society, make clear is not acceptable under any circumstances and politically correct cultural sensitivities be damned.

“I support the United Nations call and the campaigns to end this practice and end it quickly.”

She called for better education, using the law in a more robust manner, better support networks and the message to be hammered home at schools, mosques, community centres and every other possible venue regardless of concerns about offending someone’s ‘culture’.

Only last week she called on Ealing Council to continue its funding of the Acton FGM Clinic, which faces closures.

Margot will also speak about FGM at the UKIP annual spring conference in Bolton on Friday, February 17.