Monthly newsletter Edition 6 Sir Robert reports:- Page 1
I do seem to have stirred up something of a hornets' nest over the Synchrotron Project at Daresbury! This disgraceful state of affairs whereby Labour Ministers were caught out lying to the workforce, scientists, industrialists and even their own MPs, MEPs and Councillors, was publicised to such an extent that it posed a problem for the Prime Minister. (I am delighted to record!) Local Conservatives really fighting for North West interests as opposed to Labour just going through the motions. They got their just desserts when Conservatives won Daresbury Ward on Halton Council with a big swing.
My report on Air Traffic Control was discussed in the Transport Committee last month and the proposals were well received by MEPs and the Commission. A good part is quite technical but, if it passes all the Parliamentary hurdles successfully it will provide a sound basis on which Ministers can address the problems of air traffic congestion and flight delays.
British Tory MEPs were somewhat surprised to hear the supposedly centre-right French President of the Parliament make what appeared to be an avowedly socialist speech to the European Ministers' Meeting at Lisbon recently - which was bad enough - but she compounded the plot by then suggesting to the President of Austria, after he had addressed the full Parliament, that his country's membership of the EU was temporarily in abeyance because of the Freedom Party's role in Government. We made it quite clear to her that we took a dim view of these outbursts and hoped that there would be no recurrence. She appeared suitably contrite.
We debated a huge report at the last Strasbourg session - with over 250 votes - on Commission President Prodi's plans for the future of the EU. Conservative MEPs voted consistently against those proposals damaging to British interests, such as a Euro-tax to fund more Euro-expenditure, interference with our Criminal Justice System, abolition of the Veto in economic, employment and social affairs, Qualified Majority Voting on foreign policy, the creation of a European Public Prosecutor and a binding Charter of Fundamental Rights. Sadly, we did not get much support from other British political parties and so most of the above was agreed by a majority. Yet another case of Blair's MEPs openly defying their own Leader's much-vaunted promises to the British people.