Declare your interest!

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)  

News Release

25th  August 2015

Peer challenges unions and think tanks receiving EU funding to ‘come clean and declare an interest’

Following recent revelations that the European Commission is secretly funding trades unions and think-tanks to promote pro-EU messages on both sides of the Atlantic, in the run up to the referendum on EU membership, the independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has called on all such organisations to make it clear that they are being funded by the EU.

Lord Stoddart said:  “We are in the disgraceful situation where taxpayers’ money is being given by the EU to organisations openly campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU.  What they are not so open about is the fact that they are being under-written by the EU itself.  They should make that clear in all their pronouncements on this topic.

“I do not absolve individuals from declaring an interest either, most notably  politicians who are in receipt of pensions from the EU, which are conditional upon not being critical of Brussels. In the interests of a fair referendum, it is time for these organisations and individuals to come clean and declare an interest.”

The European Commission has a £500 million per annum promotional budget and spends at least £200,000 a year funding think tanks and unions in the UK alone.

 

Peer calls on Government to honour commitment to keep President Obama out of EU debate

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)  

News Release

24th July 2015

Peer calls on Government to honour its commitment to keep President Obama and other foreign leaders out of EU debate

Lord Stoddart of Swindon, the independent Labour Peer, has called on the Government to honour a commitment made by Baroness Anelay of St Johns, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in a reply (17th June) to a written question from him, in which he was promised that efforts would be made to keep foreign leaders out of the debate about Britain’s future in the EU, ahead of the referendum.

The Baroness said that ‘the decision in the referendum will be one for British voters to make’ and that ’The Government will make this clear as necessary in its discussions with foreign leaders and EU officials.’

Lord Stoddart has written to Baroness Anelay to remind her of the commitment she made, in light of the latest statement from President Obama in which he has blatantly involved himself in the debate about the EU, ahead of the referendum.  He has urged her to ensure that the Government makes representations to the President on the matter.

The full text of Lord Stoddart’s message of 24th July, to the Baroness is as follows:

FAO: The Rt Hon. the Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE

Dear Joyce

Further to your written reply of 17th June 2015 (see web link below) and the Prime Minister’s article in the Daily Mail of today’s date, may I assume that the Government will be making representations to President Obama in relation to yet another statement from him, reported this morning, urging the UK to stay in the European Union.  His interventions are improper and are a gross interference in British politics that is widely resented.  They also do nothing to dispel the impression that the UK is the USA’s poodle in the EU.

Government ‘tamely surrenders’ power to decide level of protection for bank depositors

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour)  

News Release

23rd July 2015

The Government has “tamely given away the right to decide the level of protection for UK depositors” against bank failures says independent Labour Peer

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, has exposed yet another serious surrender of governmental powers to the European Union, through a written question (20.07.15) which asked why the Government had accepted an EU directive that has tied the United Kingdom’s bank deposit protection scheme to the euro-sterling value, resulting in a £10,000 reduction in the level of protection for United Kingdom depositors from next year.

Lord O’Neill of Gatley, for the Government said:  ‘Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive (DGSD) updates existing EU legislation designed to harmonise the level of deposit protection provided across the European Economic Area (EEA).

‘This is necessary to ensure that depositors are entitled to the same level of protection wherever they deposit their money, and that UK firms are not competitively disadvantaged in relation to firms in other EEA jurisdictions.’

Commenting on the response from the Government, Lord Stoddart said:  “Lord O’Neill can witter on about EU harmonisation as much as he likes but the harsh reality is that UK depositors, who have previously been protected up to £85,000 will see this protection reduced to £75,000, from 2016, thanks to interference from the EU.  Even more significant is the fact that the Government has tamely given away the right to decide the level of protection UK depositors should receive.

“This new arrangement means that in order for depositors to get more protection, our economy needs to stumble and the value of the pound to shrink.  The same situation applies to our contributions to the EU, which go up when our GDP rises.  In other words, the more successful we are the more the EU punishes us!

“Sadly, the Government has adopted a similarly mad arrangement for the payment of Overseas Aid, by anchoring it to a percentage of GDP.  This means that every time our GDP increases, we have to send more of our hard earned money overseas.”

“The politicians whom we elect to govern us are supposed to obtain the best deal for Britain, not trap us in a self-defeating system that can only bring us down.”

The full text of Lord Stoddart’s written question and the Government’s response is below:

Written question – Hansard 20th July 2015

Lord O’Neill of Gatley, HM Treasury, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1108):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will explain why they agreed to a European directive tying the United Kingdom’s bank deposit protection scheme to the euro-sterling value which has resulted in a £10,000 reduction in the level of protection for United Kingdom depositors from next year; and what action they intend to take to address this anomaly. (HL1108)

Tabled on: 06 July 2015

Answer:
Lord O’Neill of Gatley:

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive (DGSD) updates existing EU legislation designed to harmonise the level of deposit protection provided across the European Economic Area (EEA).

This is necessary to ensure that depositors are entitled to the same level of protection wherever they deposit their money, and that UK firms are not competitively disadvantaged in relation to firms in other EEA jurisdictions.

As a result of the current strength of the pound in relation to the euro, it has been necessary for the Prudential Regulation Authority to review the sterling coverage limit. However, the Government has taken action to ensure that UK depositors are not exposed to a sudden reduction in the level of protection they receive.

HM Treasury has laid a statutory instrument to ensure that depositors who are currently entitled to £85,000 of protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will continue to be until 31 December 2015.

This will ensure that there is sufficient time available for depositors to be made aware of the changes, and to take such steps as they feel necessary to manage their financial affairs appropriately in light of this change.

Date and time of answer: 20 Jul 2015 at 17:37.

No summer holiday for the Government as Lord Stoddart keeps the pressure on

Parliament goes into recess this week but Lord Stoddart of Swindon is keeping the pressure on the Government in regard to its agenda for dealing with the EU, by submitting the written questions below.  We are not sure when the answers will be supplied as the recess means that they are not answered on a daily basis and will appear in a weekly round-up.  We will keep you posted.  Alternatively, you can keep up with the many written questions Lord Stoddart puts to the Government at: http://www.parliament.uk/writtenanswers

You might be interested to know that Lord Stoddart was named by the Freedom Association as Parliamentarian of the Week on 3rd July.  Read more about it here.

Written question HL1436: Lord Stoddart of Swindon 14-07-2015

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

Asked on: 14 July 2015

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Lords

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to challenge the imposition of a £642 million fine on the United Kingdom relating to the administration of Common Agricultural Policy farm payments; and whether in their negotiations for a return of powers to the United Kingdom they will include the removal of European Union powers to impose financial penalties on Member States.

Written question HL1437: Lord Stoddart of Swindon 14-07-2015

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

Asked on: 14 July 2015

Department for Education

Lords

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Nash on 16 June (HL521) concerning schools’ compliance with sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996, whether they are aware of campaigns by the European Commission to promote the European Union in primary and secondary schools; and how those educational establishments will provide a balanced treatment of the issue of United Kingdom membership of the European Union.

Foreign Office’s “Sticky fingers” all over Queen’s speech in Germany

THE PRESS OFFICE OF                                                           

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon

(Independent Labour)                                                                                          

 

News Release

 

25th June 2015

 

Queen’s speech in Germany has “sticky fingers of the Foreign Office all over it” says Peer

The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has expressed his disappointment with Her Majesty the Queen’s speech in Germany, on European unity, accusing the Foreign Office of using the Royal family as “pawns” in the pre-referendum debate.

Lord Stoddart said:  It is very unfortunate that the emphasis on European unity in the speech has led to speculation that Her Majesty was supporting the pro-EU side of the referendum debate.  The speech has the sticky fingers of the Foreign Office all over it and I believe it was a clumsy attempt by them to place the monarchy on the side of the UK remaining in the EU.

“The division in Europe referred to by Her Majesty in her speech derives from the chaotic nature of the EU and its attempts to extend its empire eastward while, at the same time, pursuing financial, economic and social policies within its borders that are leading to huge reductions in standards of living and rioting in some nation states.  The Foreign Office should beware of using the Royal Family as political pawns in the debate about this nation’s future as a member of the EU.

“Her Majesty should reflect on the fact that her status has been reduced to that of a European Union citizen, without so much as a by your leave.”

 

Peer highlights fear tactics used in 1975 referendum on 40th anniversary

Don’t be influenced by the “lies and fear” tactics used in 1975 and being used again
 
The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has commemorated the 40th anniversary of the original referendum on British membership of the Common Market with some strongly worded comments on the tactics used in 1975 and suggested that similar tactics are already being used to frighten voters in the forthcoming referendum.
Lord Stoddart, who has campaigned against membership of the Common Market/EU since the 1960s, said:  “It is forty years since the original referendum on Common Market membership but the memories are still fresh.  The British people were coerced into remaining in what was, in truth, a budding new country called ‘Europe’.  Lies and fear were the weapons used 40 years ago and we should not be fooled again. We were even told in a Government leaflet that the threat of a single currency had been removed!  Never in the history of British politics have so many lies been told for so little purpose.
“The very same sort of siren voices we listened to then are, even now, already at work attempting to frighten voters into thinking that Britain would be badly damaged by leaving. The truth is that we would thrive outside of the backward, corporatist and failing organisation that is now called the European Union.  It is the only Continent suffering from a continuous decline in trade.  
“We need to free ourselves from its suffocating red tape, regain control of our own borders and take back the right to negotiate our own trade agreements across the world and in the process save ourselves £20 billion gross (£13.5 billion net), per annum.  This would leave us free to invest in the NHS, British agriculture and many other things this country badly needs.
“In the interests of reclaiming our democracy and to ensure a decent economic future for our children and grandchildren, we must throw off the yoke of Brussels and vote to leave the EU in the next referendum. To do anything else is to wave the white flag and surrender our country.”