Category: Blog


The French President’s prescription for the ailing EU will only make the patient worse, writes Syed Kamall MEP

Emmanuel Macron lived up to his star billing when he addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week.

In contrast to the sometimes patchy turnout for other EU leaders, the chamber was packed to hear the charismatic French president lay out his vision for the future of the European Union. He did so with clarity, sincerity and passion. He listened patiently as Group leaders – including myself – delivered their responses, then answered many of the questions put to him by MEPs.

A very impressive performance. But that cannot disguise the fact his ideas will not solve the European Union’s problems.

President Macron is like a doctor who correctly diagnoses their patient but then prescribes the wrong medicine…

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As the government consider the UK‘s response to the Syrian development, John Baron MP* explains why calm heads must prevail.

Reports of a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians have once again raised the question of whether Britain should intervene militarily against the Assad régime,  this time in possible conjunction with the United States and France . The case for intervention has some support, particularly from those who warn that the use of chemical weapons ‘crosses a line’.

Yet,  many of the points pertinent to the 2013 decision, when Parliament, in very similar circumstances of a chemical weapons attack, was asked to vote on punitive air strikes against President Assad that same summer, remain so today. The Government under David Cameron lost the vote for many reasons, but chief amongst them was the sense amongst many MPs that we were joining a gadarene rush to action before our policy had been properly thought through. The intelligence surrounding the attack at the time of the vote was patchy, and it was not obvious how military action would improve the situation.

Whilst it seems likely the Syrian régime was responsible for the attack, this is not yet certain – there have been periods when both sides have blamed the other for such attacks. It is also unclear whether military action would have any practical or chastising effect – the damage caused to the Syrian airbase by the American attack in April 2017 was apparently quickly repaired, with aircraft using the runway just a few hours later, and chemical weapons continue to be used in Syria.

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After Brexit, the independence and sovereignty of the UK Courts and rule of law will be restored, and the role of the European Court of Justice end. How then should UK-EU disputes be settled? Do the protagonists of continued ECJ jurisdiction have a case? In our new publication, The ECJ: An Imperial or Impartial Court? Adjudicating Treaty Rights After Brexit, Dr Gunnar Beck, a barrister, legal philosopher and academic lawyer, explains the options for dispute resolution after Brexit.

It is difficult to overstate the case why the ECJ is neither an impartial nor a conventional court.

From the outset in the early 1960s the ECJ developed a range of principles which it then expanded into the general principles of the supremacy and direct effect of EU law over national law. None of these judge-made principles had any basis in the EU Treaties; they are judicial creations which have been accepted and applied by national courts and governments because they suit the integrationist agenda of most EU politicians and senior judges. National courts and governments do not oppose the ECJ, because ECJ judicial activism allows integrationist governments to impose on their countries what most of their electorates would not accept voluntarily, ‘ever closer European union.’

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What better time than Easter to pledge support for Christians persecuted and in need because of their Christian faith, says Murdo Fraser MSP.

It was a timely and appropriate question for Holy Week. At Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Ash Wednesday, the Strangford MP Jim Shannon highlighted the plight of Iraqi Christians, “one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world”, and asked Theresa May to pledge her support to help persecuted Christians around the world.

In her reply, the Prime Minister, a vicar’s daughter herself, acknowledged that, at Easter, the message of the Cross and the resurrection help to support Christians around the world. She referred to her recent meeting with Father Daniel from Nineveh and Idlib, who talked about the very real persecution suffered by his congregations. A bible that had rescued after being burned after a church had been set on fire which was presented to her was now in No. 10 Downing Street.

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Ireland’s Real Problem is the EU not the Border, says Politeia’s Director, Sheila Lawlor.

Just over 100 years ago a handful of volunteers seized  Dublin’s strategic buildings in Ireland’s  1916 Easter rising to proclaim the Irish Republic. They came from different strands of Ireland’s romantic and political movements, were bound by different loyalties, had a number of different aims. But in their demand that Ireland should be self governing, in their declaration of the right of the people of Ireland ‘to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible’, and in their proclamation of the Irish Republic as ‘a Sovereign Independent State’, they were at one.

Why then has Ireland not only sacrificed its hard fought sovereignty to the dominance of the EU but seems determined to play politics with the hard won stability of its border with Northern Ireland, ignoring, in the process, the rights of the people of Britain to determine how and by whom they are governed?


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The Russian Attack in Salisbury is a wake up call to refocus UK Foreign and Defence Policy, says John Baron MP:

By any standard, the use of a powerful nerve agent is beyond the pale; deploying it in a crowded cathedral city, potentially exposing hundreds of people as well as the intended targets, is inexcusably reckless. Yet this is what the Russian state has done in Salisbury, and it is right that the British Government, in concert with allies, responds robustly to this outrage. But the attack also brings into focus the need for a reassessment of our longer-term strategy. Russia under President Putin has all the hallmarks of being a rogue state. Whilst accepting that the UK response could involve the full spectrum of our capabilities – not all in the public domain – the time has come to reassess fundamentally the level of our hard and soft power spending…

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