Each week, the UKIP Eastern Region team sends out an update on the activities of our two MEPs. We re-post their updates under their profiles below each week, deleting the previous week's summary.
Patrick O'Flynn, MEP
Patrick represents the East of England
in the European Parliament, having been elected in 2014. He was educated at Parkside Community College and Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge and then proceeded to read Economics at King's College, Cambridge graduating in 1987. He subsequently earned a Diploma in Journalism from City University London. He previously worked as Chief Political Commentator and then Political Editor of the Daily Express. Prior to being elected in May 2014, Patrick was UKIP Director of Communications and also served as Campaign Director for the party’s victorious European elections campaign. His office is in Peterborough. He is married with two teenage children. Follow Patrick on Twitter
and visit his website
for more information.
3rd September 2018 update
POLITICS traditionally shuts down over August, but we’ve managed to keep fairly busy at my office in Peterborough. Much of the work has been in booking venues, planning formats, preparing publicity leaflets and seeking guest speakers for my final round of autumn public meetings as an MEP, to be held under the title of “Brexit SOS”.
We’ve also been making video blogs on the various miserable climbdowns of Theresa May as far as Brexit is concerned.
In between there have been several highlights. One of the best was being a guest at the presentation of the British Empire Medal to my chief of staff, Lisa Duffy, to mark her service to her community in Ramsey. The event was held at the public library in Ramsey and there was an excellent turnout of people wishing to show their appreciation for Lisa’s fantastic contribution to local life.
Another highlight was a visit to the farm of Tom Martin at Haddon, just south of Peterborough, which I blogged about here: A Visit With Farmer Tom
. Tom had just completed his harvest the day before and had some really interesting observations about the risks and the opportunities inherent in leaving the EU.
Also during August I travelled across to Hadleigh in south Essex to speak at a public meeting which UKIP stalwart Brian Lee used to get volunteers for a new branch committee following the merger of two neighbouring branches. Naturally, I spoke about the threat to Brexit and the need for UKIP to campaign against the Chequers sell-out.
While the turnout for the meeting was not large, there were sufficient people in the audience prepared to serve on the new committee, so it was a successful evening.
Last week I travelled out to Brussels on Tuesday, following the Bank Holiday, and had meetings there with several colleagues to plan campaigning activity for the autumn. I also wrote a new piece for the Brexit Central website, this time on how Theresa May’s appointment of Remainer Philip Hammond as Chancellor right at the outset of her premiership could be seen in retrospect as an absolutely crucial moment in her betrayal of Brexit.
You can read my piece, which got plenty of reaction online, here: We’ve needed a committed Brexiteer as Chancellor all along
The political year will get underway in earnest over the coming week. With our official departure from the EU scheduled to be less than seven months from now, there are going to be huge political battles throughout the autumn. I still hold out hope that a further UKIP bounce in the opinion polls can force the Tories either to abandon Chequers or even to dump Mrs May and install a proper Brexiteer in Downing Street.
At the very least we must keep campaigning hard to lessen the chance of still further sell-outs to Brussels. I hope you all had a fantastic summer and are ready for a final heave in determining the terms of our departure from the EU.
Stuart Agnew, MEP
Stuart represents the East of England
in the European Parliament, having been elected in June 2009. Stuart is a member of the European Parliament's Agriculture & Rural Development Committee, where he is often a lone voice in speaking up for British farmers and trying to make the Committee understand the practical effects of their proposals on farmers, in the real world. He is also UKIP’s Agriculture Spokesman.
Outside of UKIP, Stuart Agnew is a member of the National Farmers Union and served as their Norfolk County Chairman in 1998. He is a keen campaigner against the man-made global warming myth and on coastal erosion. Stuart lives and farms in Norfolk. More about Stuart can be found at stuartagnewmep.co.uk
3rd September 2018 update
The Recess came and went very quickly. It included our cereal harvest which, despite the drought, was only about 10-15% down with surprisingly good quality. Good prices have more than made up for the lower yield.
I went for a quick trip to Spain to see my youngest son, Garth, who works there as a surfing instructor on the North Coast. Through a Spanish MEP I arranged a trip to a Spanish dairy farm. I drove to the nearest village, saw a young man standing by the road and asked for directions. He spoke perfect English, knew who I was because my visit had been reported in the press and then said he was on holiday from his job as a lobbyist in the European Parliament!
I was very well looked after by my host, a prize winning dairy farmer, who spoke reasonable English. A news reporter was also present who spoke excellent English and there were representatives from the NFU equivalent. Northern Spain was lush and green and it rained for an hour during my visit. No drought there.
I was asked as a speaker to our Central Essex Branch meeting and was delighted with the turnout and enthusiasm. They have a formal debate at each meeting. This time the future of the House of Lords was up for discussion.
During August, the situation for South African farmers got much bleaker. Land seizures without compensation are inevitable now. Our Prime Minister’s pathetic pronouncements about this when she visited the country are shameful. She seemed to think that fooling around with dance routines was more politically important. The time for her to dance is when she convinces Barnier and Junker that we really will leave without a deal if we have to.
On Bank Holiday Monday I manned our UKIP stand at the Aylsham Show. My thanks to John Woodhead and Paul Brock for their help with erecting the gazebos and supporting me. This stand has become well known over the years with many punters visiting and wanting to discuss Brexit. Several former members took away membership application forms.
I went to Brussels on Tuesday and was pleased to discover that things had moved on during the Recess regarding my surprise selection as a Rapporteur for a Draft Opinion on an item that concerned Climate Change and farming.
The paper (known as a justification which supports my amendments to the Commission Proposal) that I drew up with our Eastern member, Rev Philip Foster, had been efficiently processed with maps and charts in colour, and distributed to all MEPs on the Committee. Philip has a Cambridge Science degree in addition to his Theology degree. His personal knowledge of the Climate Change issue, along with his many contacts with climate scientists, means that I can stick my head over the parapet with confidence. Our Paper can be viewed here
. It became public knowledge on Tuesday and the Leftie Greenie press went berserk. The Guardian were on the phone to me immediately for an interview. I received some hate emails. I forwarded these onto Philip. I felt he could deal with the hatred wearing his dog collar and provide some sound science with his other discipline!
On Wednesday in the Committee I had my few minutes in the sun to address the members as their Rapporteur
. They did not like it and the reactions of some of them are also on this clip, which is obviously fairly lengthy. Never has a Rapporteur taken so much stick!
This has been a golden opportunity for me to throw a UKIP spanner in the works and, so far, things are going according to plan. I have already had a speaking invitation to Manchester University. The long transition period after Brexit means that UK farmers will get dragged into adhering to costly regulations that will apparently improve the world’s weather.
All MEPs will have the opportunity to amend my Opinion, which they will do with relish. Some of them will want me to compromise, some hope! The amendments will be voted on later. I expect them to pass, at which stage I will disown it. However, my original Draft Opinion will always be on record.
I see my colleague, Patrick O’Flynn, is starting another round of public Brexit meetings. Please go and support your nearest event and I hope that branches close to the venues will offer to do some promotional leafleting.
It was a relief to spend the weekend engaged in hands on farming.