• Pound coins

    Progress on VAT issues

    The VAT-MOSS issue was raised today in a debate in the European Parliament by a number of MEPs. Encouragingly, European Commission Vice-President Timmermans, responding to the debate, confirmed that the Commission was taking these concerns very seriously, and that they had started to work on it even before David Cameron raised the issue at last […]

  • Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

    UKIP suspensions: going for gold in 2015?

    Another day, another UKIP MEP is suspended from the party following an expenses scandal. Last week, Janice Atkinson — UKIP MEP for the South East and general election candidate for Folkestone and Hythe — was suspended from UKIP following allegations of a serious financial nature. Time and time again, Farage has tried to distance himself […]

  • BBC screenshot

    Equality or truth – what do we want from the Beeb?

    Sir Bill Cash MP is one of Westminster’s most prominent old-school anti-Europeans. Last week, he once again led the European Scrutiny Committee in one of his favourite activities: accusing the BBC of institutional pro-European bias. To be fair, the BBC’s director-general acquitted himself well under cross-examination: Lord Hall said the duty to ensure balanced, impartial […]

  • image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

    Bringing bass back to the agenda

    Back in January, I welcomed emergency measures taken to protect sea bass during the crucial spawning season. But the fact that we had to resort to reactive emergency measures also served as a reminder that we need real, long-term, preemptive, evidence-based policy-making for sea bass fishing. That’s why, this week, the European Parliament voted in […]

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    Real junk food

    There’s a local ‘business’ in my constituency, the first of its kind, which was created just 18 months ago but has spawned more than 80 offshoots across the UK since it first opened its doors. This ‘business’ makes no profit, sets no prices for its services, and has no paid staff — yet its turnover […]

  • courtesy David Caster via Wikimedia Commons

    Which democratic deficit?

    Almost every democratic system has aspects which are questionable. The unelected House of Lords in Britain. The role of money in elections in the USA. The pros and cons of different electoral systems. And, of course, the EU. EU institutions certainly suffer from the problem of distance. They are inevitably and unavoidably more remote from […]