Friday, 9 May 2014

My email to European election candidates the Conservative party

I finally received an answer to my email from Tory Julie Girling MEP, so the first response from an MEP perhaps forgives the lateness in replying. So below are the answers on Conservative policy. First lets have a look at where the Conservatives stand. In 2009 they had a very good election, the Euros in the UK if anything are more seen as a classic mid term election than of any real importance (if you disagree name me the 6 Euro MEPs...) as such the Tories did well last time topping the poll in a brutal indictment of Gordron Brown's government and the Labour plummeted. So the pendulum swings and the Tories are now facing a brutal indictment of David Cameron's coalition government although it doesn't seem like their destined for the free fall that Labour suffered in '09. For a start the chances of them failing to get an MEP elected is slim, they currently have 3, but recent polling puts them behind UKIP, Labour and a hares breath away from the Green Party. They are right to be nervous and you can see why today's Western Morning News carries a story where they accuse UKIP of being a 'one man band' with 'no credible policies'. If a clairvoyant told you the Tories might keep 3 you couldn't argue with them they may well be right, you also couldn't argue if they said the Tories would lose 1,2 or even all 3. Squeaky bum time at Tory HQ.

Anyway my amateurish electoral opinions aside. Here is Julie Girling's answers. I haven't given comment on the other respondents but it must be said, the MEPs answers are the first to shun my questions as a template. I don't think there are satisfactory answers to many of the questions although the subjects are talked around. As I wrote before I will do a round robbing comment blog later. See for yourself how you think they've been answered, they were: 

"1. If elected as an MEP what would you most like to achieve in the next parliament? 
2. What is your party's goal in this term of the parliament? 
3. Is the European Union a force for good in Cornwall at the moment? Why or why not? 
4. Could the EU be doing more for Cornwall? 
5. If there is a referendum on the UK's place in the EU, would you campaign for or against UK membership? 
6. Should Cornwall have a greater say in the EU, how might this be
achieved? 
7. Do you think Cornish fishermen get a good deal from the Common Fisheries Policy? What aspects of the CFP would you defend and which would you change? 
8. Do you think Cornish farmers get a good deal from the Common Agricultural Policy? What aspects of the CAP would you defend and which
would you change? 
9. Have European Structural Funds (Objective 1, Convergence) been a success in Cornwall? how should future funding be allocated? 
10. The Cornish have recently been recognised as a national minority.  Is this a good thing? How does this apply to an MEP?"

Dear Mr Simmons 

 Thank you for your email. In answer to your questions I respond as follows: 

 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly benefit from EU funding more than any other county in South West England and will receive more than £500 million of European funding over the next seven years. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) ensures funding for €592.9 million (£512.85m) will be made available for the period 2014 to 2020. 

 Our overriding responsibility is to protect and advance the interests of the United Kingdom. I am fully behind David Cameron's pledge to hold a referendum on our part in the EU; the British people must be given their say on our membership. The scope of the European Union's power has grown considerably since the last referendum in 1975 and it is clear we need a renewed mandate from the electorate.  

 In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, I believe European funding is having a positive impact on local communities. The EU is a key financial contributor to the Cornish economy, future funding should be administered as it is now – by the Local Enterprise Partnership. 

 The EU must be reformed if we are to continue our involvement within it. I fully support the plan to negotiate a new relationship with the EU and then allow the British people to have their say within the first two years of the next Parliament.  

 Regarding agriculture and fishing, these are two portfolios I have worked on in detail over the last five years and I have worked hard to ensure all areas of the South West benefit from the reformed Agricultural and Fisheries Policies. 

 The minority status of Cornish people does not apply to me as your MEP.

Be assured, I am committed to ensuring Cornwall and the whole of the South West gets a good deal out of Europe. 

 Thank you for taking the time to contact me.  

Yours sincerely

Julie Girling
Conservative MEP for the South West & Gibraltar