Residents across Lichfield District are getting ready to head to the polls to cast their vote in the European Elections.
In the run up to the vote tomorrow (June 4) some have expressed concern that voters will use these elections to show dis-satisfaction with MPs in Westminster over the expenses scandal. The European elections are very important to our involvement in Europe where all sorts of decisions are made from immigration policy to worker’s rights.
So here is a run down of all the parties you can vote for tomorrow and a summary of their main policy points. Please do click through to their web sites to read more when making your decision on who to vote for.
Nationalist party who campaign for independence for the UK, un-influenced by outside powers such as the EU. They favour British people for filling jobs in the UK and maintain that the Pound should remain the official currency and the Euro shouldn’t be adopted. They favour complete withdrawal from the EU but are open to trade with EU countries.
The BNP would deport criminals who weren’t born in Britain and would only extradite where evidence is presented of a crime having taken place. The party would also restore traditional weights and measures and stop Post Office closures and NHS privatisation.
See the BNP European manifesto.
Christian Party – Christian People’s Alliance
Religious party who believe in upholding the values taught in the Bible through European law. They believe in a more equal society that operates fairly in an economic sense. They are also pro-life, rejecting abortion and embryonic science and are against same sex marriage.
They Christian Party want all EU member states to adopt Christ as sovereign and object to Turkey joining the EU. They would also introduce prayers before the day begins for MEPs and hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
See the Christian Party European manifesto.
The Conservative Party want to stay in Europe but retain employment and social legislation including maintaining control of the Justice system. They favour increased co-ordination between EU member states whilst keeping power in Whitehall. They also favour the expansion of the EU, improved aid to developing countries and better trade relationships with non-EU countries.
They reject the Euro, protectionism and tax harmonisation. They want to decrease EU regulation and place a budget cap on the EU. The Conservatives also favour liberalisation of the energy markets across Europe.
English Democrats Party
Their EU manifesto was inaccessible so the only points that could be gleaned were withdrawal from the EU and membership of the European Free Trade Association as an alternative.
See the English Democrats Party web site.
Jury Team Democracy
Jury Team Democracy is not a party as such, but a coalition of independent candidates all with the same principles; that party politics is counter-productive and that removing the party system is needed to ensure that MPs represent their constituents interests, not those of the party.
See the Jury Team candidates.
The Liberal Democrats, the third largest political party in the UK, favour more co-ordination between EU member states and involvement in the EU. They want to extend the single market to energy, financial services and transport industries. They would hold a referendum on the Euro, which they would prefer to enter.
Lib Dems also favour ratification of the Lisbon Treaty as well as more accountability and transparency for European politics. They also want to reform the EU budget and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). They want more border control from Westminster, not Europe.
See the Liberal Democrats European manifesto.
No2EU – Yes to Democracy
Like the Jury Team Democrats, No2EU is not a party as such but a coalition of trade unionists, political parties and campaigning groups. They are staunchly opposed to the Lisbon Treaty. They believe the Lisbon Treaty is illegal and would create a European state in which the ‘unelected’ EU commission would impose new laws on member states and have the power to give itself more power.
No2EU believe the EU erodes workers rights in favour of big business and that the Lisbon treaty would outlaw any system other than pure capitalism. If elected, No2EU members would not take their seat except at meaningful votes and would publish all expenses.
No2EU also believe that the Lisbon Treaty would allow the EU to force Governments to hand public services over to private enterprise.
See the No2EU web site.
Pro Democracy: Libertas.eu
Libertas want to make the EU more open and accountable. They want all law making to be opened up to the public and believe anyone involved in drawing up the laws should be accountable at the ballot box. They oppose the Lisbon treaty and campaign to have a referendum on the treaty in every EU country. Libertas would also cut the number of meetings held by the EU and aim to save €10bn in costs.
They have candidates across Europe, representing 13 different member states.
See the Libertas European manifesto.
Socialist Labour Party
As their web site states, “the Socialist Labour Party is committed to complete withdrawal from the European Union.” They oppose joining the Euro and believe that the EU has eroded workers rights and placed unnecessary burdens on British business. They want Britain to expand economic trade with Asia, Africa, South America, Latin America and the Caribbean.
They believe that there would be a net gain of £12bn if Britain left the EU.
The “Green New Deal” is the basis of the Green Party manifesto. They believe in approaching the economy in a way that satisfies the need for climate change. Key issues include breaking up big banks and clamping down on tax avoidance, energy efficiency measures for homes, schools and hospitals, free social care for the elderly, increase in use of renewable energy sources.
Unfortunately, their web site isn’t clear on policies specific to Europe, despite mentioning their European manifesto.
See the Green Party policies.
As you will know, the current Government is a Labour one and are committed to full involvement in Europe. Labour advocate removing the remaining barriers to a free market in Europe and making a ‘more social Europe’ in which workers rights are protected. Labour favour membership of the single currency ‘if it is in Britain’s interests to do so’.
Labour stress that they want to retain control of Britain’s borders and only adopt European legislation when it makes sense. They also want to have more co-operation on law enforcement so that criminals can be tracked and caught throughout the EU. Labour has ratified the Lisbon Treaty. Like most parties, they want to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
See the Labour Party European manifesto.
UK Independence Party
UKIP favour complete withdrawal from the EU and the creation of trade agreements between EU member states in its place. They favour British jobs going to British people and keeping control of the UK’s borders. UKIP also believe that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) have been an ecological disaster which could be fixed by leaving the EU.
See the UKIP European manifesto.
If you think I’ve missed something out, please let me know in the comments.