Each week, the UKIP Eastern Region team sends out an email update to members on the activities of our remaining MEP, Stuart Agnew. We re-post his updates under his profile below each week, deleting the previous week's version.
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
7th January 2019update
The Christmas break was most enjoyable, combining tree planting and maintenance, walking, reading, a small amount of farming and watching Australian 'Big Bash' cricket on television.
Just before the Christmas break I attended a small climate conference in London. The main speaker was Piers Corbyn, brother of Jeremy. He is a fully qualified scientist and for many years has run a commercial weather forecasting service which follows genuine meteorological principles, rather than the fashionable greenhouse gas nonsense. This little ‘Deniers' Den’ reminded me of my early days in UKIP, when only a tiny minority actively opposed the EU and we badly needed get-togethers to boost morale and collect ammunition.
Last Wednesday and Thursday I attended the Oxford Farming Conference, considered the premier event in the farming political calendar. Although I tried hard to attract the attention of the Chairman when the time came to put questions to Green MP Caroline Lucas, he pointedly chose others from the floor. Nevertheless, I was able to get involved in the evening debate held in the Oxford Union and made my presence felt.
I was first invited to speak there about seven years ago as the formal proposer for 'This house believes agriculture could thrive outside the EU'. After an opening show of hands giving me about ten percent support, I went on to win the vote, confounding the farming establishment. Since then, at subsequent debates on farming topics, I have been a regular speaker from the floor and developed my own style, which is enjoyed, even if the content is controversial.
I feel my own contributions at these events in the Oxford Union pale into insignificance compared to the performance of Tommy Robinson, who was invited there to give a talk a couple of months back. His speech can be viewed here
It lasts for just over an hour and it is noticeable how the barracking and jeering steadily peters out as he paints the real story of life in certain parts of our country.
Oxford University deserves credit for not being blackmailed by activists into cancelling Tommy Robinson's appearance. I have twice been 'no-platformed', by Suffolk and Manchester Universities, having been initially invited to speak by a debating society and then witnessed the University authorities back down in the face of threats from fascist youths.
At the Conference itself there was considerable frustration at the lack of progress in trade talks with the EU. The main difficulty here is our sheep sector, which exports about a third of its output to the EU. WTO tariffs can reach 40 percent on food products, which would effectively prohibit trade. On the other side of the Channel, the reciprocal problem is far worse to the tune of at least £20 billion at present prices. This includes Dutch fresh produce, French and other wines and Spanish fruit. It is high time that Barnier and Junker listened to those in Europe whose businesses depend on easy access to the British market, rather than wanting to punish Britain by making a Free Trade Deal take second place to the preservation of their political project.
I had hoped that national governments in the EU would have got together over the break to indulge in a message of common sense to the Commission. However, with both Merkel and Macron so terminally weakened, Junker is master of all he surveys.