Page 1

We Demand a REFERENDUM NOW!

Nikki Sinclaire MEP

WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE WEST MIDLANDS, STAFFORDSHIRE, WARWICKSHIRE, SHROPSHIRE, HEREFORDSHIRE & WORCESTERSHIRE

REPORTING BACK

www.yourmep.org

0800 157 7916


Media As the hardest working MEP in the West Midlands and one of the busiest politicians in the country, Nikki is regularly featured in local and national newspapers. Nikki also makes frequent appearances on the radio discussing a variety of subjects.

2 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

She is a regular contributor on websites such as the Huffington Post, EU Reporter and has a blog that is regularly updated with her activities at:

www.NikkiSinclaireMEP.blogspot.com


Introduction I have now spent 4 years as an MEP for the West Midlands. This is my report to you, my employer. The EU, which none of us ever asked for and which renders us no service what so ever, costs us £53 million a day but has not rendered legal accounts in 18 years. The people of the West Midlands elected me to serve them in the EU Parliament. In that Parliament I sit as a “non-inscrits”, while in the UK I work under the “We Demand a Referendum Now Party” banner which seeks to press the politicians of all parties to call a referendum without delay. I take seriously my undertaking to work to get Britain out of this outdated, self-indulgent, undemocratic so-called Union.

Nikki training for the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme This is just a brief summary of my recent activities. I cannot, of course, list the innumerable hours spent on Eurostar, waiting at airports or driving from Birmingham to London, Brussels or Strasbourg. Or thousands of letters which I have answered - all too often, sadly, to tell you that an MEP is powerless to change anything. I also work to exert the influence I can or to refer a story of injustice to contacts in government or in the media. And finally the many, many days and nights spent meeting and chatting to constituents, researching their problems and battling through reams of bureaucratic bumph. You can be assured that as your representative I am here for you and will endeavour to stand up for you against the EU.

Nikki meeting students at Stoke on Trent college An MEP costs a preposterous £2.1 million a year. So, unlike the EU, I believe I owe it to you to render full accounts of my receipts and expenditure and of the work that I have been doing on your behalf. On the financial side, I was the first MEP to have my accounts fully scrutinised and signed off by auditors. You can see them in full on:

Nikki Sinclaire MEP

www.yourmep.org.

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 3


Media We Demand a Referendum Now Nikki Sinclaire has recently colaunched a new political party in an attempt to force the UK Government to hold a decisive referendum on whether the UK stays in the EU – or not. The We Demand a Referendum Now party will stand in one election only: the European election in 2014. This single issue Party has only one policy: calling for a binding In or Out Referendum on the UK’s continued EU membership.

Nikki challenges Cameron over a Referendum

Recent YouGov opinion polls reveal that a third of UK adults would ignore traditional party loyalties to vote for this new party over other parties like UKIP. 33% of the Public would consider voting for the We Demand a Referendum Now party according to this opinion poll. Nikki said of the figures, “They speak for themselves. People across the nation are calling for a referendum. This is the most important issue this country faces – isn’t it about time that the government allowed the people to decide?” This poll was featured in The Sun on Sunday. The We Demand a Referendum Now party have already made the headlines in all the National Newspapers. As a We Demand a Referendum Now representative, Nikki is also the most featured MEP in the West Midlands region

We Demand a Referendum Now supporters gather outside of Parliament

Sending our message to the Politicians

4 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org


Introduction We Demand a Referendum Now The party is in a strong position, especially as a second ComRes poll, commissioned by the Party, clearly shows that 70% of the British public want a referendum within the next two years, and that just 6% of the general public support David Cameron’s policy of pushing an EU referendum back until at least 2017. Nikki said, “Isn’t it about time that the Prime Minister grasped the nettle when it comes to Europe? The people are calling for powers to be brought back from Europe, such as immigration and EU taxation, and Mr Cameron simply cannot bring these competencies back. Renegotiation is simply not possible.

We Demand a Referendum Now Party with supporters from across the country

The people are fed up of being lied to about Europe. We need a referendum sooner rather than later – voting We Demand a Referendum Now in the 2014 European election will send a clear message to David Cameron that we demand a say now! For more information on the ‘We Demand A Referendum Now Party’ visit:

www.ReferendumNow.org or call

0800 157 7916 Nikki with Katie Hopkins and the Reverend George Hargreaves

70% of the British public are now demanding a referendum

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 5


Nikki speaks in the EU Parliament Watch more of Nikki’s speeches in the European Parliament online: http://yourmep.org/speeches.html

outside s are created b jo ys sa i k ik N , not in it! the Eurozone

the er disgust at Nikki voices h udget. b U the 2013 E discussion of

en it comes to Nikki says wh home! ity begins at poverty, char tries

es fem Nikki discuss mutilation.

is helping to Over regulation the Eurozone destroy jobs in ire. The UK says Nikki Sincla all businesses federation of sm regulation says no more EU please. e at: the speech onlin You can watch Ec e/ntrYMKJMB http://youtu.b

m coun xpayer’s money fro It is not fair to use ta ntributors that are significant co poverty. This to the EU to tackle tter spent money could be be home. tackling poverty at the speech You can watch online at: a4 e/ XMcNCF_4i http://youtu.b

ng fie r a level playi Nikki calls fo ers. for British farm

ld

nstituents contact Many of Nikki’s co advantage of her regarding the dis CAP in terms d direct payments an We need to of British farmers. ure and farmers protect our agricult here in the UK. e at: the speech onlin You can watch c 65 e/FsZhf4cN http://youtu.b

6 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

in at MEPs are signing iming 304 cla d an t Parliamen where there is Euros on Fridays ne! Nikki says no work to be do ence and stop end the extravag ayer’s money. wasting the taxp e at: the speech onlin You can watch e/y2p0EstY YaI http://youtu.b

ale genital

e abhorrent act Nikki discusses th mutilation. Nikki of female genital es must take a says Member stat this despicable lead in combating ust be strong crime and there m crime. sentencing on this e at: the speech onlin You can watch 1ko xO D n e/KnqU http://youtu.b

MEP discu Nikki Sinclaire CAP reform.

sses

and over CAP is expensive ikki says the N bureaucratised. d to look fie people best quali cape are ds lan after the British elected un t no British farmers, ls. se us bureaucrats in Br e at: the speech onlin You can watch S0 c6 e/blNcTnW http://youtu.b


Nikki speaks in the EU Parliament s MEP challenge Nikki Sinclaire e th n to speak in David Camero liament. European Par that he came to Isn’t it about time explained what he this chamber and we the elected at th really meant, so pe could actually ro Eu ss ro ac people renegotiate their uld see if the UK co rship? terms of membe ch online at:

the spee You can watch vQ e/zua2qc11W http://youtu.b

le says the peop Nikki Sinclaire e less and less of the UK hav the EU. confidence in UK need an InThe people of the the EU because Out referendum on e. Nikki also of a lack of confidenc payer’s money to slams the use of tax political parties. fund pan-European e at: the speech onlin You can watch Qc e/Bd4dbdX7A http://youtu.b

igration EP discusses imm Nikki Sinclaire M UK services. and the strain on

s MEP discusse Nikki Sinclaire in sport. match fixing

hat MEP asks “W Nikki Sinclaire ess Ashton?” good is Baron

t of the estions Presiden Nikki Sinclaire qu puy. Herman Van Rom il nc ou C an pe Euro

on were not Figures for immigrati al services such as accurate, and now loc nnot cope. Nikki housing and NHS ca osed to plan if asks how are we supp w many people are we do not know ho the UK. planning to come to e at: the speech onlin You can watch VY e/QEQvjEDg7 http://youtu.b

questions Cathy Nikki Sinclaire MEP s during a Ashton’s effectivenes e European debate on Syria in th Ms Ashton’s Parliament. What is d ineffective EEAS highly expensive an e the situation? achieving to alleviat e at: the speech onlin You can watch U e/v8UixcsmzJ http://youtu.b

the issue of Nikki discusses otball across match fixing in fo talks about so Europe. Nikki al sman ruling how the EU Bo ed the lower negatively af fect ll. leagues of footba e at: the speech onlin You can watch k1c D e/e_DNm3n http://youtu.b

mpares Mr Van Nikki Sinclaire co oso and Mrs Rompuy, Mr Barr waymen of the Merkel to the highwho steal from European Union their political the poor to fund talks about project. Nikki also food banks. donating to local e at: the speech onlin You can watch 9w e/sK XGKaJ5J http://youtu.b

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 7


Q&A Q: Why have you campaigned so heavily for a referendum? A: In my opinion, the United Kingdom should be an independent nation, governed by its own people in Parliament.

Since 1973, the EU has changed well beyond the Common Market that the Great British public thought they had joined in 1973. The terms have changed so much that I believe, along with many millions of others, that we should re-open the debate and allow the people to have a say on our EU membership.

Q: Why are you an MEP if you don’t agree with the EU? A: I am working in the EU parliament to protect the British interest. My vote can be the difference between whether legislation which will be detrimental to the UK is implemented or not. There are many pro-EU MEPs who are not representing the actual views of the people who put them there, and I am a voice for those who are also disgruntled with the wasteful, bloated, bureaucratic institution that is the European Union. Q: Wouldn’t an “Out” vote effectively end the work of UK MEPs, thus leaving you without work? A: Yes! For the past four years I have actively campaigned for the redundancy of myself and every other UK MEP.

MEPs are simply a waste of tax payer’s money. MEPs cost the British taxpayer approximately £2.1 million per year and represent little or no value for money. The money would be better spent in our own country making a difference to the people of Great Britain.

Q: Why not campaign for EU withdrawal, rather than campaigning for a Referendum? A: I am a firm believer in democracy, and to tell people that we should simply leave without asking the people for their consent would simply be as bad as not asking them at all.

I trust the British people to make the decision that is right for them, but first they must be granted the chance to make that crucial decision – are we in, or are we out?

Q: What if we were given an In Out Referendum, and the public voted to stay in the European Union? A: Then that is simply the will of the people! Although I personally believe that the UK would be better off outside of the EU, we need to let the people decide. This decision needs to be made after a free, informed debate where the general public are given the true facts of EU membership. We need to make a decision one way or another. Q: Could we ever leave the EU? A: We have already allowed our legal system to be subsumed into the EU system. The Consolidation Acts alone would take at least two years of Parliamentary time. You can’t just repeal the ‘72 Communities Act. Having enacted Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which is the process for leaving,

8 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org


Q&A we would have to renegotiate a lot of laws and agreements. This means two years of negotiation in which our Parliament would set up Consolidation Acts to close loopholes in the law. We would also have to look at Free Trade Agreements, the first one being with the EU itself. Q: Don’t three million jobs depend on EU membership? A: No! “Britain in Europe”, the pro-EU campaign which eventually folded for lack of support, claimed that three million jobs depend on EU membership. This was based on research that they commissioned. The scientist who led this research publically disowned this claim. His report said that few, if any, jobs would be lost if we left. Trade with Europe would continue! The National Institute for Economic and Social research supported this view. It says that 3.5 million jobs are linked with EU trade, but if Britain leaves, few if any of these jobs would disappear. The Lisbon Treaty also obliges the EU to negotiate Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) with member-states that wish to withdraw as well as with states that are not EU members. The EU will soon have FTAs with 80% of all non-EU countries. So UK trade would prosper under the sort of free trade agreements enjoyed by countries like Norway, Switzerland and even Mexico. The USA and China, non EU members with zero votes in the EU institutions, sell more goods to the EU than the UK does, without paying a penny to Brussels or imposing one iota of EU regulation on their domestic economies. Q: What about all the grants we get from the EU? A: There is no such thing as EU money! These ‘grants’ are just our own money recycled back to us from our contributions. The EU has no direct taxation, thus it relies on the member states for funding. Simplified, it has been calculated that for every £10 that we send the EU, we receive £4 back with strings attached! Most funding that we do receive back we have to match fund, as the EU will only ever contribute 50% towards any project. The UK Government should really be doing more for business in terms of rewarding grants and offering rewards itself, without the EU taking any credit for allocating its own money. Surely, it would be a lot simpler and cost effective to not pay the EU in the first place and spend nationally raised money on local projects and businesses, effectively cutting out the middle man and making more available for projects. Q: But doesn’t the EU give us more influence in the world? A: No! In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. At the moment the UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a senior member of NATO and in the G7 group not to mention the Commonwealth. British and EU interests are not always compatible and due to our EU membership, British interests are frequently damaged. The EU is actively seeking to remove Britain and France’s seat on the Security Council to replace it with a single EU representative, just as it did with the UK seat on the World Trade Organisation. Q: So what is your alternative to being a member of the EU? A: The alternative is to be a normal self-governing state like Japan (which does not feel compelled to join China or Russia) or Norway (which is successfully independent of the EU).

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 9


Mobile Surgery Nikki’s mobile surgery continues to attract press attention across the West Midlands. Unlike other MEPs, who are not interested in meeting their employers, the electorate, Nikki and her team are out on the road every week with the mobile surgery, meeting constituents, informing people about the work Nikki undertakes on their behalf. Nikki is still the only MEP in the whole country to have a mobile surgery which enables her office to meet thousands of people across the region face to face annually. The mobile surgery has visited every town and city and even many villages in the West Midlands. She regards it as an essential part of her job to maintain contact with the electorate, to inform them of what is going on in Brussels and Strasbourg and to listen to concerns big and small. Many people are surprised to meet a local politician out on the street who is willing to be on hand to listen to their questions and solve the real issues they face.

The team in Kidderminster and Bromsgrove meeting with constituents

Nikki meets constituents in Worcester

With the issue of EU membership high on the news agenda, the mobile surgery is proving to be increasingly popular. Often local business owners wish to speak to Nikki about costly EU legislation which is putting unnecessary strain on their growth. Nikki said of the mobile surgery, “Many people approach to sign the petition and stay on to ask for help or advice. Some of the subjects discussed are personal. Others relate to education, health and local services, planning concerns, regulations, small business and a lack of representative voice.

Solihull News,

10 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

Januar y 2013


Talking to You It is astonishing and alarming how many people, in a supposed democracy and in an age of instant communication, feel that nobody is speaking for them anymore.” “And that is the best part of the job: actually battling through bureaucracy and regulations to give a voice to the people I serve, to sort out their problems which are not of their making. I gain many fascinating insights into the constituency which are denied to those politicians who rely on the media.” As well as talking to Nikki about her work in the West Midlands, constituents are keen to pledge their support to the We Demand a Referendum Now party.

Nikki discussing her work in Stone

Nikki says, “Often the team are confronted by queues of people, sometimes ten deep, all keen to pledge their support to my new party and to keep pressure on Mr Cameron. Other MEP’s in the West Midlands fail to represent these interests. The people are fed up of traditional political parties who fail to keep their promises and who will not address the issue of European Union membership. Why is it that we pay £53 million per day to be a part of the EU, yet we witness so many problems in the West Midlands that are far more deserving of taxpayer’s money?”

The people of Leamington pledging their support for a referendum

Attitudes towards a referendum are consistent across the region. From Worcestershire to Staffordshire, Warwickshire to Shropshire, the people are all saying the same thing: we want our say.

www.YourMep.org/mobile-surgery.html

Meeting with the people of Stoke on Trent

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 11


Agriculture The West Midlands has a thriving agricultural industry which is threatened by EU reform – something that Nikki wants to prevent from happening. Nikki and her team regularly pitch a stall at country agricultural shows, such as the Royal Three Counties Show, The National Sheep Show and the Midlands Game and Country Fair (just to name a few!) Nikki is always keen to discuss with farmers the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which is in the process of being reformed this year. Currently, 48% of the EU’s budget is spent on agriculture. The EU would like to reduce this to 32%.

Nikki distributing information at the Royal Three Counties Show, Malvern

“Blair freely gave away half of the ‘Thatcher Rebate’ to obtain talks about the reform,” says Nikki, “With CAP reform firmly on the political agenda, British farmers must be engaged in the consultation process as, ultimately, any decisions made by the EU could severely impact their day to day livelihood. I will always speak up in Brussels in support of British farmers”. Nikki also supports the National Pig Association and is urging British shoppers who care about animal welfare not to buy imported pork or processed pork products such as bacon, until all EU members have complied with a stalls ban. British pig farms have been banned from keeping sows in stalls for over a decade. Until the ban is enforced across the EU British farmers risk becoming uncompetitive for doing the right thing for animal welfare as rivals, with low overheads threaten to undercut them.

Nikki at the National Sheep Show

Despite reforms made to British agriculture that have made it more competitive, British farmers get a raw deal from the CAP. The UK has about as much farmland as Germany, but gets six tenths of its level of grants. The UK has about a seventh more farmland than Italy, but gets a fifth less money. France gets the lion’s share of the grants, with approaching a fifth of the whole CAP budget. According to the Tax Payers Alliance, the Common Agricultural Policy adds around £7.65 per week to families’ food bills and costs the average family around £400 per year. This is just another reason why we need a referendum!

12 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org


Animal Welfare Joanna Lumley, TV star and animal rights campaigner, was in Brussels in October 2013 to discuss the results of an investigation into widespread breaches of the EU Pig Directive. Just under 1 billion animals in the world today are pigs. Over 500 million of these pigs live in industrialised systems, known as factory farms. Being kept in such intensive conditions has severe health and welfare implications for the animals involved. Compassion in World Farming has campaigned for many years to ensure higher welfare standards for pigs. During this time we have seen vital steps forward, including the recognition of animals as sentient beings within the EU (Lisbon Treaty, 2009) and the passage of legislation such as Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs. Although UK farmers adhere to EU regulations surrounding Pig Welfare, many farmers across the EU choose to ignore rules. This makes our own UK farmers uncompetitive and undermines the industry here in the UK, leaving us open to the threat of cheaper pork imports from around the EU. More importantly, animals are suffering because EU legislation is unenforceable.

“Our own farmers are being penalised and their costs increase for doing the right thing in introducing new regulation, while farmers across Europe are gaining an unfair competitive advantage, as well as being cruel to these animals “Once again, an example of the EU not doing what it says on the tin.” Ms Lumley also spoke about tail docking of pigs. A 2007 EFSA report found that over 90 per cent of EU piglets are tail docked despite the fact that routine tail docking has been illegal in the EU since 2003. EU law requires pigs to be given straw or some similar materials to enable them to engage in their natural behaviours of rooting, foraging and investigating. However, most EU farmers ignore this law. Compassion in World Farming urges the European Commission and the member states to enforce the legislation that requires pigs to be given materials such as straw and prohibits routine tail docking. Nikki has previously worked to raise the standards for laying hens across the EU after she tabled a written declaration on the marketing of eggs from hens housed in outlawed cages.

Nikki said, “Animal welfare is incredibly important to the people of the UK, and here in the West Midlands, as we are a nation of animal lovers. “I am totally in agreement with Joanna Lumley and her views on the standards of pig welfare across the EU. While the EU creates legislation about minimum standards for animals, it fails to enforce it, which leads to the suffering of such a brilliant animal. “It is important that animal welfare legislation is enforced. The UK imports around 30,000 tonnes of pork per month. We want to know that pigs across the EU are treated in an ethical manner.

Nikki meets Joanna Lumley to discuss animal welfare issues in farming

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 13


Inappropriate Development Nikki has continued to support the Meriden RAID group in opposing illegal development on the Eaves Green Lane site, which is located in Meriden. Although Nikki supports the rights of genuine travellers to live as they will (within the framework of the law), she does not believe that they should have special rights that outweigh the rights of law-abiding residents. Sadly, this is not the view of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which gives travellers special rights that overrule the rights of others.

Nikki outside the ECHR with Meriden RAID group

Nikki stood shoulder to shoulder with local residents and after a 1088 day vigil, the residents were finally able to dismantle their protest camp when travellers left the Eaves Green Lane site. Unfortunately, although the travellers have now been moved on, the Meriden RAID group must continue to fight to ensure that the greenbelt land is restored to its previous condition. Nikki joined the protestors at Solihull Council to support them in their on going campaign to get the Green Belt land restored to its previous glory. Nikki has also made representations to a public inquiry which seeks to examine whether travellers should be allowed to return to location they own in Meriden, land which adjoins the area they illegally occupied for three years. Nikki said, “Meriden residents have had to endure yet another gruelling fundraising marathon to raise ÂŁ20,000 to pay for barristers and planning consultancy fees and prepare their defence for the forthcoming inquiry. I continue to stand with these local residents and stand up for the greenbelt. It is preposterous that this is even being consideredâ€?.

14 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

Meriden protests and calls for protection of the greenbelt

Nikki joins Meriden RAID campaigners at Solihull Council House


Saying No to HS2 High Speed Rail (HS2) continues to be high on Nikki’s agenda and her position is clear – HS2 should be abandoned now. There are thousands of people in the West Midlands who are set for heartache should HS2 go ahead. A large part of the route will run straight through beautiful greenbelt land we have here in the West Midlands. •

HS2 is a white elephant. It will create a vacuum that will see the West Midlands turned into a suburban satellite of London.

High Speed Rail will even become a blight on existing train services – trains from Coventry to London will decrease from 3 to 1 an hour.

Costs of HS2, as Nikki confidently predicted, have already started to spiral. Further critics have emerged such as the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Economic Affairs and the All Parties Public Accounts Committee who themselves questioned whether the project represented value for money.

Staffordshire will also be totally ignored by HS2. In the second phase of the proposed HS2 plans, Staffordshire will not get a High Speed rail station at all. The people of Staffordshire and the surrounding areas are simply being bypassed in this scheme, and any supposed benefit to the North of the region will not be felt at all.

Speaking out against unnecessary pro-HS2 propaganda

Nikki campaigns against HS2 in Lichfield

What could we do better with the money? •

Electrify the rail network

Upgrade the existing London-Birmingham line

Implement quicker services to London from places such as Worcester or Shrewsbury

The costs are spiralling. We need to back up the train on HS2!

Taking the Stop HS2 message to Cosford Air Show Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 15


Constituency Matters In January 2013 Nikki launched the latest booklet, “Money Matters, and so does debt”. Nikki has distributed tens of thousands of copies of the advice guide ever since. Nikki has been contacted by large amounts of concerned constituents during the past 12 months who were having problems with payday loan companies or businesses such as Brighthouse.

Nikki launches her “Money Matters” advice book at ASDA Chelmsley Wood

Nikki said, “In times of austerity, stores such as Brighthouse are very attractive to vulnerable people who feel they have nowhere else to turn. My key focus is on responsible lending. While I understand the business of Brighthouse, my constituents are my first concern and I feel it is my duty to explore the problems they may be having. “Working on the Brighthouse issues led me to realise that there is not enough accessible free advice available, so I put together this new guide”. The debt advice booklet has been discussed by Nikki on a number of radio stations including BBC Hereford and Worcester and BBC Shropshire.

Discussing the new booklet with constituents

Local libraries and advice centres have taken delivery of the booklets, and ASDA stores across the West Midlands have supported the scheme by allowing Nikki or a member of her team space at one of their stores to talk to constituents and distribute the advice guides. Nikki added, “Growing up on a council estate, money was tight and I know the struggle of having to juggle what you can and cannot pay each month. With changes to welfare, people are looking for easy to access guides such as this for help with their financial planning. “As well as these advice guides, my team are always on hand to offer advice and support on a range of issues that a constituent may approach us with”.

16 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

The team take the advice booklet to Hereford ASDA


Debt Advice / Food Banks The UK continues to spend £53 million a day on EU membership while the UK faces on-going austerity measures to deal with our own debts. Food bank usage in the UK continues to rise at an alarming rate as families struggle to feed their own children. Coventry, for example, has the busiest food bank network in the whole of the UK.

Nikki delivering donations to Telford Food Bank

Nikki and her team have been collecting and distributing food for food banks outside of ASDA stores throughout the West Midlands, and this food has been distributed to food banks local to those stores. Over three tonnes of food has been donated and distributed to every corner of the region and Nikki has been overwhelmed by the strength of support. “It is amazing that in times when we are all feeling the pinch, we continue to help out others who have perhaps fallen on hard times. People always tell my team that they recognise how easy it is to get into a situation where you would need the support of a food bank”. Nikki has visited food banks from across the region and is amazed by the services they provide, “Food banks are often about more feeding people. These are community hubs, manned by fantastic volunteers who are offering support in other areas. Many food banks help with clothing, some even provide household items. They offer a friendly ear in times of hardship where people feel most alone.

Nikki is interviewed by Heart FM about Food Banks

“It almost makes me angry however, because our priorities are all wrong. Why are we giving money to the EU to support other European countries while 13 million of our own people live below the poverty line”. Nikki continues to promote the work of food banks on local radio and in the press to encourage others to consider donating to their local food bank.

One day’s donations at an ASDA store

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 17


Media Representing You in Parliament sers from e-cigarette u Hundreds of contacted est Midlands across the W ere put e products w Nikki after th by the EU. under threat em

re-classif y th Union sought to The European ld need to go ms, which wou as medicinal ite pricing these ive sting, ef fect ly te ly st co h ug ro th mpaigned market. Nikki ca items out of the d recorded of cigaret tes an hard on the issue nearly 40 00 t go e video that ub uT Yo n ow r he t voted on the pean Parliamen views. The Euro the vote thus , and Nikki won issue in October not be e-cigaret tes will l testing. ica subjec t to med e a YouTube Nikki becam fending de n sensatio u can watch Yo . es tt re ga ci e video at tt re ga ci her eube.com/ ut yo http://w w w. jqrlcaU watch? v=51-M

r many a past time fo is ng ni an av Car s West Midland s this en people in the at re th g in eddl

EU m Once again, the on to do so. t having any reas ou ith w ailed Nikki passtime em n ross the regio ac s er us an av Car that could see pose new rules ion to ask her to op g. Costly legislat ing MOT testin for is it , as w Caravans need it if e this, and even is not needed lik ster to decide, ent in Westmin nm er ov G n ow r ou sels! Nikki’s reaucrats in Brus aravan club. not unelec ted bu K ted by the U C or pp su in as w n positio an owners here e rights of Carav th ss g ro in ac nd s fe er de In wspap as featured in ne the UK, Nikki w Halesowen e th ng di clu in ds, the West Midlan tle erminster shut News and Kidd

18 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

Pilots to the calls of Nikki listened roposed ncerned by p who were co ation mission legisl European Com d land e pilots fly an which could se e for 22 e being awak a plane despit or t hours. ent’s own Transp

the Parliam Despite the fact out, the w these proposals Committee thre e Parliament in th h ug ro th ed them islation out, Commission forc d to throw this leg te vo i ikk N . rg Strasbou now Nikki will as defeated and w is th ly te na rtu unfo e laws. UKIP in UK to block thes campaign for the ssenger safety to stand up for Pa this instance failed Nikki will keep s! crazy new law e es th r fo d te vo and t with in regular contac est W e th in the Pilots acted nt co ho w ds Midlan ill her of fice and w ght the continue to highli d. ise ra issues

ay nt in our ever yd reasingly importa inc is gy i’s lo ikk no N ch to Te ever biggest postbags lives. One of the nter feiting Trade ou i-C nt (A TA AC t ou ab as w of fice ent sought to proposed agreem he )T t en em re Ag ers said it posed internet campaign curb piracy, but jection vote freedoms. The re a threat to online e the decision on stp tempt to po at led fai a ed w follo into Acta by the ing investigations because of ongo was opposed to of Justice. Nikki European Court to be – this and will continue rn tu y er ev at ACTA attempts to ea where the EU is just another ar r lives. inter fere with ou r s to update he Nikki continue ogress of pr e th th wi s constituent ing ming and sham ACTA , even na l Al . in favour MEPs who are will be posted developments nclaireMEP. at ww w.NikkiSi m blogspot.co


Protecting Local Introduction Services In September 2013, constituents in Nuneaton turned to Nikki for help when a local charity was put under threat. Nuneaton and North Warwickshire Equestrian Centre, based in Galley Common, is a charity that provides riding lessons to disabled and able bodied riders. The charity has been put at risk due to a lease dispute to the Council. Although the issue is highly complicated, the crux of the situation is the fact that the elected Councillors refuse to speak to the charity about a way forward.

Nikki visits the Galley Common Centre

Nikki has visited the stables herself, and joined campaigners as Nuneaton’s very own Lady Godiva delivered a 4000 name petition to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council. The next step for Nikki was to meet with the Managing Director at the Council to gain further insight on the situation. Most recently, Nikki took the petition to the home of the Prime Minister to give the Charity a national platform. Nikki’s team gave the petition a final boost by collecting signatures in the town centre, and the public’s reaction was overwhelmingly supportive of the Riding charity. She was joined by representatives from the charity, including the Centre Manager, Head Groom and a Centre user as they delivered their 5000 name petition to 10 Downing Street in an effort to highlight the on-going problems.

Nikki and the Charity at Number 10

Nikki said, “David Cameron wants to promote Big Society, and this is a great example of Big Society. I recognise that this issue is a complicated one, but taking the first steps to sit down and talk and discuss the problems would lead to a satisfactory outcome for all parties. We need centres like this as they provide a vital service and I will continue to work until we get a satisfactory conclusion.

Nikki and Nuneatons own Lady Godiva outside NBBC

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 19


Supporting Local Sport As a supporter of local sport, Nikki listened to the call for help from a local sports charity in their fight to keep a sports centre open. Despite 2012 being an Olympic year, provision has not been made here in the West Midlands for youngsters to follow their own Olympic dreams. Nikki believes there should be accessible and affordable sport, and places available to participate in sport.

Nikki and Bidgley Power charity take a petition to 10 Downing Street

After being contacted by Bidgley Power, Nikki took up the fight to save Aston Arena. Alongside the charity, Nikki delivered a 3000 name petition to 10 Downing Street urging the Government to take action. Nikki also arranged and took part in a march outside of Birmingham council house, protesting about cuts to sports provision across the City. In September 2013, Nikki presented awards during the first Aston Oscars, an awards ceremony created to honour local people in Aston doing great things for their community. Awards included volunteer of the year and sports personality of the year.

Nikki presents awards at the Aston Oscars

Nikki has campaigned, and will continue to campaign for our parks and green open spaces. Parks are essential if we want to encourage people to keep moving and get involved in sport! Nikki led protests against the development of Shirley Park by housing developers. Nikki meets with local residents opposing the development of parkland

20 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org


Football in the West Midlands As a football fan, Nikki continues to support the beautiful game here in the West Midlands. Sport brings communities together and unites all sections of society, and Nikki continues to work closely with clubs and fans.

Off the field and in the Parliament, Nikki has made speeches about match fixing in the European Parliament. Match fixing is becoming a huge European issue and Nikki has called on the governing bodies of football to take action. She has also spoken out to call for greater protection of smaller football clubs.

In June 2013, thousands of concerned Coventry City Football Club fans contacted Nikki about the dispute between the football club and the local council. Nikki has attended numerous meetings and rallies and has written a number of letters in the fight to bring the football club back to the city, and to ensure that the club’s future is secured. Speaking to Sky Sports News Nikki said, “All sides are to blame in this sad story, but it is time to put the fans first. We want Coventry City to play in the City of Coventry. I will continue to fight until we get Coventry City playing in the city once more”. Nikki also took her advan to London, with the “Keep Coventry City in Coventry” banners proudly displayed when she attended meetings with the Football League. Nikki featured in newspapers across the region and made numerous TV appearances to urge all sides to come together and talk to bring the club back to it’s home.

Nikki speaks at the “Keep Cov in Cov” rally

Nikki with Adam Walker of Nuneaton Town and Peter Crouch of Stoke City

The West Midlands is blessed with a rich footballing culture, and Nikki has supported football clubs at every level, from Stoke City in the Premier League to Worcester in the Conference North. Worcester City have also moved out of their own ground to a temporary home in Kidderminster. Nikki has given the club her support and hopes to watch the side in a new ground in Worcester in the near future. Last season Nikki also personally funded a leaflet to help Worcester boost their attendances in their final season at St. Georges Lane. During the 2012-2013 season, Nikki supported grass roots football team Bustleholme Football Club who are based in West Bromwich. Her sponsorship was used to support their junior sides.

Meeting the Worcester City Football Club first team

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 21


With the RAF Nikki has successfully completed the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme. The scheme offers elected representatives the chance to understand first-hand the pressures, experiences and camaraderie of the UK’s armed forces. Nikki says, “It is an enormous privilege to get to know the brave men and women whose sacrifices and loyalty are often overlooked or even under estimated�. Earlier this year, Nikki visited RAF Shawbury which is located in Shropshire. Whilst there, Nikki got to view a Griffin and Squirrel helicopter, even riding in the Squirrel.

Nikki at Camp Bastian, Afghanistan

Nikki has also visited Afghanistan and has spoken to service personnel who have family based in the West Midlands. Their concerns were mainly centred around domestic matters that concerned their loved ones back home. These worries included schooling, medical and dental registrations, finding suitable housing as well as a lack of provision regarding council tax for service personnel on active duty. Nikki is actively fighting on these issues and would welcome any contact from past or current service personnel or their families seeking support. Please contact the office on 0800 157 7916

Since returning from Afghanistan, Nikki has written to every council in the West Midlands in regards to their military covenant. The military covenant is an agreement from various parties and stakeholders to commit to help current or ex-forces in various areas of their lives.

22 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

Nikki at RAF Shawbury in training helicopter


Human Rights and Kashmir As an MEP Nikki has visited countries such as Tunisia and Israel as part of her work on human rights. In December 2012, Nikki flew to Bahrain as part of a human rights delegation where she held meetings with the high levels of government, as well as meeting with prisoners in Jau prison who are incarcerated for allegedly taking part in violent demonstrations. May 2013 saw Nikki sponsor the annual Kashmir week which was held in the European Parliament in Brussels. Nikki was accompanied by a group of Kashmiris from the West Midlands as they sought to raise the issue of human right abuses in Kashmir. Nikki is supporting and feels solidarity with the people of Kashmir as they are also calling for a referendum on their own future – something which they were also promised but never got.

Nikki with the interim Tunisian Prime Minister and speaking at the 2013 annual Kashmir week

Kashmir week included a press conference which had coverage worldwide, the filming of a TV show and an exhibition which was hosted by Nikki and attended by MEPs and other officials. Here in the West Midlands, Nikki has attended and supported meetings, spoken at public events and joined peaceful protests in a bid to put Kashmir firmly onto the political agenda.

Nikki with representatives from the Kashmiri community

Nikki is also working diligently to highlight the plight of the missing people in Cyprus. In 1974, 1619 people, including women and children, went missing after Turkey invaded the country. Cyprus is the latest country to face economic uncertainty in the EU, a crisis which has seen its own citizens queuing at banks to withdraw all their money as they fear that money will become inaccessible.

Nikki at Beach Girls school in Gaza which is inside an old shipping container

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 23


Employment Committee As a member on the Employment Committee in Brussels, West Midlands jobs are at the forefront of Nikki’s mind. While unemployment figures have dropped across the country, the West Midlands has actually seen a rise in unemployment. Recent figures say that the West Midlands unemployment rose by a further 15,000. Small and medium enterprises are vital to the economy and Nikki regularly talks to business owners about the problems they face. Many of them complain that European Union rulings often add costs to their businesses, and without these costs they’d be able to employ more staff. Other businesses, or prospective business owners, are burdened or put off by the extortionate business rates which stop them from expanding or even starting up.

Meeting with the director of FirstPress Ltd

Nikki spoke out in the EU Employment Committee to highlight the strangulation of small businesses by excess European legislation: “Although this Employment Committee tries to create legislation to strengthen employment, the result is that we end up over regulating small businesses which puts a burden on them. 83% of employment in the UK is created by small enterprises. If we stop over legislating, then maybe we can invest in employment and more importantly, youth employment. Growth needs to be stimulated here in the West Midlands which will give our young people opportunities for the future. We have a wealth of talent and great businesses here in the West Midlands and we need to keep them. They do not need interference from the EU to do this. I am in a privileged position in that I get to meet business owners in the West Midlands who are keen to show me our various industries. We have much to be proud of in this region, but our current relationship with the EU and the never ending new costly rules threatens all the good work that is being done.”

24 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

Nikki visits Mushtaq machines

Nikki signs the charter committing herself to protecting Small businesses from over regulation


Constituency Page On a daily basis, Nikki’s emails and post bag are crammed full with comments and letters from constituents on a range of issues. “One of the most satisfying parts of my job is being able to help my constituents with the issues that really make a difference to their lives”, says Nikki. From issues such as disputes over allotments to assisting constituents in their attempts to get rehomed, no issue is too big or small for Nikki’s team. “While some issues that are presented to us are relatively simple to solve, we are also shocked and sometimes saddened to hear the problems people are experiencing.” Nikki and her team have helped with the re-housing of a number of constituents, as well as being able to open channels of communications with companies to allow disputes to be resolved.

Anybody wishing to contact Nikki’s team about any issue should call the office on;

0121 359 5933 or email nikkimep@gmail.com

CASE STUDY - Susan, Kenilworth “My partner had just left the armed forces, we had nowhere to live we were desperate! We contacted Nikki who acted immediately, it took a couple of months but eventually we had our own home. Fantastic support for my family, thank you Nikki.” CASE STUDY - Joan, West Bromwich “I picked up one of Nikki’s debt booklets, from that I contacted Nikki’s team. They have sorted out my debts to an affordable amount, taken all the pressure off me, now I can sleep at night. Thank you so much Nikki.” CASE STUDY - Brenda, Birmingham “I had been trying for 14 months to get carers assessment to help me with travel expenses to look after my elderly mother. I never got any response from the local council, I contacted Nikki’s team and within 10 days I had a telephone call, and a subsequent home visit. Outcome brilliant, thank you Nikki Sinclaire.” CASE STUDY - Jodie, Droitwich Spa “Despite being top priority with the housing association, we were being overlooked when it came to bidding for property. Nikki’s team managed to speak to the housing association on my behalf and I’m now moving. Nikki was the only politician to respond to my call for help!”

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 25


MEP Ranking Nikki Sinclaire MEP continues to be ranked as the hardest working MEP for the West Midlands in the latest figures.

Z

! Z Z

There are now 766 MEP’s Europe wide after Croatia joined the EU in 2013. Out of the seven West Midlands MEPs, Nikki is ranked as the hardest working. Figures from www.mepranking.eu are created from statistics including the Member’s attendance, speeches made, opinions given, reports, declarations and motions. Although website is unable to account for work done here in the West Midlands, where Nikki’s work is once again unrivalled. Nikki is one of the most vocal MEP’s in the whole of Europe, and sits within the top 20% of speech makers in the whole Parliament. With over 170 speeches to her name, other Midlands MEP’s do not come close to Nikki’s speech making. Of the six other West Midlands MEP’s, not a single MEP has made more than 100 speeches during this parliamentary term, with their averages being just 45 speeches each. The We Demand a Referendum Now MEP not only talks the most in the European Parliament, but she shouts the loudest about the West Midlands – Nikki has mentioned our region more times in her speeches than the region’s other 6 MEP’s combined. Nikki is highly active and sits on a number of committees within the Parliament. They are as follows: Employment and Social Affairs, Committee on Petitions, Subcommittee on Human Rights, Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and is a substitute member on the Committee for Women’s Rights and Gender equality.

UKIP MEPs taking it easy in Strasbourg

West Midlands MEP rankings Nikki Sinclaire (WDARN) Michael Cashman (LAB) Malcolm Harbour (CON) Phil Bennion (LIB) Philip Bradbourn (CON) Anthea McIntyre (CON) Mike Nattrass (UKIP)

The rankings are made up of statistics including attendance, speeches made, opinions given, reports, declarations and motions. Rankings are out of 754 MEPs Europe wide with 1st being the best and 754th the worst! All figures taken from www.mepranking.eu

26 | Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org

179th 223rd 440th 494th 667th 710th 722nd


Transparency Since the beginning of Nikki’s term as an MEP, transparency has been of paramount importance to her. She has had her accounts independently scrutinised by auditors. Each year these accounts show the amount to which Nikki has subsidised her office. More detailed information is available on-line http://www.yourmep.org/transparency

Nikki’s general expenditure accounts total:

General axpenditure allowance 1st January 2012 - 31st December 2012

2012: Received from the EU: Expenditure: Subsidy from Nikki:

£41,910.86 £82,762.41 £40,851.55

2011: Received from the EU: Expenditure: Subsidy from Nikki:

£45,050.40 £86,977.87 £41,927.47

2010: Received from the EU: Expenditure: Subsidy from Nikki:

£43,543.00 £70,055.00 £26,512.00

2009: Received from the EU: Expenditure: Subsidy from Nikki:

£22,039.00 £32,492.00 £10,453.00

The cost of purchasing office supplies and stationery: £5,200.74

£119,744.02

The cost of using public data consultation networks: £35

2009 - 2012 Total subsidy

As specified in Article 28 of the EU regulations Office management and running costs, in particular rent and related charges: £33,125.46 The cost of purchasing or renting office equipment: £2,051.66 Telephone, including mobile and postal charges: £19,571.63

The cost of purchasing books, periodicals and newspapers: £197.41

The expenses involved in equipping members with communication equipment: £1,515.31

ccessfully The EU hasn’t su audited its own accounts for 18 years!

The cost of subscription to the internet and to databases: £488.05 Representation activities: £15,493.72 Hotel bills and other related expenses incurred in travelling in a Member’s member state of election: £5,083.43 Total: £82, 762.41

Received from the EU - £41,910.86 Subsidy from Nikki £40,851.55

Nikki Sinclaire MEP | www.yourmep.org | 27


Nikki Sinclaire MEP Nikki and her team are always on hand to help you with anything they can.

Find Nikki on

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Nikki’s office team at any time.

www.facebook.com/NSinclaireMEP

www.twitter.com/NSinclaireMEP

www.flickr.com/photos/eureferendumcampaign www.flickr.com/photos/nikkimep

Nikki Sinclaire will stand for reelection as the We Demand a Referendum Now MEP in the 2014 European Elections which will be held on 22nd May 2014.

Regular Columnist www.neurope.eu

www.eureporter.co

Occasional Columnist in www.theparliament.com

www.yourmep.org

0800 157 7916

Twitter: @NSinclaireMEP

❏ Please send me further details and updates on “Nikki Sinclaire MEP”

NAME: EMAIL: ADDRESS: POSTCODE: PHONE (optional): Please return to: 2nd Floor, 123 New John Street, Birmingham, B6 4LD.

I SUPPORT AN EU MEMBERSHIP REFERENDUM. SIGNATURE: Nikki Sinclaire, non-attached Member of the European Parliament. The opinions stated herein are those of the author. Sole liability rests with the author. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Email: nikkimep@gmail.com

Nikki Sinclaire MEP - Reporting back to the West Midlands  

We Demand a Referendum Now MEP reports back on just a selection of her activities in the West Midlands region.