Local MEP Jonathan Arnott has reacted angrily to the planned closure of Hartlepool and Consett magistrates’ courts.
Following today”s announcement about the closure of the courts Mr Arnott said the principle of magistrates’ courts is that justice should be local.
“Closing down magistrates’ courts runs totally contrary to that principle and it will necessitate witnesses and victims having to travel much further and at greater expense to attend hearings.
“Justice should be seen to be done in the local community by local magistrates but year after year the justice system is being eroded.
“And this is happening while crime has gone up 22% in the Cleveland authority area. Closing down this court is sending out completely the wrong message. It is all very well the Justice Minister saying access to justice “is not diminished” but the reality is it will be,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.
“Hartlepool’s county court is also to close as is Morpeth’s and that will also cause inconvenience all round. Local people have expressed their disagreement with the proposals but these courts are to be closed down along with 83 others up and down the country,” he added.
As the Defence Ministers gather in Brussels it would seem that the US are trying to encourage the Saudis and Gulf States into committing ground forces to the Syrian conflict. Of course they seem to have overlooked the fundamental point that Syria is sovereign country and in spite of overt action by the coalition air campaign there is no UN mandate to do so. The Americans and others have unilaterally attacked the country intending to defeat Daesh and support so called moderates. However it would seem this potential increased deployment of ground forces flies in the face of any authority to do so.
What I believe is that this is an attempt by the US to enlarge this proxy war with Syria and their Russia and Iran support. As the Syrian forces start to defeat the rebel’s forces including Daesh the Sunni led coalition are desperate to get involved to mitigate damage to the side they have been supporting from the start of the conflict. The West also seems hell bent on deposing Assad and are also trying to protect their side of the conflagration. Bullets and bombs from both sides kill. Collateral damage takes place on both sides.
If we do not want to make this horrendous civil war worse we need to accept that we will not remove Assad and with the Russians et al backing him he will defeat the rebels within the year. Then the country can start to rebuild itself. Something we all want.
Major Chris Gallacher TD VR
The campaign has started for the stay side of the argument with David Cameron using every opportunity to push his side with scaremongering and lies. He however has done nothing for his side with his comments being rubbished by no less than the French government. So I expect we have to expect more of the same. If they had anything good about staying we would be hearing it, but all we get is fear stories designed to frighten people who have not been given the facts on which to build their decision.
On the other side we are spoilt for choice as to why we need to leave and one more came to light today with the Turkish president Recap Tayyip Erdogan’s threats to open the borders with Europe to millions of refugees and migrants unless Brussels accedes to his demands is proof that he is exploiting the crisis and blackmailing Europe, German magazine Der Spiegel reported. Along with Turkey wanting to become part of the EU there is Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro lining to join and where will they all want to be after accession? Guess.
Turkey has been a supporter of Daesh operations purchasing their stolen oil and supplying weapons and is currently oppressing the Kurds whilst pretending to be a concerned neighbour and now is pressurising the EU to let them in. Ask yourself, what kind of member would they be and would you wish to support their kind of dictatorial government? Brexit for me.
Chris Gallacher TD VR
The plight of Northumberland man Nick Dunn – imprisoned in India along with other pirate hunters – has been raised in the European Parliament.
Regional UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott today (Thur) called on the Indian government to review their cases and free them.
Mr Dunn, a 29-year-old former paratrooper from Ashington, and five other British ex-soldiers, were jailed for five years earlier this month. They were working for US maritime company AdvanFort providing anti-piracy protection when their ship was detained in October 2013 and weapons were found.
In the following months the charges were dropped, but the Indian authorities appealed against the decision and the men were detained there and have now been jailed.
Speaking in Strasbourg Mr Arnott expressed his respect for the Indian people and the Indian government and said he recognised it was a “difficult and unusual situation which gave rise to the current case.”
He continued, “I recognise that the Indian government has legitimate concerns over illegally-held held weapons and understand their reasonably-held worries about similar armaments since the events in Mumbai in 2008.
“But as far as I can see, the British citizens – including Nick Dunn from Ashington in my constituency – also had a reasonable belief. They believed that they were acting in accordance with the law.
“They believed that they – working for an American company – were fighting against piracy not doing anything contrary to the best interests of India. Nor did they even necessarily know that the weapons were illegal.
“In such a case, I wonder whether their continued imprisonment really serves any public interest.
“I therefore call upon the Indian government to review these cases, and to free those British, Italian and Estonian citizens who have been caught up in a situation not of their own making,” said Mr Arnott.
Case studies show that Hartlepool is losing trade thanks to being members of the European Union, according to an MEP who has worked on behalf of local businesses.
North IT is a small Hartlepool-based firm supplying digital services and app development to businesses and customers as far away as Australia. But for the last year it has been unable to trade with our closest neighbours in Europe, thanks to European Union regulations which were introduced last year.
Managing Director Paul Jenkins explained how his business has suffered:
“Most consumer app purchases are for very small amounts of money. We rely on selling large quantities, so collecting the necessary data for each sale – and changing our prices depending on the VAT rate applicable in each country – is problematic.
“Because of the huge technical problems this creates for automatic purchases, the new rules effectively prevent us doing business with EU countries. Our estimate is that we lost 5 to 10 percent of our turnover almost overnight. It would take more time to work out a VAT bill than it does to develop an app!
“We do still trade internationally outside the EU. It’s not just my business that’s been affected; many other companies in this sector are saying exactly the same,” he said.
Jonathan Arnott, the North East’s UKIP Euro-MP, visited North IT to hear more from the business. He has been an outspoken campaigner against the new regulations, known as VATMOSS. He has raised the issue of European Union VAT regulations in the European Parliament and with the European Commission, but there is little sign that anything is going to change.
“Under the new rules, whenever you trade with customers elsewhere in the European Union, VAT is chargeable at the local rate. If your business doesn’t pay VAT on a product at present, then you have to increase prices by as much as 27% for certain countries, making you uncompetitive, whilst adding to your accounting workload.
“In North IT’s case, the situation is even worse for technical reasons. They rely on automated purchases, but you can’t always prove which country your purchaser is in until they’ve submitted card information to buy the product. And that affects the price they have to pay.
“It would be comical if it weren’t so sad. Because we’re in the European Union, they can’t afford to do business with other EU nations. Once again the European Union is harming our economy and hurting a local Hartlepool business. It’s time to leave the European Union and end this bureaucratic nightmare.”
As we are being reminded today that it is twenty five years since the first gulf war and the subsequent freeing of Kuwait from the dominating occupation by Saddam Hussein and Iraq. What we are also reminded of is the very high price our servicemen and women are still paying with “Gulf War Syndrome”.
It is a great shame that the MOD still is not doing all it can for these damaged individuals that served their country when called upon to do so. This syndrome has many forms which unfortunately the MOD uses to get out of its responsibilities and duty to uphold the Military Covenant; and this must stop.
The lawyers in the service of the MOD are trying to abrogate their clients cost and obligation and all the while the servicemen are left to struggle on. Many of these illnesses are totally destroying the individuals and their families whom they rely on.
Why did it happen?
Essentially in this conflict the chances of a chemical attack resulted in the soldiers being used as experimental guinea pigs for a range of drugs and preventive chemicals that had diverse effects on those required to take them. Our government used them and now should protect and support them.
However it seems that money is less available after the war is won; unless it is to pay lawyers who never went.
Major Chris Gallacher TD VR
Tata Steel has confirmed it plans to cut 1,050 jobs in the UK, with job losses at Port Talbot, Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool.
Local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott described the news about Tata job losses as “another devastating blow to this country’s steel industry.
“This a black day for the Hartlepool area which can ill afford to lose any jobs and of course there is always a knock-on effect for local businesses.
“The North East has already lost thousands of steel industry jobs and the government needs to start delivering on action and not just talking about it. Our membership of the EU is one of the reasons jobs are being lost and one of the reasons we must leave it.”
John Tennant, the Chairman of UKIP Hartlepool added “this news gives little confidence to Hartlepool residents that the future is bright under the Labour local administration. Both Labour and the Conservatives have systematically dismantled our Northern industries and we are seeing entire communities disappear.”
“We need to offer greater security for manual workers and protect their livelihoods.”