May 25 2012
Remember Equitable Life? When the European Parliament launched an inquiry into the Equitable Life fiasco it found itself without the power to summon the necessary witnesses or documents and the conclusion was that the Parliament lacked the ability to get to the truth. There were also no consequences for people not telling the truth.
On Wednesday at the Strasbourg Parliament I put forward proposals for improving European-level Committees of Inquiry through the European Parliament. The Tories not surprisingly opposed this move towards openness and transparency, but in a desperate struggle to more demonstrably display their anti-European credentials UKIP had to go one step further with Nigel Farage unnecessarily alarming his europhobically hysterical friends in the media that my proposals would have given the European Parliament power to summon the British queen to appear before the European Parliament. And this in a Jubilee Year!
This is of course nonsense. All I have asked for is sensible reform, for example to be able to get to the appropriate desk officer, who sometimes has information that those in higher positions do not know. European Governments will have to agree to the proposals from the European Parliament and I want to work together with them for the purpose of keeping European law accountable. I do not anticipate this will cause any disruption to activities on June 5th.