January 13, 2009
A couple of points: Your statement that I have “left the EPP to sit as an independent” is open to misinterpretation. I left the EPP’s group, but I continue as a full member of the Conservative delegation, and indeed have been re-selected to fight the 2009 election as a Conservative (as has Dan Hannan).
As for the observation that “non-inscrit status is no status”, you might like to note my experience. As a non-inscrit member, I find that I have more speaking time, more staff support, more access to parliamentary facilities and a great deal more “Information fund” money than I had with the EPP.
Today, for example, I shall speak in the formal, set-piece debate on “Ten Years of the Euro”. There will be only one MEP speaking per political group, and I have secured the speaking time for the non-inscrit. I will be the only Conservative to speak in this important debate. EPP Conservatives will be represented by the EPP President Joseph Daul, an unreconstructed French europhile who will hail the euro as a crowning achievement of European integration.
Roger Helmer MEPAuthor : Letters to the EurActiv editor