I’m Roger Helmer, UKIP Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands. Here you can find links to my recent speeches & articles and news about my work in the European Parliament. As the UKIP Spokesman on Industry and Energy, I often blog about our common-sense policies on energy and climate change, and the folly of the Brussels-driven climate change agenda.
I was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999 following my selection as the #1 candidate for the Conservative Party in the East Midlands, and was subsequently re-elected in 2004 and 2009. Before entering Parliament, I had an extensive business career starting in 1965 with Procter & Gamble, going on to hold senior marketing and general management appointments in a range of companies including well-known multinationals. My career led me to live and work across Asia, notably in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea, and I have found my decades of business experience invaluable in the European Parliament, especially since taking on my new rôle as Spokesman on Industry and Energy.
After 12 years as a Conservative MEP, and a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I recently made the decision to join the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). This was not a decision I made lightly, and I have explained it in full here. I decided to join UKIP because I believe the values I have always stood for – the values on which I was elected three times – are now better represented by UKIP than by the Conservative Party, which has repeatedly denied the British people the referendum they were promised on continued membership of the EU, and remains committed to illogical and deeply unConservative policies on climate and energy, as well as business regulation, immigration and foreign aid.
I have always believed that Britain will benefit from a relationship with Europe based on free trade and voluntary cooperation, but that we must not sacrifice our independence and democracy in the process. Currently around 75% of our laws are created by unaccountable institutions in Brussels, and our economic recovery is threatened by bureaucracy and red-tape. The EU controls immigration, business and employment, financial services, fishing, farming, law and order, energy and trade – and it also seeks to control our foreign affairs and tax. The EU directly costs the UK £45m a day plus at least £60bn a year on trade barriers, protectionism and excessive regulation. UKIP is the only party which would offer an immediate referendum on whether we stay in the EU or reclaim our independence.
The EU is wrong on its policies on climate change and energy which are driving up energy bills, harming our industries, pushing businesses and jobs and investment offshore and forcing millions into fuel poverty . The EU ‘renewable’ energy rules will double electricity bills by 2020 and render our industries uncompetitive. Wind farms are an inefficient, inconsistent and punishingly expensive blight on our landscape which need backing up with conventional generation anyway. UKIP would scrap wind turbine subsidies and adopt a sensible energy strategy using a range of energy sources including nuclear and shale gas and coal, to free us from dependence on foreign oil and gas. By embracing gas and nuclear we could deliver the EU’s emissions targets (if you care about such things) more quickly and cheaply than the current plan, without the use of a single wind turbine!
UKIP is right about Europe, right about climate change and energy, and it offers the sort of common sense policies — on education, the importance of the family, immigration, welfare spending, and foreign aid to name but a few — that have much to do with our recent poll rating of 11% and are actually much closer to the views of most Conservatives than the policies offered by the modern Conservative Party. As a small ‘c’ Conservative I am committed to freeing our industries, lowering taxes, regaining our independence and our pride in our national identity – and so are UKIP.
I distribute an e-mail newsletter once a month to people who want to keep up-to-date with the latest news from the Parliament, primarily to people who identify with my euro-realist views. If you would like to go on the distribution list, then please click here.
My contact details can be found here. I hope you enjoy my website and thank you once again for taking the time to visit.
Roger Helmer MEP