UKIP Conservative EU flood vote

UPDATE: Tory spinners have been in touch to clarify: “The Votewatch listing that you cite refers to a recorded vote on Paragraph 2, part 3 of the resolution only. Therefore, the part of the resolution that Conservative MEPs voted against was this particular element”. However the Tories still abstained in the final vote — refusing to back the the measures outlined below.

While David Cameron and Nigel Farage were falling over themselves (almost literally) for a good photo op in the south west this week, perhaps they should have told the good people of the Somerset Levels that both their parties refused to back flood prevention in a European Parliament vote. Farage didn’t even bother turning up.

Tory and UKIP groups abstained on a 2012 motion on the implementation of EU water legislation designed to tackle the “rise in the frequency and intensity of floods” with “adaptation and mitigation policies”. The vote emphasised “the importance of risk prevention, mitigation and response strategies to prevent water-related extreme phenomena”.

As if the relevance to flood-hit parts of the UK wasn’t clear enough it continues:

“some countries do not suffer from shortages of water but are having difficulty in managing the excess of water resulting from regular or heavy rainfall, flooding, river erosion and pollution affecting river basins and coastal areas, as well as the effects of these phenomena on the local population”

“Calls on the Commission to conduct a relevant analysis of the ways to prevent the effects of flooding, given the noticeable increase in the flood risk in Member States in recent years”

This could be particularly awkward for their sitting south west MEPs.

  1. If you click through and read it, you’ll see this motion is actually calling for the restoration of wetlands and led to the cessation of dredging in Somerset. Start at para 17.

    So it’s the exact opposite of your claim.

  2. You fail to mention the parts where land is to be given over to habitats, farm land left to flood in order to provide water meadows and wet lands, sea defences left alone so coastal wetlands will occur for wildlife. Ask any farmer and he/she will tell you that the EU isnt working for the people or the countryside in our nation.

  3. Some of the stories from areas that have sustained heavy flooding suggest that the lack of support for preventative measures at the EP also extends to a lack of preparedness. It’s off-putting the way Cameron and others have been using visits to afflicted areas as photo opportunities.

  4. land is to be given over to habitats, farm land left to flood in order to provide water meadows and wet lands, sea defences left alone so coastal wetlands will occur for wildlife.

    All of the above are good moves. They will reduce flash-flooding, reduce overall coastal erosion and increase biodiversity. This all sounds like working for the countryside and people to me.

  5. florence arthur says:

    And now all the lies and untruths they were telling our nation is falling down around there lying selves. Just like them to try to hide the truth . And yet these farmers ect still support the liars,we have known they are trying to move the blame onto anyone that dares to speak out.
    NO,!!!!!!!,THE BUCK STOPS with CAMRON and UKIP-LIB DEMS.not with anyone else.
    read the statement above , there is the truth in black and white.

  6. Webfooted & Unhappy says:

    Sorry, but this is a non-story.

    As John Edwards has already pointed out, if the dissenters had voted the other way, they would have been in favour of the disastrous policies adopted by the EA and which have culminated in the flooding of the Levels. This motion was never about “flood defences” in the first place because, as they rightly saw, implementation would lead to an effective reduction in defences against lowland flooding.

    Nice try, no cigar.

  7. @Webfooted, Implementation of what would have “lead to an effective reduction in defences against lowland flooding”, given that they were voting against doing any analysis, not against implementing any conclusions that had yet to be made.

  8. You make the classic mistake typical of critics of eurosceptics. We vote against motherhood and apple pie, and you get very excited. But we’re not against motherhood and apple pie — we’re against giving the EU powers over motherhood and apple pie. We are strongly in favour of flood prevention, and of appropriate drainage and dredging in Somerset. But we don’t want the EU to take charge of it. It’s Brussels regulations on wildlife and wetlands that got us into this mess to start with.

  9. Doesn't add up says:

    Take a look at the Votewatch link – the recorded vote was on paragraph 2 of the resolution, not the WHOLE resolution. So your information is wrong.

    Tories merely voted against these two parts:

    2. Recognises that water is a shared resource of humankind and a public good and that access to water should constitute a fundamental and universal right; stresses that the sustainable use of water is an environmental and health necessity that plays a fundamental role in the climate regulation cycle; reiterates the need to adapt internal market rules to the distinctive characteristics of the water sector and invites the Member States, in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, to manage water and water utilities in accordance with Article 9 of the WFD;

    3. Notes that, despite the progress made in the implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, there are still gaps concerning the compliance rates on collecting systems and/or treatment;

  10. kathleen foster says:

    Its all well and good knocking the politicians of every ilk, however as you have no alternative to chuck at us in your slogs, they are becoming very depressing and after reading only gives a feeling of hopelessness, and helplessness.

  11. All in perfect accordance with UN Agenda 21. Voles, birds, wetlands & flowers more important than people.

    Destroy houses, create marshes.

    Like the murderous old dolt Prince Phillip says: ” If reincarnated, I should like to come back as a virus to do away with as many people as possible.”

    Because people are a cancer on the planet, yes Phil?
    No brighter than his pea brained son whose ambition if reincarnated was to become Camilla’s tampon. WAS I say, because that ardour seems to have cooled somewhat.

    We are governed & ruled by dolts, dimbos & traitors.

    Google Agenda 21 for dummies.

    JD.

  12. If you click through on the link;
    Starting from paragraph 20 there is a long piece about flood prevention.

    So the OP/article is correct.
    The tossers that voted against flood prevention because they couldn’t be arsed to read it or were too thick to comprehend it.

    20. Notes that some countries do not suffer from shortages of water but are having difficulty in managing the excess of water resulting from regular or heavy rainfall, flooding, river erosion and pollution affecting river basins and coastal areas, as well as the effects of these phenomena on the local population, as is demonstrated by the many petitions received; calls on the Commission to conduct a relevant analysis of the ways to prevent the effects of flooding, given the noticeable increase in the flood risk in Member States in recent years;

    21. Emphasises the need for the Commission to call on the Member States to promote the reintroduction of environmentally-friendly agricultural activities in mountain areas to combat hydrogeological instability and to promote water regulation by reintroducing the good practices of creating ditches, drains and embankments, which make it possible, in the event of excessive rain, to reduce the negative impact downstream and, in the event of drought, to guarantee stored water resources that can also be used to fight forest fires;

    22. Recognises the essential role that underground aquifers play in the water cycle and in a number of key issues including water pollution, flood mitigation schemes, saline intrusion and land subsidence due to prolonged depletion of groundwater; calls on the Commission to place sufficient emphasis on the importance of sustainable underground aquifer management;

  13. Once again, political opportunism has hi-jacked personal disaster and we, the hoi polloi, have dutifully lined up to take sides and bicker amongst ourselves about which of these useless, self serving partisans deserves our support. The flooding we are witnessing now has a number of causes going back decades, of which global warming is just one. The overgrazing of sheep on the uplands and the resultant compacting of the soil, deforestation and the removal of hedgerows, the filling in of ditches and the draining of natural wetlands have all combined to impede the ability of water to soak away into the water table. It therefore finds the only courses it can, which ultimately results in lot of water collecting in comparatively small, low lying areas. Dredging rivers may provide some short term relief but it destroys the natural habitat of species essential to our ecology. The real solution requires change in many geographical and ideological areas. It calls for vision, co-operation, long term planning, and of course, investment; qualities and commitment sadly lacking in our current political circus.

  14. The EU are tryingto create a cohesive framework on water as none of our British politicians are capable. It is a changing complex situation, not helped by the knee-jerk self interested comments on this site.

  15. UKIP just sleep on into all and every disaster. Please save us from the UKIP zombies who moan “It’s wrong it’s wrong I hate it I hate it but I havn’t a clue what we should do instead”.

    As for the Tories, living off the fat of their realise all our assets and squeeze ’til the pips bleed management systems, they are so out of touch with the realities of sustainable land useage that you cannot expect their MEPs to have a clue either.

    Yeah, we should plant a million or two hectares of upland and marginal land trees and shrubs. That’ll make a vast improvement but we’ve got sea levels rising and increasing storminess and rainfall so:

    Build on better drained, higher land or

    Build on stilts and get used to dingy travel

  16. The Somerset Levels is a swamp. End of. If you live in a swamp you should expect to get your feet wet, just like if you live in the Sahel you should expect the rains to fail every few years. Farmers bleating on about getting flooded being the fault of the government, the EA, the EU or god-knows who else are simply avoiding the unpalatable truth that they choose to live in a swamp. The stark choice is to allow this area to function as a natural wetland with all the inherent risks, or to industrially manage it like the Dutch do with their polders.

  17. Sorry, but Neil Hemmings is right IMO. The Levels are land artificially reclaimed and have always been prone to flooding. I lived in Glastonbury as a child and my family come from there. I remember the constant flooding on the lowlands almost every year! Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to let at least a chunk of it go back to its natural form. The land had a pretty good habit of regulating itself – aside from the odd disaster – before we royally screwed it up hundreds of years ago by cutting down swathes of forest/woodland, draining wetlands, killing off indigenous species and generally doing really well at what our species seems to do best.

  18. Have you read the motion? It’s not just about flooding. It calls for more EU legislation and competence over water suppliers and waste companies, calls for EU legislation on climate change, reclassifies a report on equitable redistribution of water as an EU policy, calls for the EU to sue member states for not meeting EU regulations on water, calls for a common EU strategy on energy production and water use, draws attention to “risks” of fracking, calls for more interference in farming to qualify for CAP payments, creates a “European water network”, blames climate change for water shortages (whilst also blaming leaks and underinvestment for the same water shortages), calls on the EU Commission to pluck some number out of thin air on green jobs, calls for increased costs for servicing second homes, calls for non-green EU subsidies to be phased out by 2020, calls for the dissemination of climate change propaganda to people of all ages, calls for the EU to represent member states at the World Water Forum and calls for the EU Commission to sign the whole EU up to some UN conventions on waterways.

    If the legislation was just about flood protection and not another power grab with state funded propaganda to go with it then there’s a chance UKIP would have supported it but at no point will UKIP MEPs support more powers for the EU, more common policies or the loss of any more sovereignty to the undemocratic, unaccountable EU. UKIP won the EU elections on the basis that its MEPs would do everything they could to stop the EU taking over our country and they were doing their job on this occasion.

  19. Isn’t this all a bit academic? Who believes that politicians give a stuff either way as long as they’re ok Jack?

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