La Treizième Étoile: 16/12/12 - 23/12/12 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
My tweets (@SWUKinEU)
Christine Hamilton rules out standing for UKIP in the South West; tweets: 'I have NO interest in standing for ANY elected office within #UKIP'

Thursday, 20 December 2012
Last week I posted a blog referring to a piece written by Michael Crick about whether Neil and Christine Hamilton are being lined up to be next UKIP MEPs for the South West region at the next election in 2014.

Christine Hamilton has since been in touch via Twitter and refuted this suggestion, categorically ruling herself out of running for any position within UKIP and stating that if the party leader Nigel Farage were to ask her “the answer is NO NO NO NO NO”.

The tweet conversation:

Euromyth of EU banning the reuse of jam jars smashed by South West's senior MEP

Wednesday, 19 December 2012
In October, the European Union was accused of threatening the age old tradition of reusing jam jars to sell home made preserves, pickles, jams and chutneys through new health and safety legislation.

Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson is now looking to spread the news dispelling this Euromyth after a parliamentary question submitted to the Commission confirmed that the proposed legislation, designed to improve the sterilisation of jars being used in the marketplace, does not apply to those who produce their jam at home for charitable or domestic purposes.

As with many similar stories such as this one: if it gets the anti-Europe media snorting with rage at 'meddling eurocrats' and sounds too silly to be true, it usually is a load of old cobblers.

Following the response from the new European Health Commissioner Tonio Borg, Sir Graham commented: “My inbox has literally been jammed full of queries from church groups, WI members and community leaders on the issue. Selling jams and preserves at village fates and fundraisers is a core part of British life and I want to assure everyone that the European Commission had no plans to threaten this.

"Through a parliamentary question, I have been reassured that anyone wishing to sell their homemade produce for charitable purposes or to fundraise for their organisation is excluded from the new health rules. EU guidelines on food preparation do not generally apply to church or community groups and that will continue to be the case,he said.

Once again, a fiction has turned into a news story by anti-Europeans. It is time we put a lid on it and spent our time explaining how the EU makes people's lives better instead of finding a proposal that will never come to fruition to turn into a euromyth to bash Brussels with. I hope we can avoid getting into another pickle over such matters in future!"

The response in full from the European Commission can be found here.


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