The UK and EU - Taking A View From Stockholm

Loz Kaye's picture

Sometimes it's good to take a step to see things more clearly. I started writing this in Stockholm after being invited to the official election campaign launch for Sweden's Pirate Party. It was their success in '09 that kickstarted so much interest in the Pirate Party movement.

So it was good to take a moment to remember that.

But also it was worth taking a step away from the already poisonous atmosphere in the run up to the European elections in Britain. Other British party leaders chose to kick their campaigns off bickering with their enemies. We chose to kick it off talking with our friends out in Europe about what we have achieved.

And the Pirate Party has delivered way more for the British people than UKIP has for instance. And that's even without any British MEPs. Think what we could achieve with a candidate like Maria Aretoulaki in Brussels.

Victory as Court Rules EU Data Retention Law Interferes with Fundamental Rights

Tuesday, 8 April, 2014 - 11:30

The Court of Justice of the European Union today declared that the Data Retention Directive is incompatible with the Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights after a reference by Irish and Austrian courts.

The Court found that the Directive "entails an interference with the fundamental rights of practically the entire European population", concluding that there is a "is there a general absence of limits" in the legislation.

The EU - Where We Stand

Friday, 14 March, 2014 - 10:00

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye today reiterated the Pirate Party's position on Europe. In a statement in which he referred to the Pirate Party's long standing commitment to a Referendum on the UK's membership of the EU, as well as a commitment to retaining Pound Sterling as a currency, he laid out the need for debate on Europe. The Pirate Party will be standing candidates in the European Parliament Elections in May this year.

Loz Kaye said:

Opinion: Top 10 EU Myths: Part 1

Sephy Hallow's picture

1.      Health Tourism

Possibly the most emotionally-charged, and unfortunately unfounded, debates around the EU has been the concept of “health tourism”: EU and other migrants coming to the UK to leech off our already struggling public healthcare system. But is it true?

The honest answer is, there are definitely some exploits of the NHS by foreign nationals. However, the cost of this is absorbed by the international patients who pay – evidence from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of York, using government-commissioned research, shows that there are twice as many paying patients as there are so-called “health tourists.”

If you're confused by the deluge of numbers that have been banded about by press and government officials alike (many of which are wildly different), here is what the government's own studies have to say.

  • Britain has between 5,000-20,000 “health tourists” per year, at a cost of £60-£80m – 0.06% of the annual NHS budget

  • 18 reviewed NHS trusts showed a profit of £42m from foreign nationals paying for healthcare; there are approximately 530 NHS trusts in the UK, including 161 acute trusts, 56 mental health trusts, and 10 ambulance trusts