UKIP once again jumped on the Euro-myth bandwagon this week, with scare stories that the EU is trying to do away with 500 years of British Maritime History.
On the back ofrumours in some newspapers, UKIP issued a statement condemning the EU for trying to 'ban' the Royal Navy's traditional flag, the Red Ensign.
UKIP's Mike Nattrass who is a member of the Parliament's transport committee said "When will they learn, it is not for them to dictate to us about our traditions or way of life. The Red Ensign must be one of the most recognised symbols on the high seas in the history of the world"
If Nattrass had actually cared to attend the transport committee meetings he would perhaps better understand the EU's intentions.
The plans are part of a package to bolster the EU's ailing shipping industry, thereby saving British ships from a slow death.
In recent years many European ship owners have taken their vessels abroad to countries such as Morocco and Libya for registration. Such countries are traditionally cheaper to register vessels and have lower health and safety standards. This has been the cause of some of the worst environmental disasters in recent history.
To tackle the problem, the European Commission has proposed that ship owenrs should be attracted back to the EU. Part of this plan is to have a common EU system for registering vessels. This would mean vessels displaying the EU flag alongside traditional national maritime flags not replacing them.
Source : UKIP