ECR Group Coordinator and Conservative Spokesman on Security and Defence
Spokesman on Defence and Vice-Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee
Geoffrey was first elected MEP for the East of England in 1999. He is Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and Defence Committee of the European Parliament and Conservative Spokesman on Defence and Security Policy. He is also a Member of the Transport Committee. A former British Army Brigadier with wide international and operational experience, particularly in the field of counter-terrorism, his last military appointment was at NATO Headquarters.
First elected as MEP in 1999, Geoffrey leads the Conservative MEP team in the East of England.He has consistently opposed European political integration, in particular EU meddling in defence. He wants to use opportunities from the single market and other laws to ensure that our local businesses and citizens get the best deal and to prevent unhelpful legislation. He attaches particular importance to ensuring that so-called 'EU funds' coming to the East of England (effectively British taxpayers’ money recycled through Brussels) are more accessible and better spent.
He believes that the UK pays too much to the EU, he condemns the spendthrift attitude of the EU institutions and wants to see their costs drastically reduced, and seeks to do everything possible to shift the EU in a different direction – away from its obsession with political integration.
He is a former senior British Army officer with wide international and operational experience, particularly in the field of counter-terrorism. His last military appointment was at NATO Headquarters. He understands the vital importance to Britain of our close relationship with the United States. He takes a strong interest in the British Armed Forces and has visited our troops both locally and on active service in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Geoffrey is Conservative Spokesman on Defence and Security Policy and a former Vice Chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. He currently sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee and Security and Defence Subcommittee, and is also a member of the Transport Committee and delegations to countries such as Turkey, India, and Iran.
He was instrumental in the creation of the new political Group in the Parliament, theEuropean Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), to which Conservative MEPs now belong and which challenges the EU orthodoxy. He drew up the Prague Declaration, which sets out the founding principles of the Group, and currently sits on its governing Bureau. He is founding President of its associated think-tank, New Direction –The Foundation for European Reform. Lady Thatcher is its Patron.
He is particularly concerned about the cohesion and security of the United Kingdom and has been relentless in his call for proper control of our national borders, for an end to uncontrolled immigration, and for change in the way that ‘human rights’ law is interpreted. He has consistently opposed the creation of the EU's 'External Action Service' (the diplomatic service that will gradually erode our national representation abroad), and leads the opposition to the EU's misplaced military ambitions - a political project which adds nothing to military capabilities and distracts European allies from wholehearted commitment to NATO.
Geoffrey is a member of the Countryside Alliance, Friends of the Union, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a founder member of Friends of India, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Liaison Group, and Patron of Fair Trials Abroad. He is married with three daughters.