Robert Atkins

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Robert Atkins, MEP

Sir Robert Atkins (born 05 February 1946, London) is a British MEP for North West from Conservative Party. He also served the previous two terms (20.07.1999 - 19.07.2004 and 20.07.2004 - 13.07.2009) representing the same political party.[1]


  • Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • Member, Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council
  • Member, Delegation for relations with the United States
  • Substitute, Committee on Petitions
  • Substitute, Delegation to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly

Former Affiliations

Record and Controversies

Declaration of Financial Interests

  • Nothing to declare.[2]

Former Declaration of Financial Interests

  • I employ a full-time secretary, who is my wife and she receives payment in the band of £30,001 - £40,000.
  • I employ also a full-time political assistant.
  • I employ a paying agent - a firm of qualified Chartered Accountants - who makes the necessary payments for all employees PAYE, NIC, pension contributions, expenses and other necessary deductions.
  • I employ two part-time service providers who perform specific tasks each year, one for my annual "Report to Constituents" and one for Electoral Registers.[3]

Record of Parliamentary Votes

  • Voted against the directive on "establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy" (A5-0027/2000). The directive covers all water management aspects in order to achieve a 'good status' of all waters by 2015.[4]
  • Voted in favour of the directive on "national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants" (A5-0063/2000). The amendment allows setting less ambitious national emission ceilings for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), which would result in more damage to human health and the environment.[5]
  • Voted in favour of the Commission White Paper on "Strategy for a future Chemicals Policy" (A5-0356/2001). The amendment helps avoid the necessary precautionary approach towards some chemical substances that are not proven to be completely safe.[6]
  • Voted against the directive on "waste electrical and electronic equipment" (A5-0100/2002). The amendment sets higher reuse and recycling rates for IT and telecommunication equipment.[7] Rejected due to lack of absolute majority.
  • Voted in favour of the report on "Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network" (A5-0135/2002). The Trans-European Network of Transport (TEN-T) is a network of so-called 'transport corridors' through Europe. This amendment calls for a full Strategic Environmental Assessment of these transport corridors and calls on the Commission to improve methods for analysing the environmental and economic impact of the TEN-T.[8]
  • Voted against the regulation concerning "traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms" (A5-0229/2002). The amendment allows customers the right to choose GM free food.[9]
  • Voted against the report towards a "thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides" (A5-0061/2003). The amendment proposes to ban or severely restrict use of pesticides in areas around sources of drinking water and nature protected zones.[10]
  • Voted against the directive on "environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage" (A5-0145/2003). According to the amendment, polluters have to pay for environmental clean-up, and it supports an EU-wide regime which makes polluters liable for the damage they cause to wildlife, water and land.[11]
  • Voted against the directive on restructuring the "Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity" (A5-0302/2003). The amendment aims at giving tax benefits to environmentally friendly sources of energy, which would make them cheaper and more competitive to conventional (more polluting) sources of energy. It also gives tax benefits to environmentally friendly uses of energy for transport, for instance trains.[12] Rejected due to lack of absolute majority.

Date Name of Document MEPs Vote
13.03.2012 Should there be an obligatory quota of at least 40% (by 2020) of female representation in the management boards imposed on companies? Against
16.02.2012 Should the European Parliament have a single seat (instead of two, Strasbourg and Brussels)? Didn't vote
15.02.2012 Should the Eurozone Member States pool their public debts by creating Eurobonds? Against
15.12.2011 Should public access to EU documents be made easier? Absent
14.12.2011 Should the EU have a stronger and united defence policy? Didn't vote
17.11.2011 Should nuclear energy be phased out? Didn't vote
25.10.2011 Should a global tax on carbon emissions be introduced? Against
28.09.2011 Should the European Commission supervise the budgets and economic policies of the Member States and apply sanctions for non-compliance with EU-agreed rules on fiscal discipline? Absent
05.07.2011 Should the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the EU be made more restrictive? Against
20.10.2010 Should the minimum length of the maternity leave on full pay be extended from 14 to 20 weeks? Against
09.02.2010 Should the proposed Barosso II Commission be appointed for the 2009-2014 term? Abstain

Emails on cigarettes

In October 2014, it was revealed Mark Fullbrook, co-founder of CTF Partners asked Atkins to track down comments made by the government on Ireland's plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes. Fullbrook's email said, “Lovely to see you and Dulcie [Atkins’s wife] last night.” He goes on to explain that it is “in the public domain” that the government has issued the comments and asks: “Can you help identify which Dept issued these comments and what these comments are? On this one time is critical.” Atkins in turn asked Philip Bradbourn, a Tory MEP, “Is there anything you can do to elicit the information that he requires from the relevant Commissioner’s office? I gather that this is a bit urgent!”. A spokesperson for CTF Partners claims that once Fullbrook was told the comments were not in the public domain, the matter went no further.[13]

Personal Information

Curriculum Vitae

  • Educated at Highgate School.
  • National President of Conservative Trades Unionists (1984-1987).
  • MP for Preston North (1979-1983) and South Ribble (1983-1997).
  • Secretary, Conservative Parliamentary Defence Committee (1979-1982).
  • Vice-Chairman, Conservative Parliamentary Aviation Committee (1979-1982).
  • Chairman, Lancashire Conservative MPs (1995-1997).
  • Chairman, North-West Group of Conservative MPs (1996-1997).
  • Member of the Conservative Group for Europe.
  • Parliamentary private secretary to various Ministers (1982-1987).
  • Member of Select Committee on Procedure (1995-1997).
  • Minister for Industry and Aerospace, Department of Trade and Industry (1987-1989).
  • Minister for Roads and Traffic, Department of Transport (1989-1990).
  • Minister for Sport, Department of the Environment and then Department for Education (1990-1992).
  • Minister of State, Northern Ireland (1992-1994).
  • Minister of State, Department of the Environment (1994-1995).
  • Member of the Privy Council (since 1995).
  • Member of the European Parliament (since 1999).
  • Knighted 1997. Freeman of the City of London.


Parlement européen
Bât. Willy Brandt
60, rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60
B-1047 Bruxelles/Brussel
+32 (0)2 28 45373
+32 (0)2 28 49373
robert.atkins AT
EU Insigna.png This article is part of the MEPedia project of Spinwatch.



  1. European Parliament, MEP Directory: Robert Atkins, accessed 08 September 2010.
  2. European Parliament, Declaration of Members' Financial Interests: Robert Atkins, 23 June 2009, accessed 03 November 2009.
  3. European Parliament, Declaration of Members' Financial Interests: Robert Atkins, April 2008, accessed 06 February 2009.
  4. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  5. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  6. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  7. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  8. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  9. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  10. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  11. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  12. Friends of the Earth, EU Vote Watch, accessed 02 February 2009.
  13. Jamie Doward David Cameron’s election guru faces new attack over tobacco lobbying The Guardian, 11 October 2014, accessed 14 October 2014