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Federalist MEPs want one constituency: Europe

Wednesday, 20th April 2011

Barmy plans backed by Labour and LibDem MEPs

The European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs committee yesterday called for 25 MEPs to be elected to represent the constituency of Europe, Roger Helmer MEP, warned. Both Labour and Liberal Democrat MEPs voted for the proposals this morning.

The proposals for electoral reform at the next European elections in 2014 would see 25 people, selected by pan-European political parties rather than national ones, standing to represent one transnational European constituency. The pan-European parties' lists would have to be gender balanced and the candidates must be from at least one third of EU member states. The plans would also see the creation of a pan-European electoral authority to oversee the new arrangement. The report has been written by UK Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff, President of the Union of European Federalists.

The proposals will now go to a vote of the full parliament, and then to the European Council. An amendment to a clause in the EU's treaty (article 14(2)) would also be required, meaning the proposals are unlikely to be realised. However, Mr Helmer said that the suggestions show how MEPs are determined to forge a single European demos that does not exist.

Mr Helmer, who represents the East Midlands, said:

"Once again federalist MEPs from Labour and the Liberal Democrats are trying to force a European identity onto us. This kind of nonsense is the reason why people are turning against the EU.

"At a time of economic austerity the last thing the British taxpayer wants to pay for is an extra 25 MEPs elected across Europe plus the cost of a European electoral authority to oversee the process. European elections are complicated enough without an additional ballot paper.

"I am confident that the British government would veto this proposal if it ever came to the European Council. It does though demonstrate how completely out of touch with the real world Labour and Liberal democrat MEPs are. I cannot remember a single person on the doorstep who has told me they would ever support such a move.

"MEPs should defend Britain's national interest in Brussels but clearly Labour and Liberal Democrat MEPs think they should be there to defend the European interest. They should stop representing Europe and start representing Britain."