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Helmer challenges Labour on costly Strasbourg travelling circus

Friday, 11th February 2011

Latest European Parliament research suggests that 70% of MEPs want to drop Strasbourg. Moving to one seat instead of the current Travelling circus would save UK taxpayers 28 million a year.

The figures are contained in a report called "A Tale of Two Cities" that was released this week. It says the treaty requirement to meet in Strasbourg at least a dozen times a year costs an extra 150 million annually and uses up about 19,000 tonnes of CO2 a year unnecessarily in air and road travel.

Local Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said:

"The report not only makes clear what a huge and unnecessary waste of time and resources it is for the European Parliament to have a seat both in Brussels and in Strasbourg, as Conservatives have always argued, but it also shows a dramatic change in sentiment amongst MEPs towards one seat for the European Parliament in Brussels.

"Estimates suggest that having two seats for the European Parliament currently costs the British taxpayer 28 million per year and also means that 20,000 extra tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted each year in the process. Even before these times of austerity there is simply no justification for such colossal waste.

"European Labour Leader in Brussels Martin Schultz dismissed the report as 'a waste of time' and has repeatedly stated his opposition to ending the Strasbourg travelling circus. I challenge Glenis Willmott MEP from Labour to publicly spell out if they share Mr Schultz view and how they can defend such a position.