Friday, March 15, 2013

How your MEP voted on the EU Budget

There has been a LOT of confusion about how British MEPs voted on the EU budget (known as the MFF or Multiannual Financial Framework).

There were in fact two votes, one on a Conservative/ECR motion to accept the summit deal (which would have delivered the first ever reduction in the EU's budget ceiling) and one on a second motion to reject the budget deal as it currently stands, asking for extra EU spending and extra taxes on all European taxpayers (particularly British ones.)

For British voters two things particularly stand out:

1) LIB/DEMS AND GREENS VOTED FOR EXTRA EU SPENDING AND HIGHER TAXES

The majority of Lib/Dem and Greens MEPs voted AGAINST the proposal to accept the budget cut and FOR the motion to reject it in it's present form and demand higher spending and more taxes.

In other words they voted against cutting spending and taxes, and FOR higher taxes on British and European taxpayers. Nick Clegg quickly distanced himself from his MEPs but that's still the position they took.

Two or three Lib/Dem MEPs abstained or did not vote.


2) UKIP MEPS VOTED AGINST THE PROPOSAL TO CUT THE EU BUDGET

UKIP have been sending off very conflicting signals about how they were going to vote. In the end those UKIP members of the European Parliament who were present voted against both motions.

The summit deal which proposes the first ever cut in the EU's budget ceiling and MFF has to be approved by the parliament to come into effect. If it isn't approved, the previous budget stands. Since UKIP voted against that approval, they were effectively voting for the higher existing budget.

So UKIP voted against a cut in the EU budget.

The  far-right British National Party's MEPs split, but it is worth noting that their chairman, North West MEP Nick Griffin, also voted against the Conservative motion to accept the summit. So in the North West, a vote for the BNP was also a vote AGAINST cutting the EU budget.

There is a useful "Votewatch.eu" website here where you can see how MEPs have voted by name, by country and by political group.

1) The votewatch page for the vote on the motion to accept the summit's proposed budget cut can be found at

http://www.votewatch.eu/en/multiannual-financial-framework-motion-for-a-resolution-vote-resolution-as-a-whole.html

Note that on this motion a vote for (Green thumbs up sign) means a vote to support the summit resolution for a cut in the MFF budget ceiling.

Note also that Marta Andreasen MEP recently defected from UKIP to the Conservatives and voted with us for the budget cut. Votewatch have not yet changed her group identification on the site from the "Europe of Freedom and Democracy" group (which includes UKIP) to the "European Conservative and Reformists" group which includes the British Conservatives, but she is now a Conservative MEP and not a UKIP one.

A red thumbs down on this motion is a vote against the budget cut. And, although they're not exactly shouting it from the rooftops, that is how the UKIP delegation voted.

They said this was because the proposed budget is still too high, but this was not a very sensible position to take for the reason I have already exlained, e.g. that unless the parliament ratifies the summit deal we are stuck with the previous, higher budget ceiling. As far as I can tell the silly nitwits have got themselves into an ideological cul-de-sac whereby they can't vote for an EU budget, even a reduced one, even if that means that the higher MFF previously agreed still stands. And even if that means putting ideology before the interests of the British taxpayers they were elected to represent.



2) The votewatch page for the vote on the motion to reject the proposed budget in its' present form and demand higher contributions, more spending and new taxes can be found at

http://www.votewatch.eu/en/multiannual-financial-framework-motion-for-a-resolution-vote-resolution-as-a-whole-2.html

In this case a vote against (red thumbs down) means a vote against more spending and higher taxes, a vote for (green thumbs up) means a vote for higher spending, higher British contributions and new taxes paid to the EU. And if you vote Lib/Dem or Green in a European election, that's what you're voting for.

No comments: