Keeping 751 MEPS after Brexit is completely illogical

Sep 12, 2017


“When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, the logical approach is to not re-allocate any of the 73 British seats in the European Parliament” said Hans-Olaf Henkel MEP, ECR Group Vice-Chairman in Strasbourg today.

New proposals on the re-distribution of parliament’s seats are currently being discussed by the constitutional affairs committee and suggest re-allocating 22 of the 73 UK MEP seats vacated after Brexit. It has been suggested that the 51 ‘spare’ seats would then be kept in reserve in case of future EU enlargements or for a pan-European list to elect MEPs on a Europe-wide basis – an idea the ECR Group has continually argued against. Henkel considers the proposal an illogical and aloof elite project, which has been championed by French President Macron’s who wants to maintain all of the 751 seats in the European Parliament even after the Brexit.

“So far the inclusion of new countries in the EU has always been the reason for enlarging the parliament, the reduction of the EU must lead then to a reduction of MEPs. No one could reasonably explain to European citizens that a smaller EU does not mean a smaller European Parliament when the UK leaves the EU.

“If a pan-European list of MEPs was introduced, it would not only be a huge artificial swelling of the Parliament, it would also be a devastating signal of how detached the European elites have become. European citizens already feel that their MEPs are too distant from their constituencies and creating European wide lists would exasperate the problem, not solve it.

Henkel starkly concluded: “If the split within Europe deepens, more and more countries will leave the EU and finally the European Parliament will end up with 751 German MEPs.”