The UK’s European Parliament seats: Smaller EU should mean smaller Parliament
Plans to redistribute the UK’s 73 seats in the European Parliament at the next European Elections in 2019 have been heavily criticised by ECR Group constitutional affairs spokesman Kazimierz Ujazdowski ahead of a vote tomorrow. He argues that with the EU’s budget set to come under strain due to the loss of the UK’s contributions, increasing the number of MEPs will add further unnecessary pressure on the budgets of the remaining 27 member states, with little obvious benefit.
The draft report from the parliament’s constitutional affairs committee’s proposes to give 27 of the UK’s seats to current EU members, with the numbers based on those countries that are proportionally under represented. This would leave 46 seats available for future enlargements, or the eventual creation of a pan-EU constituency, which is suggested in the report and has been a pet project amongst European federalists for a number of years.
Speaking ahead of the vote, Ujazdowski said:
“The simplest thing to do is to not reallocate any of the UK’s seats. Voters wouldn’t expect us to embark on this kind of giveaway when the EU budget is about to be stretched and haggling over the distribution of seats is the least of our concerns given the challenges we’re going to face.
“The idea of voting for transnational MEPs, beyond traditional electoral boundaries will only serve to make citizens feel even more distant from the EU. This is a flagship idea of European federalists who naively assume it will increase accountability and participation in European elections when it will do the exact opposite.”
The report will now be presented to the whole parliament for vote in February before they can move forward to negotiations with the Council.