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Leftish group leaders refuse to vote on EU Passenger Name Records

3 March 2016

Leftish group leaders refuse to vote on EU Passenger Name Records

Left wing leaders in the European Parliament are once again playing games with a crucial counter-terrorism agreement on Passenger Name Records (PNR), the European Parliament’s rapporteur Timothy Kirkhope has warned.

Left wing leaders in the European Parliament are once again playing games with a crucial counter-terrorism agreement on Passenger Name Records (PNR), the European Parliament’s rapporteur Timothy Kirkhope has warned.

The EU PNR deal is now ready for a final vote in the full parliament, after an agreement was reached between the European Parliament and national governments, and endorsed by a majority of the parliament’s civil liberties committee. However, at a meeting of the parliament’s group leaders – the Conference of Presidents – only the ECR group and the EPP group voted to add it to the agenda of next week’s plenary session. ECR leader Syed Kamall pushed the matter to a vote, and the leaders and representatives of the socialist, liberal, communist, greens, EFDD and ENF groups, all voted against.

The PNR deal is seen by EU states as a critical tool in the fight against terrorists and serious organised criminals. There is no reason for it to be delayed, as EU lawyers have now completed their final checks.

Responding to the decision, Timothy Kirkhope MEP, who has steered the proposal to this point, said:

“The leaders of the left-wing groups in the European Parliament have played games with this proposal from day one. They are playing games with it again. Most frustrating to me is the leaders of the Liberal and Socialist groups who claim to be pro-PNR in public but do whatever they can to scupper it in private.

“We’re talking about a critical counter-terrorism tool that our governments say they desperately need to ensure people’s safety. It should not be toyed around with like this for party political purposes.

“The PNR proposal is ready. We have an agreement with EU governments. The Civil Liberties committee has adopted it. The lawyers have finished their work. What are we waiting for?

“There is no legitimate reason in the public interest to keep postponing this vote. A couple of group leaders are preventing the European Parliament from having its democratic right to hold a vote on this legislation. If leaders want to vote against it then they that is their right and they can justify that decision to their electorates. However, they cannot justify continually seeking to bury this vote.

“I intend to keep asking for this proposal to be taken to a vote. There is absolutely no reason to delay it, and lives are at risk the longer we stall.”

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