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MEP’s should have the courage of their convictions on EU budget and not hide behind a secret ballot.

18 February 2013

MEP’s should have the courage of their convictions on EU budget and not hide behind a secret ballot.

Holding a secret ballot in the European Parliament on the EU’s seven-year budget would be a highly cynical and unaccountable act on one of the parliament’s most important votes this session, Martin Callanan MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader, said today.

Holding a secret ballot in the European Parliament on the EU’s seven-year budget would be a highly cynical and unaccountable act on one of the parliament’s most important votes this session, Martin Callanan MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader, said today.

At his European Council press conference last night and in his speech to EU leaders, European Parliament President Martin Schulz confirmed that other political groups were seeking the required signatures to hold a secret vote on whether or not to grant assent to any deal reached.

The move is planned to enable MEPs to break away from their Prime Ministers and national party whips ahead of selection for the 2014 European Elections, but Mr Callanan said that voters must be able to see how their representatives have voted on their behalf.

He said:

“If MEPs want to reject an agreement made by their own Prime Ministers then they should have the courage of their convictions and not try to cower behind a procedural technicality.

“The European Parliament must be accountable to its voters which it cannot be if MEPs connive to hide their voting record on an issue that they should be judged on at the ballot box. This is not some small vote; it is one of the most important decisions of the entire legislature.

“This kind of behaviour brings the EU and politicians into disrepute. My group will argue for a Roll Call Vote on any deal reached so that all MEPs can stand on the doorsteps in their constituencies and explain why they cannot support their Prime Minister.”

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