View from the fence

Social, environmental and economic issues surrounding GM foods, and the latest news

The final say from my UKIP MEP

6 Comments

Quick recap: I wrote to my MEPs asking them to make an evidence-based decision about the regulation of New Breeding Techniques, and a UKIP MEP’s political advisor replied that he has “no mandate to support legislative proposals from the unelected European Commission”.

I emailed him back to clarify the situation, to which I got more info about why Britain should leave the EU (and a link to Nigel Farage’s book – let me know if you’re aching to read it…). I wanted to be sure I’d understood him correctly in relation to my original query, so I posed the question:

“For the McIntyre Report, am I right in thinking that there was indeed a vote, but that Mr Agnew decided not to participate because he does not wish to further the aims of the EU?”

The response:

“That is correct.  UKIP MEPs often get accused of not doing their jobs when they either abstain or choose not to vote but people forget that they were elected with a large mandate on a platform of withdrawal from the EU and it would be hypocritical of them to actively participate in supporting new EU laws which take further powers away from the UK Government and Parliament.  Where UKIPs are active is in voting for or against amendments to proposed legislation.  Sometimes they can influence the legislation in such a way that it mitigates its effects, so that the UK Government retains some influence in the matter.  However, they rarely take part in the final vote, unless it is to vote against.

“It is a difficult path to follow as constituents often get very uptight about them not supporting legislation that is their particular bonnettary bee!  However, a principle is a principle and we need more politicians who are prepared to stand by the principles upon which they were elected.  A topical example being David Cameron who was elected on a platform of reducing immigration to the ‘tens of thousands’ but each new batch of statistics shows us that it is in the hundreds of thousands.

“In this instance, the McIntyre report was non-legislative, in other words, a recommendation which may or may not be picked up by the European Commission at a later date.  Mr Agnew did not vote.  It was passed by 454 votes to 177.  As you can see, even if all 73 UK MEPs vote against anything in the European Parliament, they have very little chance of stopping anything going through.  Unfortunately, a significant proportion of the 73 are very pro-EU and will faithfully support everything, this includes, Labour, Lib Dem and quite a few Conservative MEPs.

“Please note the web address below, which you can use to monitor voting in the European Parliament: http://www.votewatch.eu/

How terrible that his uptight constituents are cross when he doesn’t use his influence on issues which are important to them, and that his fellow MEPs actually like the EU…

I did want to highlight one bit of the earlier email which I haven’t recorded in its entirety: “The other political parties, for reasons best known to themselves, still believe that the UK should be a member of the EU…” If he doesn’t know why his fellow politicians want to remain, then he can’t have seen any news reports for the past few months. Maybe it is possible to live in a bubble and hear no Brexit-related news. I’m up for it!

I am genuinely grateful for his advisor taking the time to email me, even if it contained a subtle warning not to get uptight about issues that are my bonnettary bee. Sadly I wasn’t brave enough to ask whether Stuart Agnew MEP would resign if we vote to remain in the EU.

If he doesn’t like the lack of influence he has in that vote, perhaps he should trying being a liberal/left-wing voter in Hertfordshire.

Advertisements

Author: Rebecca Nesbit

I studied for my PhD with the University of York and spent my time chasing migrant butterflies. I have trained bees to detect explosives, written a novel, organised Biology Week for the Society of Biology and visited universities round the world with Nobel Laureates. I am collecting friends to help me save the world. My website is: http://rebeccanesbit.com/

6 thoughts on “The final say from my UKIP MEP

  1. A perfect moment for my new proposition/question! 🙂
    “Evidence does not acknowledge any political allegiance, & we cannot decide by a vote what is or is not true, so environmental policy should be lead at best by evidence or at worst by probabilities – therefore policy decisions should not be in the hands of politicians.”

  2. So very relevant after Mr UKIP’s insistence that our problem is that the EC isn’t elected…

  3. Thanks for sharing all of this, a fascinating insight in to the mind of a Kipper.

  4. Not a mindset it is easy to enter!

  5. Difficult one.
    If you’re elected on a platform of denying the legitimacy of the body you are elected to, but fail to achieve a sufficient majority to dissolve that said body, what should you do? In particular, a fair criticism of the EU is that regulations get hijacked by all sorts of special interest groups – anyone who knows anything about genetic engineering knows that EU regulations are essentially emotional and maybe motivated by a desire for disguised protective trade policies against the US, they’ve been a disaster for European science. So should UKIP try to patch up that mess and keep the show limping on a bit longer, or take a principled stand?

  6. Yes, the tendency for policies to be based on emotion not evidence and for special interest groups to lobby politicians is an interesting one, and is exactly what prompted me to contact my MEP. It’s a strange aspect of democracy – once you’ve been elected based on your outlook/policies should you then vote based on how you interpret relevant evidence, or vote how those who elected you would like?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s