Saturday 23 May 2009

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Eighteen "phantom" MEPs will be elected on full pay and perks next month despite not being able to start work for up to two years due to Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.

The extra candidates will be chosen in the EU elections on 4 June despite the agreement, which increases the number of MEPs from 736 to 754, remaining unsigned.  Amid confusion over when and how they will take up their seats, the European Parliament has decided to give the MEPs only 'observer' status from next year.

The deal will mean they can draw full salaries and allowances at an annual cost of over £6m without any legislative duties to carry out.  The 18 MEPs, from 12 EU countries, including Britain's West Midlands region, will be paid more than £76.000 a year, with staff and office allowances worth £210,000.  They will also be entitled to tax-free allowances of £255 for every day of the limbo existence in Brussels and can claim back business class travel.

Ireland votes again on the Lisbon Treaty this autumn with the intention tat it can enter into force from Jan 2010 but an additional legal 'protocol' allowing the MEPs to assume full duties could take another two years.  Richard Corbett, the Labour MEP who guided the Lisbon Treaty through the European Parliament, defended the arrangement to make them 'observers'.  "This is straightforward and there is no need to make a fuss," he said. "They can do all the work of an MEP except taking part in votes.  This is a way of making a smooth transition and has been done before." 

What a blatant disregard of legislation or is this case non-legislation. No further MEPs should be elected until the Lisbon Treaty has been signed.  Why is it, in a democracy, we allow this type of arrangement? Is there nobody to police the decisions of the EU or are they all lacking in common sense ?  No guesses which party Britain's ghost MEP will represent.

Source:  The Telegraph


MekQuarrie said...

Would be interested to know where the 18 extra are coming from. Shouldn't we get to keep our seventh MEP (and allowances) until this is resolved..? Makes more sense, and doesn't make the presumption that the Irish will be pork-barreled into agreeing the 'Treaty' this time.
The mistake we are making (and we should continue bravely in this naivete) is that MEPs are legislators in the sense of Members of the Westminster and Scottish Parliaments. They are not (and don't actually claim to be). Brussels/Strasbourg 'members' are more along the consultative lines of what Tony Blair described as a 'parish council' (when referring to the Scottish Parliament).

subrosa said...

Who makes the laws for the EU then Mek? The European Court?

I don't see why we should 'keep' our MEP. I don't see why they're being put forward for election.

Yes I know, I'm quite ignorant about the EU because it all seems so complex.

Lallands Peat Worrier is a good writer about it but this has me confused.

McGonagall said...

Subrosa - I've posted some links for you on my blog.

forfar-loon said...

Aye, sounds like a hellishly expensive work experience scheme to me subrosa.

By the way, you are #1 on Iain Dale's Daley Dozen this evening! Keep up the good work, fight the good fight, etc!

subrosa said...

Yes I've copied them. Thanks so much scunnert.

subrosa said...

It's a disgrace fl isn't it? Another setup which makes its own rules and nobody seems to control it.

I noticed Iain Dale. Goodness he must be hard up tonight lol.

Dr Evil said...

Disgraceful. And what happens if the Irish bin the Lisbon treaty a second time? Such a flagrant waste of taxpayers money. You might know it was a bloody labour MEP who masterminded the passage of this treaty. Presumably against the wishes of the British people since new labour (curses be upon them) reneged on their manifesto and denied us a referendum, since no doubt their polls showed they would lose it big time.

subrosa said...

Afternoon Chalcedon, it is a disgrace and yes it was labour who pushed this through. Remember that creep creeping in to sign it after everyone had gone home and he thought nobody would notice?

Oh I do hope people remember these things.

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