"Silly and dangerous" Lib Dem plans to have us vote for European parties

03-Jul-2013 @ 9:0

Ashley Fox Ashley Fox

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

The European Parliament will vote tomorrow (Thursday) on whether to adopt anastonishing report proposing intrusive changes to the way European elections arerun in Britain.
The report has been drawn up by Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff and urgesa series of measures which he thinks would create greater engagement of votersacross Europe. As well as promoting the idea of a directly-elected president ofEurope, it calls for pan-European parties to be given party political broadcastsand for their logos to appear on ballot papers.
Ashley Fox MEP, Conservative spokesman in the parliament on constitutionalaffairs, today labelled the plans "silly and dangerous" and vowed he and hisfellow Tories would oppose them resolutely.
Mr Duff, an MEP for the East of England, is proud to hold the post ofPresident of the Union of European Federalists and makes no secret of his wishto see Britain swallowed into a European super-state, run from Brussels, withvotes cast along pan-European party lines rather than according to nationalpolitics.
South West MEP Mr Fox said: "This sounds like the sort of screamingfederalist nonsense you might expect to come out of Belgium or Luxembourg. Forit to come from a British MEP just shows how far he and his party are out oftouch with British voters on such a key issue.
"His federalist dream is everyone else's nightmare. He is effectivelycalling for a directly-elected President of the European Commission. Europe doesnot need any such thing because it is not a state, much as he might want it tobe one.
"Nor do we need the logos of European parties on our ballot papers. Britishvoters know exactly who Labour and Conservatives are. Some even recognise thename Liberal Democrat - but nobody has the faintest idea what ALDE or S&Dstands for.
"I have not yet been inundated by demands from voters for extra partypolitical broadcasts. I would suggest they have quite enough already, thank youvery much, without being force-fed more from federalist European parties.
"I'm all for ways of improving voter engagement in the European elections -but these silly and dangerous proposals would have the opposite effect. Theywould turn voters straight off.
"They will simply create more hostility to Brussels and its constantinterference in national affairs rather than foster some pan-Europeanidentity."
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