On Monday the true extent of Britain’s ability to influence EU legislation was laid bare. Business for Britain has revealed 84% of motions in the European Parliament were approved despite British MEPs resistance. Of the 576 motions which a majority of British MEPs opposed, 485 were passed.
This is unsurprising. As the report points out, where we once had 20% of MEPs, we now have a mere 10%. Whilst Britain is one of the most populous countries in the EU, containing 12% of the population, we are allocated far less MEPs than we should be.
The current system privileges smaller nations like Malta and Luxembourg, granting them a number of MEPs despite their tiny populations. This gives the smaller countries influence over EU legislation, disproportionate to the size of the constituents they are representing. Why should a British MEP who represents on average 881,000 Brits get the same vote weighting as an MEP from Malta who represents 71,000 Maltese?
Most worryingly, the areas in which British MEPs were most likely to fail to block legislation included the EU budget. A startling 98% of motions a majority of British MEPs opposed failed, to be blocked during the period. When British MEPs cannot safeguard how much we contribute to the EU budget, or how it is spent, it becomes clearly how fruitless exerting “influence” in the chamber of the European Parliament truly is.
Business for Britain also predicts the number of MEPs the Eurozone countries control to almost 80% by 2019. These damning findings come only a month since Get Britain Out and The Bruges Group jointly exposed how Britain’s influence in the Council of Ministers is set to be slashed this November. After November 1st, the Eurozone will be able to railroad legislation through the Council of Ministers, with their share of the vote increasing over the threshold needed to pass laws.
With what little clout Britain has is dissolving rapidly, so it is difficult to understand how Europhile MPs and the political establishment can be in such a state of denial: arguing we must stay in to protect “influence”. The only way we will be able to influence our own legislation is if we vote to Get Britain Out in an In / Out referendum.