I’d like to express our sincere thanks to all Liberal voters in the county elections and hope that they will continue in their fight to bring balance to politics.
Potholes and pavements are an issue – I noticed the sad state of them myself while pounding the streets of Durrington.
While potholes are distressing, they are not most people’s top priorities – getting an appointment at the doctors or hospital, enabling their children to have an enriching school experience without stress, having a satisfying job which pays the rent and bills and keeps a roof over their head or maintaining our environment and conservation are.
These are the issues under fire from the ‘noise’ caused by Brexit. These are the issues which could be permanently affected by our hard deal or no deal.
Understandably, not many of us have delved into the workings of the EU or indeed our own Parliament, but just a taster here are few facts, not fake news.
Firstly, the EU has changed dramatically over the past decade by; an increase in percentage of legislation being agreed by both the EU Parliament and the EU Council which is made up of heads of state, an increase in formal recording of voting and decisions, and records made public.
Secondly, voting in the European Parliament is mainly along political group lines rather than national lines. As a result, what determines whether an MEP is on the winning or losing side is which political group she/he belongs to and whether she/he follows her/his group’s voting positions, rather than which member state she/he is from.
Also, because coalitions in the European Parliament tend to form along left-right lines, the centrist group in the European Parliament – the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) – is often pivotal in deciding whether a winning majority is either on the left or on the right. As a result, ALDE was on the winning side in votes almost 90 per cent of the time on decisions because of the consensus.
While British MEPs were reasonably successful, since 2009 they have been less likely to be on the winning side than the MEPs from any other member states.
Also between 2009 and 2015, the UK voted against the majority more frequently on budgetary policies, foreign and security policy, and international development.
Perhaps more importantly the UK voted with the majority more frequently on international trade, industry, environment, transport, legal affairs, economic and monetary union, and internal market policies.
Why is it important to be on the winning side of the debate? It’s the economy, our future isn’t it?
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