A voting Dilemma on the EU Budget

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Today, MEPs vote on the parliament’s report on the so-called Multi-Annual Financial Framework, or MFF.  This is the parliament’s response to the Council’s proposal on the six-year outlook for EU budget.

The vote poses a particular problem for UKIP.  On the one hand, we don’t want any EU budget at all, so we’d like to vote against the Council’s proposal.  And the Parliament’s response is also against the Council’s proposal — but only because MEPs actually want to increase the spending.

There is no option to vote against any budget at all.  We have to vote for or against the parliament’s report — or abstain.

Our first instinct, given the choice between two bad outcomes, is to vote for the less bad option.  That’s the Council position, with its lower budget.  So we’d need to vote against the parliament resolution.

But there are other and perhaps stronger reasons to vote against the parliament’s document.

In addition to calling for increased spending, it calls for more involvement for the parliament in decision-making — and the parliament is far more profligate than the Council of member-states.

It demands the phasing-out of all existing rebates — and that would include the British rebate.

It calls for more spending on the EU’s misguided climate change and energy objectives.

It calls for so-called “own resources” — that is, EU-level taxes.  And it says that the proceeds of the proposed Financial Transaction Tax should go directly into the EU budget.

So it might be attractive to vote against the Council and the budget by voting for the parliament report.  But we’d be voting for higher spending, more power for the parliament, wasteful climate policies, direct taxes at the EU level — and an end to the British rebate.

Personally, I don’t want to see a headline that says “UKIP votes for higher EU spending”.  So I’ll be voting against.

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6 Responses to A voting Dilemma on the EU Budget

  1. You should have called this article, ‘Catch 22’

  2. Wilfred Aspinall says:

     That is the only way you can vote unless you want to hand over even more powers to the EU

    I also see that on Tuesday the EP voted to approve the Two Pack measures. (See press release from the EPP). This gives powers for the EU to impose rules on national government – perhaps acceptable for Eurozone member states but we cannot have our spending strategy in the UK scrutinised by the EU

    The press release
    “The European parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday approved the so-called Two Pack measures aimed at strengthening the Stability and Growth Pact that imposes rules on national governments´ spending to avoid another financial crisis. EPP Group MEP Jean-Paul Gauzès, a rapporteur, says the measures will also serve as an early warning system to prevent future crises from excessive deficits”.

    Wilfred Aspinall

  3. From outside it looks like this:
    You in UKIP were not allowed to speak and demonstrate your position because nobody was interested. The motion could not have been fully thrashed out in the parliament because that is not how it works.
    So you were placed in an impossible position. This was not deliberate. Like Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, you were not important, so were overlooked.
    If it is any comfort, we can see all this in the electorate. Don’t worry, it fools nobody.

  4. Rich Tee says:

    It’s great that the internet gives you an oppotunity to explain the subtleties of these decisions.

    • Thanks for the comments. The parliament report (calling for more spending) was voted through, with support from the Lib-Dems. Most Labour MEPs reluctantly voted against — to spare Miliband’s blushes.

  5. David says:

    Catch 22, Rock and a hard place.

    What a lousy choice you have to make! You have my sympathy.

    Cleverly engineered by barrososad?

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