Tuesday, 2 June 2009

MEPs have more power than MPs

Richard Allan says: "In the European Parliament, individual MEPs with key places on legislative committees have real power in the drafting of laws."

He contrasts this with Westminster, of which he has first-hand experience : "virtually every word of our laws is drafted by the Government with the odd amendment passed in the House of Lords where there is no Government majority. The scrutiny process can throw up errors and occasionally creates such controversy that a proposal is delayed or abandoned. But it does not generally offer individual MPs the opportunity to make substantial changes to the law."

The European Parliament has power of co-decision with the Council of Ministers over proposals put forward by the Commission. Since a large part of our law (probably between 40 and 50% - the 85% figure quoted by Eurosceptics is extrapolated from a single year in Germany, it seems) is made in Brussels, an individual MEP potentially has more power than any MP outside the cabinet. All the more reason to choose a party on Thursday which will provide MEPs who know their way around Europe, have a positive approach and will join one of the three major groupings in the Parliament, rather than one on the nationalistic fringe.

Jonathan Fryer's blog points out the dangers of voting Conservative.

Thanks to Liberal Democrat Voice for pointing out the two blog references.

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