Friday 22 May 2009

UK To Pay For Phantom MEPS

The Telegraph reports that, due to the fact that the Lisbon Treaty has not been ratified, 18 MEPs elected in June's European elections will receive normal MEPs' salaries despite the fact that they will not be able to take up full political office for at least two years. The article notes that amid confusion over when and how they will take up their seats, the European Parliament has decided to give the MEPs only "observer" status from next year.

These 'observer members' will receive a normal MEPs' salary, and collectively account for a £6m bill, including their salary, assistant and office allowances, as well as tax-free allowances on a daily basis.

The Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty means that after June's election 736 instead of 754 MEPs will take office. However, 18 further MEPs will be elected under the Lisbon rules, despite the fact that the Lisbon Treaty is yet to be ratified.

Spain's Europe Minister Diego López Garrido has said that Spain will propose a protocol that would give the 'phantom' MEPs the right to take up full office with immediate effect should the Lisbon Treaty be ratified after a second referendum in Ireland.

Labour MEP Richard Corbett defended the arrangement saying "this is straightforward and there is no need to make a fuss. They can do all the work of an MEP except taking part in votes. This is a way of making a smooth transition and has been done before."


The Pub Consultancy Service said...

So who decides which 18 MEP's can't vote.?