Rogue MEP's Falklands intervention condemned
10th May 2013
Conservatives in Brussels are to demand that the European Parliament’s authorities rein in a Spanish MEP after he told Argentina the EP did not accept British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
Socialist MEP Luis Yañez Barnuevo was leading a parliamentary delegation to Buenos Aires when he made the assertion.
The mission was supposed to be about stalled trade talks between the EU and the South American Mercosur trade block. However, when the subject of the Falklands and UK relations was raised by the Argenitinian side, Mr Barnuevo, is reported to have said: “British sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands as such is not accepted by the European Parliament.”
The parliament has not passed any resolution opposing or questioning UK sovereignty over the Falklands.
Now Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative spokesman on foreign affairs, is to ask the president of the parliament Martin Shulz to look into Mr Barnuevo's conduct. Martin Callanan MEP, leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, also plans to raise the issue at the next Conference of Presidents, the regular business meeting of the parliament's political leaders.
Mr Tannock said:
"Mr Barnuevo had no power, authority or any kind of mandate to say what he did. If he had been giving a personal view that might have been a little better, though still unacceptable; but to claim that he was speaking for the parliament was entirely inappropriate.
"What would his reaction have been if the Chairman of the Moroccan delegation had said in Rabat that the EP does not accept Spanish sovereignty over Ceuta and Mellila?
"The EP has no role in recognising sovereignty. It is entirely a matter for the member states and will remain so.
"Mr Barnuevo was shooting completely from the hip and his rogue comments did both Britain and the legislalture he is supposed to represent a severe disservice.
"He should be required to explain himself and be reminded where his responsibilities begin and end."