Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Modification of Parliament's calendar of part-sessions - 2013

Delivered in Plenary - 16th Janaury 2013

Mr President

I just want to speak on this very important issue. It may be a little insensitive perhaps with the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty coming up next Tuesday to stand in the city where a former Conservative Party leader, Winston Churchill, called for Europe to unite after the war and say that all MEPs must leave this city.

Any self-respecting parliament nevertheless should have one seat not two. No one can justify the wholesale waste of money, time and carbon emissions. Neither was it desired or acquired by the people for their representation to have two seats. Sadly President Schulz deems procedures and processes more important. He has indicated that he intends to rule as inadmissible any amendments which change the duration of the Strasbourg session from four days and uses the Court of Justice’s judgment as a justification for this.

Our position as British Conservatives is very very clear. No administrative device is going to quell the fact that by conducting our business the way we do, we invite and earn the contempt of our electorate. Do we not want to remove, rather than add to, the stains on our reputation as MEPs? Democracy is government for the people by the people of the people. It is not about hiding behind a stitch-up in a long-forgotten treaty and a rogue judgment by the European Court of Justice.