Why We No Longer Have Influence In EU – The Facts

In 1973, 2 of the 13 (15.4%) EU Commissioners were British; this has reduced to 1 out of 28 (merely 3.6%, a worse than four-fold reduction). 

In 1979, 81 out of 410 (19.8%) Members of the European Parliament represented Britain. Now have 73 MEPs out of 751 (9.7%). Most decisions in the Parliament are made by a simple majority vote. Even if all the UK MEPs of all parties were to agree (which never happens), we can easily be outvoted: British MEPs cannot ultimately protect Britain’s interests.

 In 1973 we had 17% of the vote in the European Council (comprising Heads of Governments); this has now reduced to 8.2% (29 out of 352 votes). Each Member State is allocated votes according to the size of its population. Most areas of domestic policy are now under the control of the EU and are decided in the Council by a Qualified Majority Vote (‘QMV’). Again, when trying to protect our national interest, we are outvoted.

 The Lisbon Treaty introduced a revised system of QMV. A qualified majority is reached if at least 55% of member states vote in favour (in practice, 16 or more out of 28) and the proposal is supported by member states representing 65% of the total EU population. This so-called ‘double majority’ is obligatory as from 1st April 2017. A ‘blocking majority’ must include four Council members representing more than 35% of the EU’s population. Under this system, because we are outvoted, we are repeatedly forced to accept laws we don’t want.

 If you still think Britain has the ability to influence decisions or to protect our own interests then consider this fact: since 1996, when records began, Britain has objected to 55 new laws in the Council of Ministers – and we have been defeated all 55 times. All the offending measures have become law 10. How can that possibly be considered ‘being stronger in Europe’ or ‘defending our national interests’?



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