One hundred and fifteen EU MEPs oppose EU Lisbon Treaty
Conservative MEP Roger Helmer, UKIP MEPs, and Ashley Mote, Independent MEP for South-east England, were among the 115 members of the European Parliament who voted against the EU's Lisbon constitution Treaty on Wednesday. A total of 525 MEPs supported the treaty; 29 abstained.
During what was described as a contentious three-hour debate before the vote, Mote was allowed to speak against the resolution for precisely one minute. This is all the time ever given MEPs, and Mote made good use of his 60 seconds, managing to observe that the treaty provides no effective checks and balances to future lawmakers; consolidates power in a self-perpetuating bureaucracy; gives the EU the right to seize additional powers; and is an offense to British democracy. He concluded by stating -
Margot Wallstrom [European Commissioner for Communications] said the word ‘constitution’ was dropped to avoid trouble with the Brits. Well, we Brits should leave and take our two million euros an hour with us. Then we'll all be much better off.
Roger Helmer denounced the entire European Union –
Today, the European project abandons any claim to democratic legitimacy. Today we will vote through the Renamed Constitution, in an act that shows monstrous contempt for European citizens and Democratic values.
In 2005, the voters of France and Holland decisively rejected the Constitution. I am astonished by the bare-faced effrontery of European leaders who have changed the packaging, but are now bringing back the rejected substance in defiance of public opinion.
Most French and Dutch MEPs will support this report. I do not know how they will face their voters. I do not know how they will sleep at night.
In the UK, our Labour government has broken its solemn promise of a referendum. Yet in postal polls conducted by campaign groups, more than 80% of voters vote YES to a referendum.
By forcing through this measure in the teeth of public opposition, you are hacking at the very foundations of the Europe you are trying to build. We must listen to the people. We demand a referendum.
During and after the vote a number of MEPs protested. Undoubtedly EU editors will once again wipe them out of the videotape, an action that manages to be both childish and sinister.
So, of 669 total votes, 144 were not in favor. The EU may see this as a victory, but it does not bode well. Call us wishful thinkers, but we suspect that when the Lisbon Treaty is finally rammed through national parliaments (for it seems possible it will be) the EU's troubles will have just begun.