As forecast by Breitbart London three days ago, the three main euro-zealot groups in the European Parliament have conspired to block the committee chairmanship to which the UK Independence Party has a right because of the strength of its Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group.
This afternoon in a secret ballot UKIP and the EFDD were deprived of their sole committee chair by tactical voting by the three-group pro-EU bloc, abandoning the D’Hondt method by which such posts are allocated fairly to groups according to their relative weight.
The stitch-up was done by the European People’s Party, the centre-right group which nominated Jean-Claude Juncker as next president of the European Commission, the Socialists & Democrats group, and ALDE, the Liberal group, who have cut a deal to form a permanent majority against the eurosceptic MEPs who were elected from across the EU.
By losing its sole committee chair, UKIP and their group are denied a seat in the parliament’s Conference of Committee Chairs, a political body that coordinates the work of the committees that scrutinise legislation, launch investigations and question European Commissioners and other witnesses.
Nigel Farage, who is co-president of the EFDD group, told Breitbart London: “The Federalist fanatics have shown their true anti-democratic colours. They hate scrutiny and opposition and therefore hate the EFDD Group with a passion – which I suppose, should make us proud.”
“The Europhile groups have again demonstrated their fear of democracy, their hatred of minority views, and their clear rejection of transparency. EU Federalists are a disgrace but the public should realise their views and their dirty dealing are emblematic of the European Parliament.”
The think tank Open Europe said yesterday: “Whether or not you agree with their politics, there is no doubt that they [the EFDD] are entitled to such a role, and even the Greens have come out saying as much. Another stitch up here would once again expose a lack of democracy and transparency at the heart of the European Parliament – and surely only play into the hands of those who want to leave the EU.”
The committee from which the EFDD was blocked as chair was the Petitions Committee, which responds to petitions that can be brought forward by individual people or groups from anywhere in the EU.
It is described by the parliament as “an investigative committee, not a legislative one, and it tries to ensure non-judicial remedies are possible for citizens [sic] when their claims are substantiated. It can organise fact-finding visits and report to plenary [the full parliament].”