At first glance the report looks like a joke made up by the naughtier members of the UK Independence Party to make fun of their federalist colleagues in the European Parliament, but, no, it’s true: the parliament has now created an official sash, the kind of thing draped across beauty contest winners, for MEPs to wear when – well, to wear whenever their ego demands.
MEPs today received an email from Tasos Georgiou, administrative manager of the Protocol Unit at the parliament, telling them they can now buy the sash, which has been “made in agreement with the Protocol Service of the European Parliament” from a French company called Mauquoy.
Georgiou assures the MEPs he is available to advise them with more information, possibly on the protocol of wearing the sash, which is blue with a circle of gold stars at the hip, weighed down with two large gold tassels.
The sash comes in five sizes from X-small to X-large, depending on size of chest and perhaps ego, and costs from €139.95 (£111) to €146.95 (£117), which MEPs could pay from their unvouched expense allowance.
UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall said: “These people are so pompous they are beyond parody. Just how silly would you feel walking about town in an official European Parliament Sash?
“With 26 million people unemployed in the EU, and 60 per cent youth unemployment in Greece, these Federalist fanatics should not be awarding themselves medals for former MEPs or selling sashes to make people feel silly.
“What do Eurocrats hope to achieve with their sashs? Perhaps they wish to strangle national democracies with them?”