Despite being one of the largest net contributors to the European Union, Britain has no say in how EU money is spent, with new research showing 84 percent of all motions in the European Parliament opposed by Britain went on to become European Law.
The concerning new figures released by Business for Britain today complement previous research on shrinking British power in the heart of Europe, where the ability of the UK to affect European policy has reduced considerably since the 1970’s. The research shows that not only are British MEPs consistently unable to block new motions, of which there were 1,936 only last year, but the representation of British citizens is also falling in real terms.
The constituencies that British MEPs represent are significantly larger than many other countries, meaning electors in smaller areas receive more of a ‘voice’ in the European parliament. While a British MEP may represent over 880,000 people, a Luxembourger colleague will have a smaller democratic mandate as he represents just 70,000. Despite this, their votes are counted equally in parliament.
According to Business for Britain, this is a situation that will continue to worsen in coming years. Since 1973, Britain’s voting power in Parliament has reduced from 20 percent to just 9.5 percent today and will continue to decline as more members join the Union. Albania, the so called ‘drug trafficking capital of Europe’ began the process of joining earlier this year.
Another report by Business for Britain earlier this year made similar observations about the European executive Council of Ministers, where UK voting power has dropped from 17 to eight percent since 1973. Incredibly, since 1996 Britain has not successfully blocked a single measure going through the council, despite having tried 55 times.