The Telegraph reports that:
British MEPs have the worst attendance record in the European Parliament. The 72-strong UK delegation attended an average 85 per cent of key voting sessions in the 12 months, the lowest of the 27 national delegations and below France, whose MEPs had an 88 per cent attendance record, and Germany, who MEPs has a 91 per cent attendance.The attendance is an accurate reflection of the disdain with which the British people hold the EU, as expressed by the low turnout in EU elections. Apparently the MEPs with the lowest turnout belong to UKIP:
The three British MEPs with the worst attendance record are the Ukip MEPs David Campbell Bannerman, Paul Nuttall and Godfrey Bloom, each averaging under 63 per centNaturally this is something that the so-called eurosceptic Tories criticise:
A Conservative Party spokesman said: "The three main parties average out in the mid to high 80-plus percentage whilst Ukip only manage 78 per cent. If you just took the three main parties' attendance, the UK would be in the middle of the table."...as does the 'not entirely' eurosceptic Open Europe:
Stephen Booth, of the Open Europe think tank, said: "British MEPs are paid an awful lot of money to defend the interests of UK voters in Europe but it's pretty difficult to do that if they don't turn up to vote. Helping to fight the general election campaign is all very well but MEPs' first duty is to make sure that EU laws coming out of the European Parliament are good for the UK."They miss the point. To turn up and engage is to approve of the project. The EU loves nothing more than greater interest from MEPs in the EU Parliament, and voters via a much higher turnout - it all helps them in selling the EU as having democratic legitimacy. The low turnouts are a thorn in their side.
The EU Parliament is a joke and a democratic sham. Obviously there's taxpayer's money involved with MEPs, but in my view this is wasted whether they turn up or not. The voters can't change a government, MEPs can't initiate or abolish regulations, and nor can they form an executive. Even if all the 73 MEPs, the UK is entitled to under the Lisbon Treaty, were voted in as UKIP, they could not via the EU Parliament execute the voters' clear mandate and remove the UK from the EU.
I couldn't care less if the attendance was 0%. It's utterly irrelevant.