While David Cameron and Nigel Farage were falling over themselves (almost literally) for a good photo op in the south west this week, perhaps they should have told the good people of the Somerset Levels that both their parties refused to back flood prevention in a European Parliament vote. Farage didn’t even bother turning up.This is a classic deceptive trick used by europhiles to beat around the head those who oppose EU membership. The EU Parliament does not work like the UK Parliament so how parties vote must be treated with a great degree of caution. But those who support EU membership never make that clear.
Tory and UKIP groups abstained on a 2012 motion on the implementation of EU water legislation designed to tackle the “rise in the frequency and intensity of floods” with “adaptation and mitigation policies”. The vote emphasised “the importance of risk prevention, mitigation and response strategies to prevent water-related extreme phenomena”.
The EU often "bundles" favourable and non-favourable votes together - particularly when it comes to the budget and it wants to pass contentious measures. Such tactics become a trap.
The 2012 motion is a classic example. To vote in favour of flood prevention in this motion is to agree with giving more powers to the EU (for example page 6):
5. Reiterates its position that the Commission must submit draft legislation, similar to the directive on floods, which encourages the adoption of an EU policy on water shortages, droughts and adapting to climate change;So the dilemma for the likes of UKIP is either to vote for more flood prevention and therefore as consequence more EU integration, or vote against further EU integration and therefore against flood prevention. A clear no-win situation for a "Eurosceptic party".
Then we note what is being refered to is merely just a motion - an "own initiative report" (click to enlarge):
regular readers will know, means diddly squat. Reports that go before MEPs for possible adoption lies well outside the EU legislative procedure - EU laws are instigated by the Commission not by the EU Parliament. Thus it is not part of the EU lawmaking process. It is a non-legislative report and is non-binding. It is equivalent to an Early Day Motion (commonly known as Parliamentary graffiti) in a Westminster Hall debate. In short a complete waste of time.
Such nuances seem to by-pass Political Crapbook. I guess none of this should really be important except that he has been up for awards, and is clearly taken seriously as demonstrated by the fact that the Tory party has been in touch with him to partially correct matters and that Roger Helmer MEP has commented on his blog.
I wonder what blogging awards Political Crapbook was up for? Not telling the truth?