Brussels trip provides European Parliament insight

Councillor's recent trip to Brussels provides European Parliament insight.
Councillor's recent trip to Brussels provides European Parliament insight.

Bridlington councillor David Robson visited the European Parliament building in Brussels last week. The UKIP councillor, who represents the Bridlington South ward on East Riding of Yorkshire Council, sent these observations about his trip.

The European Parliament in Brussels is built on the Palace Gardens, given by the King of Belgium.

Now that the parliament buildings are 40 years old, there is the plan of demolishing it and building a new facility. The buildings are in pristine condition and the complex is huge.

The administration costs are 61.6 billion euros.

There are 50,000 staff and 3,000 interpreters.

There are approximately 3,000 lobbyists who have tremendous influence over legislation.

The debating chamber in Brussels is only used for three days a year.

The parliament building in Strasbourg is used for less than 35 days a year.

The EU MPs do not like the upheaval of going to Strasbourg, but have no choice, as there is a treaty obligation to hold a parliament in two separate destinations.

There are a vast number of European staff still based in Luxembourg.

There is no running hot water in both parliament complexes as a result of the occurrence of Legionnaires’ disease. This has been the situation for two years and no-one has any idea how to cure it.

After we leave, Germany with 96 MPs, France with 74 MPs, Italy with 73 MPs can outvote the 15 countries from the 27 remaining, who have the lowest number of MPs. Therefore, their influence is negligible, even if another two or three countries with the next lowest number of MPs join them.

The total expenditure of the EU is 960 billion euros, including 27 million euros to compensate Croatia.

The Common Agricultural Policy amounts to 373.2 billion euros.

The European Parliament is in a financial bubble, no-one pays more than 13% income tax including the staff.

Cllr David Robson

Bridlington South ward

East Riding of Yorkshire Council