The wheels are starting to fall off the UKIP bus. Just last week we saw the spectacle of the party holding their conference – in a venue that was partly funded by European grant. This is a sign, if one was needed, of just how much investment there has been here in the UK thanks to the EU.
Now, at the very same conference Nigel Farage admits that UKIP MEPs and their eurosceptic allies cannot change a thing in Europe. Of course, this is completely the fault of UKIP, whose MEPs rarely show up to vote never mind attend committee which is where the real work that can bring changes occurs. Farage himself has attended fewer than half of all votes.
Contrast this with Lib Dem MEPs, who with a similar-sized delegation have helped to deliver a £30bn cut to the EU budget, exempt small businesses from burdensome EU accounting rules, drive historic reform of fisheries which will benefit the British fishing industry and slash the cost of mobile phone roaming charges in the EU by 80%. It is the Lib Dems who are standing up for Britain’s interests in the EU, not UKIP.
If Farage really wants the best for Britain, maybe he should turn up to a few more votes. It’s the least he can do to earn the generous pay and expenses package that he criticises but happily pockets every week.
Edward McMillan-Scott MEP and Rebecca Taylor MEP
Lib Dem MEPs for Yorkshire and the Humber