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MEPs back end to ‘travelling circus’

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg have voted overwhelmingly in favour of never going back to the French city ever again.

key_singleseat.pngWhile Brussels is the main place of work for Euro-MPs, an international treaty requires the European Parliament to meet in Strasbourg for twelve sessions a year.

A fleet of lorries packed with paperwork and office equipment makes the journey every month as part of a move said to cost EU taxpayers more than €200 million each year.

MEPs voted by 483 to 141 in favour of the Parliament having a single seat, and for their demand to be included within treaty negotiations.

Local Lib Dem MEPs, Catherine Bearder and Sharon Bowles both voted to scrap the trips to Strasbourg.

Catherine said: "Travelling to Strasbourg every month is bonkers when most of the EU's work gets done in Brussels."

Sharon added: "Strasbourg is a beautiful city, and its history is a reminder of the partnership between France and Germany after so many years of war, but the arrangements are not practical or relevant in a Europe of 28 nations.

"When MPs at Westminster criticise the waste of money involved I remind them that the House of Commons, along with other national parliaments, voted to ratify the treaty that put these arrangements in place."

A change to the EU treaty requires the consent of every parliament in Europe. With France expected to oppose the measure, MEPs want governments to consider the steps necessary to promote an alternative.

Catherine Bearder said: "We have sent our message to the French parliament. The amount of money, time, and energy wasted on this is scandalous. This travelling circus has to stop."


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