A press release from the Conservative MEPs has just landed in our inbox heralding Struan Stevenson's heroic defeat of the European Parliament's proposal "to call a moratorium on all deepwater oil drilling". Here is the main text:
A crude knee-jerk proposal before the European Parliament to call a moratorium on all deepwater oil drilling has been rejected thanks to an amendment by Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson.
The parliament's environment committee had proposed a full moratorium following the Gulf of Mexico incident. However, Mr Stevenson had pointed out that the UK has a two-decades old history of safety despite 315 deepwater wells having been drilled since 1974.
Fair enough, this would have been a ridiculous proposal if adopted, but what the press release doesn't say is that this is all purely theoretical - MEPs have no power to do anything of the sort! As the EP's press release states this was a purely "non-legislative resolution", which would have had no real impact whatsoever.
The EP frequently passes these types of resolutions on the latest 'hot topic', irrespective of whether it has any powers to act or even influence the debate. They are mostly a waste of time and therefore taxpayers money.
We would suggest that in future Conservative MEPs and their media teams spend more time reminding other MEPs of what they’re actually there to do rather than playing along with the game of pretending to be more important than they are.