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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Of Pots, Kettles and Lib Dem MEPs

Before we get going, let us qualify the following post by saying that the Lib Dem MEPs have been doing a reasonably good job, particularly in areas such as financial regulation and transparency. Unfortunately, they seem to have dug themselves into a bit of a hole in this instance…

Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies moved to criticise Conservative MEPs today, for “refusing to back the government’s position” over the increase of the EU’s 2020 CO2 reduction target to 30%. The Conservative MEPs suggest that the target should not be increased from the current 20%, despite the Government's policy to support the increase. Davies went on to say that the Conservative MEPs were demonstrating “their real views about efforts to curb global warming”, and that "to be sure of success they need Conservative support. All indications are that they will not get it."

It’s all well and good to highlight disparities between the Government and the Conservative party at large, but, unfortunately, this time, the Lib Dems seem to have forgotten that they are also part of the Government…

As we’ve already noted, Lib Dem MEPs voted last month to scrap the UK’s rebate and in favour of an EU tax. Not only was this clearly against the Government’s position it was also expressly against their manifesto for the 2009 European elections.

Pot. Kettle. Black. No?


Anonymous said...

LibDems breaking their promises? Whatever next?

Alex Macfie said...

The Coalition does not apply in the European Parliament (where as you must surely know the two parties belong to separate transnational party blocs). So both Conservative and Lib Dem MEPs are absolutely entitled to vote in separate ways, including to defy the UK government. And equally, both are entitled to openly disagree politically with whatever the other party's MEPs are supporting. And what Chris Davies has said about the Tory MEPs voting on climate change is nothing more than that. Chris Davies has pointed out, pertinently, that how Tory MEPs have voted suggests the party's real beliefs on climate change. There is no hypocrisy here. Just normal party politics, as you would expect to apply between rival parties.

Open Europe blog team said...

Thanks cgcenet. Normal politics indeed - but cannot the same thing then be said about the Lib Dems' "real" stance on EU taxes?

Robert Snare said...

The ability of politicians of all political parties to continue to foster the idea of preventing global warming by cutting emissions on the scale proposed is absolutely preposterous when there are far more immediate and important issues such as the illegality of the Greek and Portuguese bail outs.

BP and Scotish Power announce dual fuel price increases of 20%. Vast sums are spent on building wind farms which in their manufacture alone create more emissions than they will ever generate in savings. The ETS scheme is hacked by crooks to the extent it had to be shut down at the loss of millions of euros. Price increases of the order mentioned above will have a more direct impact on energy consumption than the ramblings of Liberal Democrats who haven't the faintest understanding of the massive complexities of all the forces involved in climate and weather interactions.

If as your contributors suggest this diversity of opinion is normal politics, it does not say much for the fuuture of the Eurozone or the European Union.