It’s time to get rid of European Parliament once and for all

The European Parliament in action - but what's the point of it?

The European Parliament in action - but what's the point of it?

Now that Easter is behind us, the nation’s politicians are getting down to the important task at hand – campaigning for the European elections.

I’m afraid I’ve come to the conclusion that European elections are the most worthless, most pointless waste of time and money that has ever been invented.

I’ve got nothing against the principle of European unity. It’s great that the European Union has created a free trade zone and that there are rules in place to prevent any one country exploiting that by – for instance – allowing employers to get away with paying very low wages.

And I rather like the idea of politicians from different countries getting together to talk about things.

But the European Parliament doesn’t achieve that. It is a pointless waste of time populated by people whose only real purpose is to get as much money as possible out of the European Commission for projects in their own regions.

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And don’t get me started on the electoral system used to elect MEPs!

I’ve only got a degree in politics and been writing about politics for the best part of 25 years. How on earth do you expect me to understand the d’Hondt method of proportional representation?

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I know UKIP keeps banging on about 99.9% of British legislation is drawn up in Europe. I don’t know whether they’re right. But I do know that hardly any of it comes from the European Parliament – it comes from the Commission or the Council of Ministers. So why on earth do we have to have these over-paid, over-allowanced, and over-expensed “public servants” at all?

All you seem to get from Tory, Labour and LibDem MEPs are photo-opportunities at the latest infrastructure project part-funded by the EU.

And all we get from UKIP MEPs are press releases about how dreadful it is that we have to rely on European money for infrastructure projects – interspersed with complaints that wind turbines are taking over the world!

Why don’t we scrap the European Parliament, flog off the expensive building in Strasbourg and put the MEPs out to grass?

They could be replaced by lobbyists appointed by each county or metropolitan council to work with the European Commission to ensure that their own part of the continent got its fair share of European money.

And we wouldn’t have to go through this charade every five years with very low turnouts and election experts winding up their computers to tell us that if this result was repeated in a general election, Nigel Farage would become prime minister with a majority of 300!

I know that as a political journalist, I should be enthused by election – but isn’t it just a monumental waste of time?

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