Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 8 weeks or so you can’t have failed to realise that this week is the time for us (and the rest of Europe) to decide the make-up of the next European Parliament that will rule over us for the next 5 years.
Depending on your point of view this might be the second, third or fourth most important set of elections we have in the UK. But what you can’t deny is that this will be the most important EU elections we’ve ever had. My top three reasons for saying this are as follows;
- The EU control more of our lives than ever before, and people are now starting to realise this. Almost daily, new laws are enacted in the European Parliament that usurp the perfectly good laws we already have – often to our detriment. More importantly, they take away our ability to revise such legislation should we see the need.
- As net immigration continues to rise we need to decide as a Country if we want to take back control of this issue or continue to allow the current discriminatory, two-tier approach to people wanting to come and live and work here. Should EU citizens continue to be free to come and go as they please without checks and regardless of their skills and experience, whereas people from outside the EU continue to be evaluated and scored as to their suitability and what they will bring to the UK? Or should we have a fairer single system of review of the skills and experience of the applicant compared to the needs of the UK and a decision be made on that basis, regardless of where they are from?
- The European Convention on Human Rights continues to blight our lives, confounding logic and justice in the process, as my recent post on this outlines. To repeat, while the ECHR is managed by the Council of Europe (nothing to do with the European Council, the European Commission, European Parliament or the Council of Ministers – keeping up with this so far?), it is a condition of EU Membership that we sign up.
So the choice you have is as follows;
- If you are fully signed up to the European dream in all its glory – Vote LibDem
- If you are Pro-EU in its current glory, but possibly not for any future major treaty change (continued creeping law-making is OK though) – Vote Labour
- If you are part pro-Europe, part anti-Europe, part paying lip-service to both sides, kick it into the long grass, let’s see what happens, let’s try and renegotiate some (undefined) things, to get some (undefined) concessions on all/ majority/ some (undefined) areas of policy – Vote Conservative
- If you are fundamentally opposed to the EU as anything other than a trade alliance between countries whose only common ground is the proximity of that ground to one another and you wish to regain control of all UK laws, borders, natural resources and way of life – Vote UKIP
Perhaps the most important aspect is that this election is often poorly supported (34% last time) and yet, as this election is decided by Proportional Representation, more than any other election we have in this country EVERY VOTE COUNTS, the only wasted vote is an unused vote.
So regardless of your political/ European allegiances, please find the time on Thursday to make your voice heard and vote.