Parliament Vice-President defies rules to frustrate legitimate democratic protest by UKIP MEPs over TTIP vote delay

Last evening in the European Parliament, Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP for the North East and EU budget spokesman, led a protest against the suppression of debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Arnott proposed a procedural motion to suspend the sitting “to allow Parliament the opportunity to reflect on the undemocratic actions by President Martin Schulz and other officials to suppress the vote and debate on this issue which is of concern to millions of people across the EU.”

Arnott said: “I proposed suspending Parliamentary debate for the day to highlight this point.  The officials on the podium responded with what looked like panic, ringing the division bell and breaking their own rules.  The rules demand an immediate vote, but they delayed for over forty minutes to allow their supporters to flood the chamber.”

Roger Helmer, UKIP MEP for East Midlands and energy spokesman, was in the chamber to support the protest. When it became clear the vice-president (Ildikó Gall-Pelcz) was acting in breach of the rules, Helmer broke procedure and went onto the podium to ask her if she realised she was in breach of the rules. “She replied yes. I then asked her if she was happy she was breaking the rules, and she said she was not. And yet she broke the rules anyway.”

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