A chilling warning about a new EU proposal to protect their budget by suspending payments to Member States it does not agree with has been given by MEP Jonathan Arnott.
“The EU Commission is trying a huge power grab,” he said.
“It wants to gain the power to stop sending money back to any Member State that isn’t complying with its wishes in terms of ‘the rule of law’ – as defined by that ultimate arbiter of ‘fairness’, the unelected Commission itself.”
Mr Arnott, Independent Euro-MP for the North East, explained that the proposal is for the harmless-sounding new ‘Regulation on the Protection of the Union’s Budget in case of generalised deficiencies’.
“In layman’s terms, every Member State pays money to the European Union in membership fees. The EU gives them some money back in EU funding and expects their flag to be draped all over it, so that countries are persuaded to think that the money is coming out of thin air rather than from the taxpayer.
“Now the Commission is making these chilling moves to gain the power to penalise any Member State as it sees fit.
“What’s worse with this particular power grab is that it means the unelected Commission can act unilaterally to suspend payments to any Member State without the elected Parliament even having a say.
“Only the European Council would be able to do anything about it, but even then it’s designed to be practically impossible: the Council would get just one month and they would have to use a Qualified Majority to overturn it. That means the Commission could effectively fine any Member State, with the support of only a minority of other nations.
“For years, the European Union has fined Member States for being broke. Now, they’re planning to suspend giving money to EU countries that don’t agree with them.
“I’m tabling an amendment in the European Parliament to reject the whole thing, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
“We were promised in the referendum campaign that Remain would mean more of the status quo. The European Union wasn’t going to change. There would be no further power grabs, there would be no European Army, no further erosion of our national sovereignty. That was clearly untrue.