On Thursday the MP for Mid Sussex, Nicholas Soames got answers for two identical questions he had asked regarding the Governments objectives with nations that are in the European Union. The answers varied a wee bit and of course once Nicholas or one of his colleagues has asked a question about the other 25 EU nations we will have a whole picture moving forward. Of course the easier approach before the Government created the chaos of inviting us to vote for something that on the face of it was a way of funding the NHS more effectively, of reducing political structures and attempts to align with other nations that many people don’t have any interest in, would have been one question “To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the objectives of the Government’s diplomatic and political policy across the EU are for 2019; and if he will make a statement.” and the answer may have been to advise the MP to ask their MEPs just like the rest of us can. Of course it proved very difficult to ask some MEPs. My current MEPs and Nicholas’s are:
Nigel Farage, Janice Atkinson, Diane James – All elected via UKIP and all left during the last five years
Raymond Finch – UKIP
Dan Hannan, Nirj Deva, Richard Ashworth – All Conservatives
John Howarth who replaced Anneliese Dodds – Labour
Catherine Bearder – Lib Dem
Keith Taylor – Green
Of these 10 MEPs 3 were always willing to respond or communicate (Anneliese, Catherine, Nirj and Keith) and three refused to do so either all the time (Nigel and Janice) or most of the time (Dan) and because of that I did not bother trying to contact the others as it seemed unlikely they would be any more willing to do so than their more senior colleagues. Of course even that position was a much stronger one for voters than having to ask our MP to ask a question similar to that being asked by Nicholas up to 27 times so that we could read the answers from Hansard or They Work for You! The loss is clearly that some of the 27 nations will end up having weak people-to-people links with us which will impact many of us and that defence and security; foreign policy; the economy and business; and science and innovation all risk to be poorer once are Government is having to work through these on 27 separate settings rather than 1 setting where our votes helped them to influence all of the nations.