Vote on EU Subsidiarity Report could impact EU Referendum

Leading Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim, has today warned that the upcoming vote on European Union Subsidiarity could have an influence on the approaching EU Referendum.

Sajjad fears that if the proposals are voted down, Brexit campaigners will use it as an example of the EU being unwilling to cede power to Member States.

The vote is due to take place in Strasbourg next week on Sajjad's Subsidiarity & Proportionality Report and will see new measures to secure a greater role for national parliaments in EU law-making voted on by all MEPs.

Subsidiarity is the process by which decisions are taken at the most appropriate level, whether European, national or local.

He commented:

"Next week's vote is crucial for the functioning of the EU legislative process, but also for the outcome of the EU Referendum. If MEPs choose to vote down my report, then we are leaving the goal open for anyone who wishes to see Britain leave the European Union.

"It is essential the proposals pass to stop this and demonstrate that the European Union can make common sense decisions that are beneficial not just to the UK, but to all Member States."

He also suggests in his annual report to the Parliament that an extra test be applied to all EU legislation.

Currently a Subsidiarity and Proportionality check takes place when legislation begins its passage through Parliament. However, Mr Karim wants a second assessment introduced prior to adoption of the final text, which may have been substantially changed.

His other proposals, which have already been backed by the Legal Affairs Committee and will be voted on by the Parliament in Strasbourg next week,  include:

·         A greater involvement of national parliaments in the preparation of EU legislation;

·         More time for Member States to comment on EU legislative proposals;

·         An annual debate between the European Commission and each national parliament.

·         A revision of the Commission's guidelines to better assess subsidiarity.

Saj added: 

"Subsidiarity and Proportionality are fundamental guiding principles of the EU. It is vital that there is a thorough assessment of whether action at EU level is more appropriate than national or regional level initiatives.

"The EU should not be afraid of Subsidiarity. It increases dialogue with national parliaments and ultimately makes for better, more responsive legislation."

"Conservative MEPs are leading the way in reforming the EU and reducing the democratic deficit. My report supports this reform agenda by promoting a greater respect for national parliaments and subsidiarity in the legislative process."