How solid is the Tories' 'extreme and ragbag' Euro grouping?

by Stephen Tall on June 24, 2009

Two days after the Tories attempted to bury the embarrassing news of their decision to set up a new European Parliament grouping comprising some of the more, erm, eccentric right-wing elements on offer, and the cracks are, apparently, already showing (hat-tip: Liberal Conspiracy):

Hannu Takkula, a Finnish Centre party Euro-MP, was quoted as saying by party news website Verkkoapila on Wednesday that he would stay in the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, one of the European Parliament’s political groupings.

The Conservatives and Reformists Group had said Monday that Mr Takkula would join the new group.

Does the un-defection of a lone MEP actually matter? Well, for the new Tory grouping it does. Here’s why:

while the ECR’s ranks will be dominated by MEPs from the Tories (26 MEPs) and the Polish Law and Justice party (PiS: 15 MEPs), six [now five – Ed.] of the group’s nine national delegations consist of a single MEP.

In other words, should just three [now two – Ed.] of those six MEPs at any point become disillusioned with the group’s direction and threaten to leave, they would effectively hold veto power over the groups’ continued existence (a group requires MEPs from at least seven member states).

As a result, the Tories will arguably need to guarantee these six [now five – Ed.] MEPs positions of influence in the new group.

What a strong position for an incoming British government to find itself in.

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Did you miss the incoming Lithuanian? Try to keep up.

by Guido Fawkes on June 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm. Reply #

The new group – ECR – is weak because of the number of individual members. A couple of defections or necessary sackings would bring the group under the minimum requirement for European Political Groups.

Cameron wanted to make a break from the federalist EPP, but in doing so has turned his back on the leaders and nations he will need as Prime Minister. The mistakes he makes now sews seeds for the future.

by Liam on June 24, 2009 at 11:30 pm. Reply #

Yeah that really makes them stronger Guido. The mighty Lithuanians will keep David Cameron’s bunch of bigots afloat!

A wonderful day for demcoracy.

by Sunny on June 25, 2009 at 12:10 am. Reply #

So why are the Lib Dems in a European parliamentary grouping that includes homophobics?

by john zims on June 25, 2009 at 12:48 am. Reply #

As predicted here two days ago
http://www.liberal-vision.org/2009/06/22/new-tory-european-group-risks-being-held-to-ransom/

by Mark Littlewood on June 25, 2009 at 1:40 am. Reply #

I’ve always wondered why Mr Takkula wanted to join the ECR group. With or without the “incoming Lithuanian” the point that the Conservatives are being held to ransom by a number of individual MEPs remains valid.

by Niklas Smith on June 25, 2009 at 9:10 am. Reply #

John zims: In the 6th Parliament, ALDE ran a major campaign entitled “ALDE 4 Equality”, which was “aimed at supporting LGBT equality in the EU”. An analysis of group positions in the 5th Parliament found ELDR had a 78% rating in favour of “homosexual equality, abortion and euthenasia” issues (no further breakdown). EPP-ED, on the other hand, had a 30.5% rating for the same category.

Suggestions about specks of dust versus planks of wood come to mind…..

by Greg on June 25, 2009 at 12:33 pm. Reply #

Cameron is not fit to be Prime Minister. I do not think it is inevitable, as some appear to think above.

by Anon on June 25, 2009 at 10:53 pm. Reply #

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