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Mythbust

We win vastly more EU votes than we lose

by InFacts | 08.06.2016

Eurosceptics say we always get bossed around by Brussels because we keep getting outvoted.

It’s true that we’ve lost 56 votes in the EU’s Council since 1999. However, we’ve been on the winning side 2,466 times.

2,466 to 56 is a good score in any sport.

You can read a more thorough analysis here

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3 Responses to “We win vastly more EU votes than we lose”

  • Question : Can IMMIGRATION excesses be controlled while in the EU and WITHOUT breaching the FREE MOVEMENT of people rule of the EU? The answer is…YES!!!!! I tell you why (to put the leavers argument on immigration at rest): It can be done extending the scope of what had been done already with the GMC rules on EU doctors (and done similarly in all EU countries Medical bodies): To work in UK (or any EU country) you need certificate of adequate language proficiency. Now this can be extended simply in all levels of working environments (I guess with different language skills requirements: for non skilled, semi-skilled, skilled layers of employments prospects). The Uk can simply (without any EU regulation breaches – as already happening with GMC and similar Medical bodies in the EU) put the barrier lower or higher of language skills to allow a EU (but also non EU) worker to apply to work in UK (so no longer even discrimination between EU and non EU- potentially). Then: no possession of such certificate of language proficiency: no right to work benefit or social housing (therefore to avoid workers getting into the black market) and no rights for their children to a school place. If there is a need of workers in a specific area (layer) the language proficiency barrier can be lowered (or increased if excessive number of migrants arriving). The administraion costs of such tests to fall entirely on the potential migrant (obviously prices to reflect the background economy of the country). Therefore, yes, UK can operate controls on migration levels from within the EU (without hindering the principle of free movement) as it will be only with the barier required (and reasonable) of language skills (proficiency) adapted according to a possible one of 3 layers (non skilled, semi skilled or skilled working environments).

  • Talk of winning votes reminds me of the doubtful accuracy of so-called polls. There is a wide margin of speculation about the result of the referendum between so-called polls and actual betting odds. The difference is that the betting odds are determined by people who put their money where their mouth is whilst so-called polls tell you what people said their intention was even if they later do something completely different as in the general election and the Scottish independence referendum. That leaves so-called pollsters struggling for a fig leaf to cover their nakedness. In this case the betting odds, on which people have actually spent money, strongly favour remain.

    But then again, as with all votes, some you win some you lose. We are not in the EU solely to get our own way all the time. Like the other 27 members we are in it to create a total that is greater than the sum of its parts so our share of it is better than what we could do on our own. Is a majority of 2466 over 56 a measure of our influence? If we lost 56 votes on whether traffic cones should be dayglo red and white or dayglo orange, yellow and white it might be. But if we lost 56 votes on whether we should have a bonfire of workers’ rights, that would be a different matter.

    The recent enquiry by the EU Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons into EU Council transparency, from what I saw of the witnesses, showed a tendency to operate by consensus so not all matters came to a vote as all the parties negotiated enough satisfaction for themselves not to contest it publicly. The EU has the legislative procedure in which the Council of the EU has half the say and the EU Parliament the other half. The Council of the EU, aided by COREPER, consists of government ministers in each state who have been elected as the equivalent of MPs supported by their diplomats and the EU Parliament is directly elected by the whole EU.

    Compared to the murky waters of how we provide MPs to our Parliamentary Assembly delegates to the WTO, NATO, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, which is separate from the EU, my impression of the evidence from ESCOM witnesses is that EU transparency is a beacon of accountability and democracy because whatever ministers have done has to go before Parliament for them to be questioned and make their case. Whatever MEPs do can come back to haunt them at the next elections.