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Monday, 20 October 2008


That title isn’t quite correct. I don’t hate Strasbourg the place at all. I do, however, hate being here as I am now.

In point of fact Strasbourg is a very beautiful medieval city with a centre dating back hundreds of years largely because the canny burghers of this border town sided with the victors in the many conflicts which raged in this area.

What I and my British colleagues object to is the European Parliament travelling circus. It feels worse this time as we have had the last two plenary sessions originally scheduled for Strasbourg in Brussels thanks to the roof of the Hemicycle (Chamber) falling in, interestingly over the seats reserved for UKIP.

We might have known it wouldn’t last. A little thing like the state of the Parliament building could never overcome French pride, the real reason why £30 million is spent every year to allow the European Parliament to come to Strasbourg.

I heard my Labour yet Eurosceptic colleague Austin Mitchell on the Daily Politics programme earlier today talking about the proposed refurbishment to the House of Commons and specifically where to house MPs while the work is carried out. He suggested holding House of Commons sessions around Britain in “the same way as the European Parliament”.

Ignoring the fact that Austin Mitchell does not seem to understand that the European Parliament only meets in two places – Brussels and Strasbourg – I would not wish our dual site system on anyone, let alone those who have serious and responsible jobs to do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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