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South East MEP Sharon Bowles signs petition to disband Strasbourg Parliament

March 18, 2010 2:30 PM

Lib Dem MEP Sharon Bowles, Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has signed a petition calling for the European Parliament in Strasbourg to be disbanded in favour of one Brussels-based parliament.

The petition, delivered to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy this week, highlights the monetary and environmental burden of running two parliaments and states that the cost is 'completely unacceptable' to most MEPs.

Sharon Bowles said:

"Eurosceptics like to state that EU membership costs the UK £40 million per day. This is not true. It is costing the UK €8 billion over a six year period (2007 - 2013). This amounts to just over £3 million per day, or £2 per person per week.

"In return, the UK has access to 3.5 million jobs. At £20,000 each, these jobs are worth £70 billion a year in pay, ten times what it is currently costing the UK to be a member of the EU.

"That said, I have long believed that having two parliaments, one in Brussels and one in Strasbourg, is a gratuitous expense, particularly when you consider that it costs £225 million per year to run the Strasbourg parliament, which is only used one week out of every month by MEPs.

"In short, it would be cheaper, greener and more convenient for MEPs to work out of one Brussels-based parliament."