UK MEPs are staying for now

I’ve had a number of enquiries asking what happens to British MEPs in the wake of the referendum result.

Britain’s timetable for departure has not yet been settled (more on this here), but it is not likely to happen for quite some time. In the meantime, the UK remains a member of the EU, and UK citizens continue to enjoy all the benefits and responsibilities of membership. This includes the right to have Members of the European Parliament, duly elected by them, representing their interests.

As Labour MEPs, we will continue to carry out our mandate and play a full role in the work of the Parliament for as long as the UK remains a member of the EU. We will, of course, exercise careful judgement when deciding how to cast votes. There will inevitably be decisions to be taken on future EU agreements which are unlikely to affect the UK in the same way as our neighbours, and we will not seek to block such decisions or influence them unduly.

On the other hand, to withdraw fully from the work of the Parliament would be in the interests of neither our own constituents nor the citizens of the rest of the European Union. The EU relies on an effective European Parliament as a democratically elected balance to the other institutions. We will continue to perform this duty while we retain our mandate to do so.

Labour EPLP leader Glenis Willmott has also written in detail about our priorities in the coming months.

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