Vote first, ask questions later

A strange thing happened last week in the European Parliament. UKIP MEPs refused to support a move to return EU decision-making powers to individual countries.

The issue in question was the cultivation of genetically-modified organisms. Years ago, EU countries agreed to take decisions jointly on whether to allow genetically-modified crops to be grown in Europe. Last week, the European Parliament considered a proposal to overhaul the system — essentially returning that decision to individual countries.

The point of the proposal was for individual countries to be able to choose to allow, limit or ban GMOs, taking into account both scientific data and their own citizens’ concerns. Countries which choose to cultivate GMOs will also introduce co-existence measures for border areas, and the agreement also provides for strengthened environmental impact assessments and better management between GM and non-GM crops.

UKIP have long decided, and publicly boasted, that they have no intention of doing anything constructive with their mandate. As a result, it’s normal procedure for them to vote ‘No’ or simply abstain from everything, presumably believing that this will somehow help them achieve their objective of severing the link between Britain and its European neighbours.

There have been many occasions when they’ve blindly failed to support amendments specifically intended to limit the effect of a new law — amendments that, according to their own logic, they should surely have supported if they’d bothered to read them. But on this occasion, they even abstained from a proposal whose entire point was to return powers to member states!

UKIP MEPs really have become experts at cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

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