EU External Polcy

Finally! Brexit could stop the European Union’s €140m a year ‘travelling circus’

BREXIT could spell an end to the European Union’s ‘travelling circus’, which sees the entire European Parliament move its entire operation from Brussels to Strasbourg for one week a month.

The bizarre operation, where all support staff and paperwork are shifted across the bloc, sets back the taxpayer around £122million a year.All of the European Parliament’s 751 MEPs and everyone who works for there travel by train, plane and car, alongside their paperwork – which is driven down in lorries – as they swap offices for just four days.

However, one MEP has predicted this could come to an end as they use Britain’s former assets as bargaining chips to tempt France to give up its monthly hosting slot.

European Union Parliament swapDW•GETTY          European Union bosses are hoping to use Brexit to stop the EU’s ‘travelling circus’

France would be ill-advised to give up Strasbourg

Anne Sander

Belgian MEP Bart Staes is hoping to use the European Medicine Agency as leverage. The organisation, which regulates and evaluates medicines used throughout the bloc, is currently based in London – but that will likely change after .Speaking to DW English, he said: “This costs a lot of money, €140m a year, it takes time and from an ecological point of view it’s not very good.”

Promoting a deal which would keep the EU Parliament permanently in Brussels, Mr Staes added: “It will attract a new industry, it will create extra employment because pharmaceutical companies will, maybe, transfer part of their activities to Strasbourg.

“You will create a new atmosphere of Europeanism, of innovation and creativity in the region of the Alsace, which I think something is very good as well.”Some MEPs are less enthusiastic about the plan, with one French politician calling the idea of moving the EMA to Strasbourg in exchange for the European Parliament a “dupe market”.

Françoise Grossetete and her colleague Anne Sander claimed the trade-off is “unthinkable” in a strongly-worded argument.

Ms Sander said the seat of the Parliament “symbolises the history of Europe, the peace between France and Germany and the reconciliation of our continent”.

“This clearly is not a priority, and France would be ill-advised to give up Strasbourg,” she added.

The UK is also set to lose the European Banking Authority, which is also based in London. EU member states have until July 21 to submit their bids with a financial decision by October according to guidelines set out European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Council President Donald Tusk.The pair have stressed, “the business continuity of the two agencies is vital and must be ensured”.

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2 Comments on "Finally! Brexit could stop the European Union’s €140m a year ‘travelling circus’"

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Jane Davies

Just think how much has been wasted over the years in moving this traveling circus once a month. Absolutely crazy, only the idiots running the EU could do this because they are not spending their own money it comes from the bottomless pit of the taxpayers purse. The people who pay for this waste of billions are suffering years of austerity forced on them for no other reason but to keep them down by cuts to essential services, just so these morons can live the high life and waste hard earned money fleeced from the people.

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