In Strasbourg yesterday, MEPs voted on the establishment of yet another expensive EU body – a European Housing Observatory. The shortage of social housing in member states is being given as the reason to impose another bureaucratic institution on the hard pressed taxpayers of Europe – there are no austerity packages in the EU institutions!
But to the surprise of many – and certainly to the frustration of the Eurocrats – MEPs rejected the proposal, by just one vote!
326 MEPs voted to reject, against 325 who supported the proposal.
I have always argued the importance of MEPs attending and voting in committees, and in plenary. Infamously, the failure of one UKIP MEP to turn up for work allowed the EU's proposed Financial Transaction Tax to survive an attempt to kill it off at committee stage. It was passed by just one vote.
If I and my colleague, Trevor Colman had not turned up for work yesterday this expensive project would have gone ahead. I note that Nigel Farage was not present in the chamber to vote against this, but six of his colleagues from the EFD group were there to support the proposal!