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Euromyths

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

Did you know that:

  • the European Commission is voted in by the European Parliament and consists of one Commissioner from each member state – including Britain.
  • before any EU law comes into force in the UK, it must be approved by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament
  • British citizens directly elect their members of the European Parliament. The UK has 73 MEPs.
  • Britain's national interests are represented in the Council of the EU by UK government ministers.
  • Each EU country is represented by one minister.
  • The UK Parliament scrutinises all EU legislation before adopting it.
 
collage of UK's  newspapers
Reading a recent piece on the Express's website, you might be forgiven for believing that the European Parliament is introducing the so-called trilogues – negotiations between it and EU governments to try to reach agreements on legislative proposals earlier than the three full readings system can.
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A recent article in the Express claims that the former Ukip leader was “spectacularly cleared” of misusing EU funds over expenses paid to his assistants in Brussels.
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Despite the reports in a couple of tabloids today, the European Union is not demanding its flag to be displayed at sporting events.
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Yet again the press came out in force this week to inform us about the recent activities of “eurocrats”. This time we are told one of the members of this vast, faceless and mysterious group caused “fury” when he suggested that the European Parliament will have a final say on Brexit.
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A recent article entitled “What DON’T they want you to know? Eurocrats now making record number of EU laws in SECRET” makes a rather bold claim that “typically bills passed at the first reading by the parliament are automatically ratified by the Council without a debate”. The article states that an increasing number of bills now get passed at first reading.
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Camera in front of the EP Hemicycle in Strasbourg
A couple of weekend papers claimed that the European Parliament has signed a contract which will help fund "propaganda" on Brexit for broadcasters in the U.K.
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Compilation of newspapers
A weekend piece with the headline "Fury as Britain told Europe MUST be UK's top partner – by think tank funded by EU" (see below) by Express Online clearly implies that the European Parliament donated £1,253 to a London-based think tank, Chatham House. Considering the piece is about funding pro-EU research you will be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that we gave the money to Chatham House in exchange for pro-European research.
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collage of UK's  newspapers.
Imagine a world where misspending taxpayers’ money brings no consequences to the culprits. Where political party funding is not governed by rules of good conduct. This, dear reader, is the world the Daily Express would apparently like, judging from their recent story. The piece claims that the EU is trying to “liquidate” Eurosceptic parties by suspending their funding.
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Pile of newspapers
Despite several reports in the weekend press that the European Union is considering granting Britons "associate citizenship status", the real story behind the headlines is quite different.
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Reading the Express Online you might be forgiven for believing that the European Parliament will vote this week on the creation of an EU army, to be paid for by the British taxpayer. And you would be wrong, for this is another example of "fake news".
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stairs at the EP.
A recent article on the Daily Express website may have left you believing that the European Parliament is not only "deserted" in the summer but also has the cheek to leave the lights on “burning money”. This isn't true.
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Bananas
The EU trying to ban straight & bendy bananas is perhaps the most well-established Euromyth of them all. Is Brussels really meddling in what our beloved bananas should look like?
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Daily Telegraph - How British MEPs are outvoted time and again in Brussels
It's true that smaller countries have proportionally more MEPs than larger ones per head of population. This system is known as degressive proportionality, and it has been unanimously agreed by all EU governments and national parliaments as a good way to allocate seats. But is it, nonetheless, a bad thing?
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Telegraph Article 20/04/14
There has recently been much confusion in the media about the pay and entitlements of our elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
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Reports in the media that the EU is banning British number plates are completely untrue.
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We enlisted the help of the Great British media to showcase some of the outrageous stories about us that really ought to have been published on April Fool's Day. Apparently we want to criminalise gardeners, ban the word "bankrupt" and ban cheese and yogurt in schools.
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Another entirely misleading article published by the The Daily Express on September 30th claims the EU could impose quotas of Roma MPs in the UK. The article states if a resolution from the European Parliament becomes law “all the political parties in the UK will have to impose female gypsy candidates on the electorate and get them into Parliament."
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The Daily Express claims today (16 July 2013) the EU is to spend thousands of pounds on a "giant set of shelves" for European House of History. A quick reality-check, here are the facts:
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12/03/2013 Welcome to the brave new world of EU reporting at the Daily Express, where information is bad, transparency is dictatorship, civic rights are forms of oppression and checking facts makes you blind.
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On 3/2/2013 the Daily Telegraph publishes a story online entitled "EU is to set up euro-election 'troll patrol' to tackle Eurosceptic surge'. The article goes on to say that the European Parliament is to spend almost £2 million on press monitoring and trawling Eurosceptic debates on the internet for "trolls" with whom to debate in the run-up and during euro-elections next year amid fears that hostility to the EU is growing.
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A Daily Telegraph opinion piece by Andrew Gilligan published on 26 January gives the impression that important debates and votes about the future of the CAP currently going through the European Parliament are somehow taking place in a clandestine way. Nothing could be further from the truth. The information, tonnes of it, has always been out there (click on the image to read more)
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This story surfaced in early January 2013 following the publication of a reply to an official question by Lord Stoddart of Swindon to the UK Government about the annual total cost and cost per member of The House of Lords, the House of Commons and The European Parliament (click on the image to read more)
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