Who do you call a “eurocrat” and will the European Parliament have a say on Brexit?
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.
This seems to us a predictable misuse of the already overused term and an intentional misrepresentation of the tweet in question. Let's have a look at the two claims:
1. The “eurocrat”
The man in question is Manfred Weber, a German MEP and the leader of the largest centre-right group at the European Parliament.
Usually the term 'eurocrat' is reserved for administrative staff but not democratically elected representatives of any given legislature. Mr Weber is no more a "Eurocrat" than Theresa May or Boris Johnson are Whitehall bureaucrats. He is a directly elected member of the European Parliament, the EU's legislature. He does not hold his position by appointment or inheritance, nor is he a civil servant. You do not have to like him or his politics. But he is where he is because the electorate put him there. That's simply how parliamentary systems work.
2. “EUROPE'S parliament will have FINAL SAY on Brexit – not Britain!”
What inspired the essence of the article was Mr Weber’s tweet in which he wrote: “UK Supreme court ruling is clear: Parliaments must be respected. European Parliament will have the final say on Brexit.”
Nowhere does Mr Weber claim that Britain will not have a say on Brexit. He simply points out the fact that the European Parliament will have a say on the final exit agreement reached between Britain and the 27 EU member states. This is one of the provisions of Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon which states that: [The agreement] shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.”
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