Letter: I have no expectation of our Brexit MEPs

This letter sent to the Star was written by Veronica Hardstaff, Northfield Court, Sheffield, S10

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 1:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st August 2019, 7:23 am
Magid Magid - Chris Saunders

I read with interest Mary Steele’s recent letter, (July 25), about our former Lord Mayor’s reaction to finding himself in Brussels and Strasbourg in his new role as MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber. She quotes his comments on line, which to me demonstrate his utter lack of preparation for his new role and knowledge of the institution of which he is now a part. He seems to believe he should be just as much a “celebrity” there as he made himself in Sheffield when Lord Mayor. In 1994 Mark Hendrick, also of Somali heritage and now MP for Preston, was elected to the European Parliament with a background in industry, including working in Germany, lecturing at Salford University and serving for a number of years on Salford City Council. He quietly and effectively established himself with his hard work on European legislation, becoming the Socialist Group’s spokesperson on Economic Affairs. Though the weather was very hot that summer he did not turn up in shorts, tee-shirt and a reversed baseball cap!

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I met up with our other new local MEP Shaffaque Mohammed recently and chatted with him about his experiences as a new MEP. He spoke of how warmly he and his fellow Lib-Dem, (not my party), MEPs had been received, and clearly wants to represent the interests of his constituents in Yorkshire and the Humber. Mary’s belief that ”the EU… charts a course to eventual federation with total political, economic, military control of member states” is as misguided as Magid’s rantings. The policies of the EU are decided by the elected heads of member state Governments in partnership with the elected MEPs from member states, with the Commissioners, appointed for a five or 10 year period by elected governments, responsible, like our own Civil Service, for implementing those policies; these of course include improving environmental protection across the continent, workers’ rights particularly benefiting women, food safety and labelling, and supporting poorer areas such as South Yorkshire which have experienced major economic change. Working together is far preferable to retreating into nationalistic bubbles when the world faces so many crises, not least climate change.

My hope is still that the British people, not just members of the Conservative Party, will be allowed to confirm whatever deal our new Prime Minister does or does not achieve, and be given the option to vote to remain in the EU now that so much more is known about the problems of leaving, and if the vote does go that way, both Shaffaque and Magid, alongside our long-serving Labour MEP Richard Corbett, will spend the next five years working to ensure the EU does work well for all its citizens. I have no such expectation of our Brexit MEPS, whoever they are.