Referendum Watch: The European Parliament

The European Parliament is where leading Eurosceptics Nigel Farage, Daniel Hannan and Paul Nuttall sit. But what is it? Read on to find out.

The European Parliament, broadly speaking, serves the same purpose as the House of Commons in the UK. The Government proposes laws here, and they get debated and voted on by the House of Commons. In the EU, the European Commission proposes laws, and they get debated and voted on by the European Parliament. Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s in brief how it works.

There are 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs_ – a speaker, and 750 Members. The current speaker is Martin Schulz, and was elected for the Social Democratic Party in Germany. The SDP forms part of the “Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats” group in the Parliament, also known as S&D. The British Labour Party is a member of S&D, as is the Northern Irish Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

MEPs are elected by proportional representation. In the most general terms, this means that 10% of the vote would work out as 10% of the seats. There is a formula used:

EP Quota

The quota is the number of seats needed to win a seat. Votes, obviously, is the number of votes a party has. And seats won is the number of seats a party currently has. It sounds complicated, but if you look at this grid, helpfully taken from Wikipedia, it becomes a lot simpler.

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

In the UK, the country is split into regional constituencies, which are assigned a certain number of MEPs each. Preston is in the North West region, and the North West has eight MEPs. Labour MEPs Julie Ward, M Afzal Khan, and Theresa Griffin, UKIP MEPs Paul Nuttall, who is a graduate of UCLan, Louise Bours, and Steven Woolfe. The other two MEPs are Conservatives Jacqueline Foster and Saj Karim.

To read more in the Referendum Watch series, click here

About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.

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