10 June 2016
Brexiters’ faux-populism is a sham. They don’t want to ‘take power back from the elites’ and they will be harder to sack than EU Commissioners, says Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP.
In an article published in Left Foot Forward (1), Molly Scott Cato lifts the veil on the Brexit argument that the EU is undemocratic. She says her actual experience is one that demonstrates the EU operates more open, more democratic processes than the UK itself can claim is happening in Whitehall: “Whether or not we approve of the choice of Commissioners, they are not distant and unaccountable. As a member of the European Parliament I regularly question them and we also have the power to sack them, on behalf of those who elected us. I do not have this power over the British Cabinet who were elected on a flawed mandate and are there for five years.”
So, Molly explains, the Brexit campaign’s key claim that the EU is unaccountable and unelected is untrue. It may not be perfect, but it is certainly no worse than the bureaucracy of our own Government: “this compares to the 400,000 ‘bureaucrats’ employed by Whitehall, who work as the expert civil service: some on drafting laws to curb air pollution; some on dividing up EU funding to deprived regions; some on re-evaluating existing laws on VAT, and so on.”
Molly adds: "When I see a group of Westminster politicians, many of whom are privately-educated, many of whom live off private incomes, campaigning under a ‘take back control’ banner, it seems to me that it is they themselves who are a threat to democracy and I think we should ask very carefully who exactly is taking back power from whom.”