It’s not the EU that is undemocratic – it is Westminster

eu_01“I’m voting to Leave the EU because of our democracy, sovereignty for the UK and I want my country back.”

“If I dislike you enough – I can vote you out. I cannot have the same effect with the EU set up.”

It is understandable that many voters in this referendum on the EU are choosing not immigration, but sovereignty as their central issue. We are told that the EU now writes all our laws, limits our powers and is not accountable. We are told that the EU is run by unelected bureaucrats, ignoring the people and bossing us about. We are told that the EU is undemocratic, and that if we Vote Leave everything in the UK will be run by a fairly elected Parliament of politicians – who we can kick out when they fail us.

This is not the reality.


Take the issue of “unelected bureaucrats who we cannot name, running the EU.” There are 28 commissioners in Brussels – 1 per member country. They set objectives and propose legislation, which then *must* be debated and voted on by the 751 elected MEPs in Parliament. If they are not happy, they send it back. The Commissioners are not dictators. They are supported by 23,000 workers in Brussels who run the departments and keep the EU ticking over. Contrast this with the UK and Westminster, where we have 2,000 unelected senior civil servants at Cabinet Office ‘advising’ our ministers. And over 480,000 civil servants across the UK working in Depts of Work and Pensions, Revenue and Customs and many more.

None of our civil servants are elected. They are all employees not of Parliament, but of The Crown. Not particularly democratic.


Our MEPs are elected proportionately in the UK, and sit in loose political groups with likeminded members in Europe. Not one political group dominates – the European Parliament has reformist groups, conservatives, liberals, socialists, greens and the far right. There are 73 UK MEPs (nearly 10% of the total) representing 10 different parties. All of whom have collective influence in their political group.


Contrast this with the UK Westminster Parliament, currently dominated by the Conservative government. In our First Past the Post electoral system, this party got only 11 million votes in the UK. 18 million people voted for any other party except them – and yet under this FPTP system, their votes do not matter. Conservatives won, run the country and the other 18 million of us have to wait until the next election before we can ‘kick them out’. Which will be unlikely, because the voting system is against that possibility happening. 11 million people got the Conservatives a majority of 332 seats in 2015. 4 million voted UKIP and got just *one* seat. This is why people across the country are angry. It’s not the EU which is undemocratic – it is our own Westminster Parliament. 

We have thousands of unelected bureaucrats running our country – not a couple of dozen commissioners working with elected MEPs. We have a government elected by a distinct minority of voters – nearly twice as many of us voted for somebody else!

The democratic deficit is not in Europe. It is here in the UK. The EU is being made out to be the bogeyman to blame for all our ills. It is actually our *own government* causing them. 

Please empower yourself with knowledge and facts. Share them with your friends. If you are choosing to VOTE LEAVE on the 23rd June, make sure it is for a decent reason. And if you really want to gain sovereignty and improve our democracy – join campaigns and parties across the country who want Proportional Representation for Westminster. This is the only way you will be sure to Kick out the Government – our current system completely disempowers you.

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2 Responses to It’s not the EU that is undemocratic – it is Westminster

  1. Clearly written by someone who has never worked with the Brussels machine. I suggest that the latest report to be issued by the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons on the lack of transparency in the protocols and proceedings of the EU is read carefully by the writer of this article. PR is no substitute for democracy indeed it increases the likelihood of shoddy closed door political deals .


  2. John Gilchrist says:

    It is curious how deals between parties in a situation with no majority are perceived in England as “shoddy closed door political deals”. Where PR is the norm, deals between parties are an accepted part of the democratic process, seen in plenty of other countries. The Scottish Parliament in its first terms had coalitions and the deals were not generally viewed by Scots as shoddy.


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