EU budget: How did your MP vote? Labour/Plaid spat

 

David Cameron woke up today to the sort of headlines previously reserved for John Major.

Last night's rebellion over Europe is variously described as "humiliating", "embarrassing" and "stinging".

It was certainly bad news for the Conservatives' new chief whip, Sir George Young, and his team, although Welsh whip Stephen Crabb will be relieved that none of his flock was among the 53 rebels.

Only Glyn Davies didn't vote - and he had permission to miss the division due to a medical appointment elsewhere.

Plaid Cymru's parliamentary leader, Elfyn Llwyd, was similarly incapacitated, but his two colleagues Hywel Williams and Jonathan Edwards voted with the government against a move to cut the EU budget.

Mr Edwards said: "We decided not to support the crazy right-wing Conservative Eurosceptics last night because Wales receives vast sums of money from the European Union. CAP payments alone total well over £300m per year while convergence funding is near the £150m mark per year."

It wasn't just Labour MPs supporting "the crazy right-wing Conservative Eurosceptics" - the Scottish members of the joint Plaid Cymru/SNP parliamentary group at Westminster also voted with the rebels.

But Plaid reserved their fire for Labour. Mr Edwards said: "We are amazed that Labour MPs representing communities in receipt of the highest form of structural aid would vote to reduce the money being invested in their communities. Labour's position last night was that they were in favour of repatriating regional policy and this would mean the end of structural aid enjoyed by Welsh communities.

"Considering that the British state does not have any economic equalisation measures, the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the state would widen considerably as a result. Inner London is by far the richest part of the EU while West Wales and the Valleys are among the poorest.

"Last night's vote was hugely significant and marks a realignment of the centre of gravity in Westminster politics towards a more Eurosceptic position. This is not in the interests of Wales and a very worrying development. I'm extremely disappointed that Labour have put short-term narrow political advantage first, without considering for a moment the long-term strategic implications of their actions."

Some Labour MPs were uncomfortable voting with Eurosceptic Tories but Labour whip Susan Elan Jones said: "I can't justify a situation where the Police budget in North Wales is cut by 20 per cent and local councils face massive spending challenges, but the EU budget goes up and up. Parliament was right to vote for real-term cuts in the EU budget.

"Labour MPs voted for cuts to the EU budget back in July and we still call on David Cameron to make it his number one priority to work at home and abroad to secure growth and job creation."

 
David Cornock, Parliamentary correspondent, Wales Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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Comments

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 23.

    I'm not entirely sure that the Welsh Assembly are serving Wales; the Welsh people or people living in Wales.

    Why is it so hard for these politicians to understand that people want inward investment for jobs, a home and the income sufficient to pay their bills and enjoy life too.

    I don't believe the Welsh Assembly are fit for purpose regarding the above with their highly paid petty in-fighting.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 21.

    ... Plaid's MP Edwards by describing an attempt to reduce the tax burden as "crazy" demonstrated an uncanny understanding of the priorities of the little people ...

    ... "to heat their homes and feed their children".

    ... rather than building yet another European "empire".

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 22.

    #20 ' Not usually shy in coming forward with their insults and prejudices, are they? '

    We can leave it to all our readers to decide whose prejudices are being exposed by this posting'.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 5.

    I do not find it at all surprising that Plaid aligns itself with eastern Europe, they get substantial regional and structural funding as well. So come veto time there are rather more of that side of the equation than Cameron's. The EU Commission will have their wicked way and retain their spendthrift habits. The alternative, unfortunately, doesn't bear thinking about.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 11.

    Boxer_the_Horse - you are confusing what I wrote with a quote from a Plaid Cymru MP!

 

Comments 5 of 23

 

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