Democracy works!

July 31, 2019 6:21 PM
By Hilary Shibata

Residents from all over Uttlesford gathered at Fairycroft House in Saffron Walden on Friday evening, to hear Lucy Nethsingha MEP talk about the European Parliament. Lucy, from Cambridge, is one of the two Liberal Democrat MEPs elected for the East of England in May.

Lucy told the capacity audience that her experiences in Brussels were inspiring. The Liberal Democrats are part of one of the largest groups in the European Parliament, and she stressed the importance of the group system - European MEPs do not sit according to their country, but in groups of MEPs with similar beliefs. These international groups can be critical of each other on matters of European policy.

"In the UK we hear so much about how the EU is 'undemocratic' - but that's completely untrue" said Lucy. "The European Parliament is the biggest exercise in democracy in the world. MEPs discuss important topics, things that matter to us all, according to their political beliefs and not their nationality. Difficult topics are discussed seriously and politely - and I think that is so important. It is how the EU has been able to be a force for peace and international cooperation for so many decades."

Questions from the audience included concerns about the environment if we leave the European Union. "A no-deal Brexit will damage the environment and make it even harder to tackle global heating" said Lib Dem spokesman Mike Hibbs. "We can't allow a minority government whose leader was chosen by just 0.13% of the British electorate to override our UK Parliament and leave the EU without a deal. There's no majority for a no-deal Brexit either in Parliament of the UK as a whole."

Lucy Nethsingha MEP