28th Mar 2017

British MEP to be kicked out political group for Nazi law comment

British Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan has been criticised by his colleagues for comparing the actions of the president of the European Parliament to reduce disruptions in the EU assembly to a law under Nazi Germany.

"It is only my affection for you ... that prevents me from likening this to the Ermaechtigungsgesetz," said the Conservative MEP referring to the 1933 law that gave Hitler extra powers.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Mr Hannan's words came just before parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering, a German, was to introduce measures to curb the filibustering tactics of a group of eurosceptic British MEPs.

Joseph Daul, head of the centre-right group to which the UK Conservatives are affiliated, has said now he will expel Mr Hannan from the faction.

"These comments are unqualified and disgraceful. I respect Mr Hannan as an MEP but his remarks this morning are incompatible with the EPP-ED group's values. It is for this reason that I will ask the group to proceed with the expulsion of Mr Hannan," said Mr Daul some hours after the comment.

The leader of the Socialists, Martin Schulz, said: "It was an insult to Hans-Gert Poettering and to the whole European Parliament," while the head of the delegation of British Labour MEPs, Gary Titley, said the remarks dishonoured the "memories of the victims of terror of the Nazi regime."

Liberal leader Graham Watson said the comments were "plumbing new depths in UK-EU relations and in the [Conservative] approach to democracy in the EU."

Thursday's political scuffle was prompted by the actions of members of the UK Independence Party and some Conservative MEPs in recent weeks attempting to highlight their campaign for a referendum on the EU treaty in Britain.

They have been using parliament's procedural rules to call for a roll-call vote on every issue – rather than the traditional show of hands – as well as the one-minute speaking time allowed to deputies to explain why they voted as they did.

According to figures published by the liberal group, each roll-call vote costs €528.

During the parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg, there were 185 such votes - at a total cost of almost €100,000, due to publication and translation costs.

Mr Poettering last week checked with the parliament's constitutional affairs committee to see if he was permitted to overrule the actions.

Shortly after Mr Hannan's comment on Thursday, the chamber voted to disallow the blocking tactics of the renegade MEPs, which had been seen as obstructing parliament's day-to-day business.


Lukashenka: End of an era?

The political spring in Belarus ended just as the actual season began, but greater changes loom after 23 years of dictatorship.

Poutine s’immisce dans l'élection française

Poutine a traité la leader anti-UE Marine Le Pen, comme si elle avait déjà remporté la présidentielle. "J'ai mon propre point de vue, qui coïncide avec celui de la Russie", a-t-elle affirmé.

Putin mischt sich in französische Wahlen ein

Putin behandelt die französische Anti-EU Präsidentschaftskandidatin Le Pen, als ob sie die Wahlen bereits gewonnen habe. Le Pen: "Meine Sichtweise… ist identisch zur russischen."


How the Italian mafia found a Dutch home

One of the biggest mafia trials in Europe in recent years is about to end. Members of the Crupi clan are accused of smuggling vast amounts of cocaine from South America to Italy, using the Netherlands as their main hub.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  2. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  3. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  4. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  6. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  7. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  8. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  10. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  11. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  12. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People