Euro MP Ashley Fox leads fight against European Parliament's "travelling circus"
Tory Euro MP Ashley Fox has been chosen to spearhead the fight to stop the European Parliament from switching its meetings between Brussels and Strasbourg at a cost of nearly £200 million a year.
Mr Fox, a former city councillor who lives in Bristol, said the parliament would never have any credibility while it continued to use both cities as a base.
Twelve times a year, the parliament’s 754 Euro MPs and 3,000 staff use 25 heavy lorries to cart 4,000 trunks from Brussels and work from Strasbourg.
Mr Fox said: “The European Parliament doesn't choose to have two seats.
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“It is forced by European treaties to hold 12 sessions a year in Strasbourg and all its other meetings in Brussels.
“Only national Governments can change this. Although the Coalition Government agreed to campaign to end this running joke, they have so far done nothing.
“I want to force the a debate in the House of Commons to compel the Government to push for the ending of the Strasbourg Circus at the next European Council.
Mr Fox has been appointed as one of two "rapporteurs", or authors to draw up a report on where the parliament should sit.
He will share the task of drafting the report with a German Green Euro MP, Gerald Hafner.
Appointing co-rapporteurs for a Parliamentary report is unusual and done to signify the importance that the parliament attaches to the issue.
Mr Fox has been a leading voice in the campaign to halt the monthly rigmarole of the entire parliament and support staff decamping from Belgium to France.
Mr Fox said: "The parliament will never claim any credibility for responsible handling of taxpayers' money until this waste is stopped.
"Strasbourg was a symbol of peace when the EU was formed in 1958. Now it is a symbol of all that is wrong with Europe.
“I want to build on the growing consensus in Parliament that we need to change the European treaties. I think the European Parliament should have one seat and that the European Parliament should decide where that is."
He has launched an epetition to persuade the British Government to intervene. The address is www.stopthestrasbourgcircus.com/