British Labour MEP David Martin has asked the European Commission to do an audit on Britain’s EU membership, according to a report in the Parliament Magazine.
The appeal came after the UK’s foreign minister William Hague said the government would conduct an audit on the EU’s power and its impact on the UK. Hague said the audit would examine all aspects of EU law.
Hague told BBC that the British people had a sense of disillusionment over Europe because of “excessive regulation” and “unnecessary interference into daily life” by the EU.
At the beginning of July, Prime Minister David Cameron said on 1 July that he was prepared to consider a referendum if the EU demands more power, but didn’t announce when that might happen.
Many Conservatives have demanded that Hague’s audit consider whether the UK should leave the EU. Hague said the audit would allow the government to negotiate a “better relationship” with the EU, which would include a rebalancing of powers.
Martin said on 17 July in response to Hague’s announcement that his request for an audit by the Commission would provide the British people the ability to make a fair conclusion about the UK’s role in the EU.
“The British people are entitled to make up their minds on the basis of fair information, so I’ve asked the Commission to conduct an audit as well so that British citizens can independently decide on the basis of both points of view — one audit inspired by Hague, and the other from the experts in the Commission,” Martin told the magazine.
Martin said the Commission’s audit will be fair and impartial, but Hague’s audit runs the chance of being an unbalanced propaganda exercise.
He also said that Hague’s audit, which would conclude in 2014, is meant to be to only keep Cameron’s “backbenchers quiet until 2014.”