European Parliament budget vote shows ‘deeply alarming’ divergence between UK and EU priorities

European Parliament budget vote shows ‘deeply alarming’ divergence between UK and EU priorities

Responding to the vote today on the EU budget for 2020 in the European Parliament, which agreed to increase funding for climate protection, sea rescue and youth projects, Molly Scott Cato MEP, head of the UK Green delegation, said:

“As the UK Parliament gives the nod to a Withdrawal Agreement that fails to guarantee a level playing field on environmental protections and rights, the European Parliament has taken a bold step towards a forward-looking and greener budget.

“The investments demanded and agreed across political groups are for expenditure on protecting the climate, our young people and to tackle the catastrophe of people drowning in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, back home, we have seen contradictory moves on climate change, savage cuts to youth services thanks to Tory austerity and the promise to end free movement and barricade Brexit Britain from those seeking sanctuary.

“This divergence between the priorities of the EU and the UK is deeply alarming and a key reason why we must continue to do all we can to block Brexit and stop our country being hijacked by Johnson’s far-right cabal.”

The vote means agreement by MEPs to increase the draft budget of the European Commission by almost €3bn. Almost 75% of this increase (more than €2.1bn) would go for climate-related budget lines while around 20% of the increase (around €500m) would go for Youth-related budget lines. There is also a new budget line for an ”EU Search and Rescue Fund,” something the Greens/EFA group has been pushing for.

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