Brexit Party MEPs vote against motion rejecting Russian interference in European politics
- Credit: Archant
Brexit Party MEPs have voted against a European parliament resolution that called for the EU to fight against Russian interference.
The motion called for the EU taskforce aimed at tackling disinformation permanently since 2015 to continue with its mission to "address the threats of external intervention in our European elections".
MEPs claimed that the foreign interference threatened democratic societies in Europe and benefited anti-EU, right-wing extremists and populist forces.
The vote was backed by 469 votes in support, with 143 votes against and 47 abstentions.
One bloc to vote against were the Brexit Party, who claimed that the suggestions of Russian interferences were "baseless propaganda and scare stories used to shut down debate".
You may also want to watch:
But the EU reported that there had been 998 cases of "highly dangerous nature of Russian propaganda" in Europe compared to 434 cases the year before.
Brexit Party MEP Claire Fox told parliament: "I voted against this motion because what does it say to and about voters? It says you were all duped, you had no agency to decide, you didn't know what you voted for."
- 1 EU drops vote to ratify Brexit deal after Boris Johnson 'violates' agreement
- 2 Government plans £30bn cut in NHS day-to-day spending from April
- 3 Sunlit Uplands: As shellfish war rages, the net closes around George Eustice
- 4 My very undiplomatic comments about Boris Johnson
- 5 Commons speaker lashes out at Rishi Sunak for 'dashing off' to Budget press conference
- 6 Boris Johnson: Liar of the land
- 7 Former Home Office boss settles tribunal claim against Priti Patel with 'substantial' payout
- 8 Police to investigate 'sinister graffiti' in Belfast mentioning Michael Gove
- 9 Tory MP suggests most Britons are 'economically illiterate' for supporting chancellor
- 10 Welsh first minister says UK 'is over' in blistering attacks on No 10's handling of devolution
She continued: "Brexit voters didn't vote because of Russian bots or Facebook - but because we believe in sovereignty."
She claimed that the EU were the ones to interfere in elections and referendums, citing examples of votes in Ireland, France, Denmark and the UK.
Catherine Bearder MEP, leader of the Liberal Democrat MEP, said their failure to back the motion was "shocking".
"Disinformation and electoral interference by state and non-state actors from third countries is a real threat to democracies in Britain and the rest of the European Union. It is frankly shocking that Brexit Party MEPs today refused to support enhanced measures to tackle attacks on our democratic processes from Russia and elsewhere. They wrap themselves in the union flag, but they repeatedly fail to protect our national interest and do what is best for Britain. "
The vote came a day after it was revealed a news website EP Today claiming to be the "monthly news magazine for the European parliament" actually contains mostly content from the RT news outlet, with just 0.14% coming from European lawmakers.
The website says it is "designed only for the MEPs to write articles about issues which they think are currently important and need attention of all their colleagues and other policymakers."
The publication has more than 145,000 Facebook fans and generates 25 news stories a day.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.