MEP Daniel Hannan reveals how much cash is on offer to him from Europe
Despite certain job loss if Britain chooses Brexit, British Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Daniel Hannan has spoken out about the insane spending taking place across member states.
Mr Hannan describes his own experiences of the EU rules on minister remuneration as ‘corrupting’ and has bizarrely urged the British public to ‘sack’ him.
The now vehement ‘out’ politician recalled his first day in the office after being elected MEP for South East England in 1999.
Having arrived in Brussels he told how he was told to hand over his plane ticket for reimbursement, but was shocked when he was offered much more than the ticket’s face value.
The sum was 'so large' Mr Hannan said, he assumed there had been a mistake made.
But, the surprised MEP was informed it was the correct “kilometre rate” from London.
The bottom line — as I discovered — is that, without doing anything improper, an MEP who makes full use of his allowances can take home, net, considerably more than the British Prime Minister
Daniel Hannan, MEP
He later discovered he was to be reimbursed on the basis of the priciest notional fare, plus an extra ‘time and distance allowance’.
He said: “The bottom line — as I discovered — is that, without doing anything improper, an MEP who makes full use of his allowances can take home, net, considerably more than the British Prime Minister.
Even on a top business class fare, you could make a tidy sum.
"If you flew EasyJet, you could trouser the better part of £800 a week — tax-free, because it counted as expenses rather than income.”
Mr Hannan was then informed he was entitled to a £3,500 ‘bloc grant’ to spend how he chose on expenses, for which he need not provide a receipt.
Describing himself as a lover of European nation states Tory MEP Mr Hannan said he has lived and worked all over the content, but he can no longer see a future for Europe.
And, he said many of those who are keen to stay in, are thinking of their own purses.
He said: “I know several MEPs who came to Brussels without feeling especially strongly about closer integration, but who drank in federalist assumptions as they guzzled down their allowances.
“What is true of the MEPs is equally true of the many giant corporations, mega-charities, think-tanks, professional associations and lobbyists who make a living out of the Brussels system.
“These groups are, as you might expect, the Praetorian Guard of the Remain campaign.
“For their executives, staying in the EU is not about sovereignty or democracy; it’s about mortgages and school fees.”
But money is not the only reason Mr Hannan wants to lose his job.
Among the things lost to Europe or delighted because of membership are the rule of law, parliamentary democracy and personal liberty the politician said.
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He said: “We often half-pretend that we are dealing with some fantasy EU, one that rises above the grubbiness of politics and embodies a lofty ideal. It seems almost bad taste to look in too much detail at the one which has, in fact, taken shape before us, with its dodgy accounts and its private jets.
“The trouble is that, in its determination to jam its nations together, it recognises no distinction between cross-border and domestic spheres.
“Why should it be up to Brussels to ban traditional light bulbs and oblige us to have the dimmer sort (many imported from China, at great cost to the environment)? Or dictate to us about high-power vacuum cleaners, hair-dryers, toasters and other electrical appliances?
“It’s not that the EU is necessarily wrong about all these things. But how did we reach the stage where such issues are decided by a Continent-wide bureaucracy and then handed down uniformly to 600 million people?”
European politicians can make money on their travel to work in Brussels
MEP Daniel Hannan wants Britain to leave the European Union
And for Mr Hannan the vote comes down to who should be running Britain.
He said: “The hassle of opening a bank account? That’s the EU’s Money Laundering Directive. The end of weekly recycling collections? That’s the Landfill Directive. The ban on minimum alcohol pricing? That’s the Technical Standards Directive.
“These laws are not agreements among states. They are the legislative acts of an entity that itself aspires to statehood.
“The promises on which the EU was built have proved false. European integration was supposed to make people wealthier, but the EU has fallen further and further behind in relative terms, from 30 per cent of the world economy in 1980 to 17 per cent today.
“My simple plea to you when you vote in the referendum in June is this: Help me abolish my well-remunerated and comfortable position. Please, please sack me.”