Britain to chip in for European Parliament 'private army' despite voting for Brexit
Britain will help foot the bill for military protection of MEPs and a publicity campaign for the 2019 European elections despite having voted to quit the EU, it has been revealed.
The planned budget for the European Parliament is set to rise to almost €2bn next year - an increase of 3.3% - with Britain due to contribute €268m, according to The Times.
Some €4.5m of the bill for Britain will go towards a €33.3m pro-EU publicity campaign for the 2019 elections which the UK is not expected to take part in since it is scheduled to have left the bloc by then.
The campaign will include “strong citizen-centric messages”, including “more emotional and fundamental elements” such as “EU values and identity”, according to an internal document seen by the paper.
The €1,971,883,373 budget, which will be voted on by MEPs next month, will also cover a private armed response team, including a 12-strong unit to protect the parliament’s president, Antonio Tajani.
Ukip MEP Jonathan Arnott, who sits on the parliament’s budget committee, said: “The European parliament’s costs continue to spiral out of control, now including a private army.”
He added: “Under Theresa May’s Brexit timetable, we’re likely to still be in the EU in 2018.
“So the British taxpayer will be footing the bill despite the referendum result. Easy ways to cut costs have been ignored year in, year out.”