Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, has expressed his objections to a European Commission proposal to make certain Government departments display the European Union flag all year round.
The proposal relates to EU funding programmes for regional and social development. In England, these programmes are managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions. EU law currently requires these departments to fly the EU flag for one week each year starting on 9th May – which the EU designates ‘Europe Day’.
However, in new proposals for the years 2014 to 2020, the European Commission has said public bodies managing these spending programmes must display the EU flag all year round.
“This is just another example of how petty and interfering the EU’s bureaucrats can be. It is absolutely ridiculous that British government departments should be forced to display EU flags all year round.
“This issue is included within the EU’s “Structural Funds” proposals and helps to highlight a much bigger issue with these policies. Estimates show that, between 2007 and 2013, the British people will be contributing about £21 billion more to this part of the EU budget than they are getting back. At a time when as a nation we are having to dig deep and make necessary spending cuts, this amount of expenditure with no benefit to our country is simply unacceptable.
“I will be calling on the Government to fight these new proposals, as well as backing Ministers’ efforts to get better value for money for British taxpayers.”