Oh look, the front page of the Express has a ludicrous EU scare story! What are the odds?
BRUSSELS will attempt to “rig” any referendum asking the British people if they want to quit the EU, it emerged last night.
It would unleash a multi-million pound pro-Europe propaganda campaign – and get UK taxpayers to pick up the bill.
Except it’s not actually Brussels “rigging” anything, as the article explains later:
Up to now, MEPs have been allowed to use the funds only to campaign in elections for the European Parliament.
But in future they will be able to spend the cash campaigning where a referendum has a “direct link” to an EU issue – such as on UK membership.
So in other words, while pro-EU parties will be allowed to use EU support to campaign on the issue, anti-EU parties – EUDemocrats, for instance, who campaigned in Ireland against the Lisbon Treaty – would likewise be able to use the same funds to campaign as well. It’s not Brussels co-ordinating these campaigns either – it’s a matter for the individual European political parties representatives in each country.
(Edit: Zelo Street points out that this just a proposal taken from a draft report – there have been no changes to party funding, so this story is doubly ludicrous.)
Still, it’s funny that the Express considers running “propaganda” about Europe to be “vote rigging”.
Is this an example of vote rigging, Daily Express?
I could go on… so I will.
Since the Daily Express clearly feels so strongly about any attempt to rig a referendum using biased or blatantly untrue propaganda, I wonder how long it will be before they furiously denounce the articles linked above.
Any second now…
Edit: This post originally claimed that UKIP would be eligible for funding, but although they are members of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, they are not members of a pan-European party at present, which would be required before they could be funded.