Brexit sees surge in eurosceptic MEPs as Salvini and Le Pen benefit from UK's EU exit
Identity and Democracy, the eurosceptic coalition formed by Itay’s Matteo Salvini and France’s Marine Le Pen, will become the institution’s fourth largest after January 31. They will overtake the pro-European Greens as new parliamentary seats are allocated to replace the outgoing Britons. I&D benefit from three new members as part of the redistribution of the 73 seats formerly occupied by British MEPs.
Whereas the Greens are losing their 10-strong UK contingent and only receiving three in return from the new intake.
The European Parliament will be cut from 751 seats to 705 after Brexit, with 14 member states set to pick up 27 seats out of the new allocation.
Only the eurosceptics and the centre-right European People’s Party groups are set to profit as a result of the changes.
The Socialists and Democrats, Renew Europe, European Conservative and Reformists, European United Left are all losing members as Britons leave.
Britain’s 73 MEPs say their goodbye to Strasbourg, the Parliament’s seat in France, today after the institution’s monthly meeting comes to a close.
Parliamentarians are departing with mixed emotions – from celebrations from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party while Labour Party Remainers have conveyed their disappointment in losing their jobs.
David Bull, a member of the Brexit Party, said: “Today I leave Strasbourg for the last time as an MEP.
“I have such mixed emotions about it. I’m very proud we have achieved what we set out to do but I leave with a heavy heart.
“I will miss my European friends & know they have hard battles ahead. Thank you for your warmth and support.”
Whereas Labour MEP Set Dance bid farewell to Strasbourg with a more sombre message.
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He said: “Taking my seat in Strasbourg for the last time after five and a half wonderful years.
“One day British MEPS will get to sit here again and represent our interests and work with our neighbours to solve common problems.
“Britain is taking a sabbatical.”
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Liberal Democrat Caroline Voaden said: "I feel sad because I know that when I get to the exit door, the U.K. won't have any representation here.
“We now have to face the reality that we have to go home, even if we don't want to."
UK Politics News International
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