Well, it's been an interesting inaugural day for the new EU parliament in Strasbourg, hasn't it?

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I'm not sure that the events of today are exactly what the Eurocrats wanted in their showcase undemocratic parliamentary chamber.

Firstly, MEPs from The Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage copied the 2014 UKIP trick of turning they backs on the EU flag whilst the EU anthem, Ode to Joy, was being played.

Secondly, in a show of sartorial inelegance, the Lib Dem MEPs turned up wearing bright yellow anti-Brexit T-shirts, some with rather rude slogans on them.

Now, had The Brexit Party MEPs turned up similarly attired with rude pro-Brexit slogans on them, then I'm sure our usual suspect pro-EU luvvies would have gone into a serious apoplectic melt-down.

But the EU parliament pantomime doesn't stop there, as three of the Spanish MEPs are barred from taking up their seats.

The three concerned are those that headed up the Catalonia independence referendum that the Spanish authorities deemed as unlawful while using some rather muscular tactics to shut the poll down.

One of the three is now incarcerated in a Spanish Jail and two are holed up in Belgium having fled to Brussels to evade capture by the Spanish authorities.

All three of these men, the former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, former minister Antoni Comin and the now jailed former vice president Oriol Junqueras have been denied entry into the EU parliament, except as guests, by the President of the EU parliament Antonio Tajani.

And the reason is that the Spanish are claiming that, because none of the three has completed the inauguration procedure in Spain, they cannot sit as MEPs.

In fact, the Spanish authorities have declared their seats vacant and not put those elected three men on the official Spanish list of MEPs.

There is also the matter of immunity offered to MEPs. According to Madrid, Spanish MEPs can only enjoy that immunity, if they have completed the proper procedures for becoming MEPs.

And as the jailed Junqueras was not allowed to complete the procedure and neither Puigdemont nor Comin could come back to Spain to complete the procedure without being arrested, then the Spanish authorities are saying that, as Spanish law trumps EU law here because of the national security angle and as they are not MEPs, they therefore have no immunity.

All sounds a bit of a soap opera doesn't it?

And in the background the EU leaders are still trying to carve up the top jobs of Presidents of the Commission to take over from Jean Claude Juncker, the Parliament to take over from Antonio Tajani and the Council to take over from Donald Tusk, as well as the head of the European Central Bank to replace Mario Draghi.

Some of the names of the suggested replacements will be completely unknown to all but the most EU-geeky. Except possibly the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, who some are pushing to take over as president of the ECB.

This process has so far taken three days, while the horse trading goes on and there are worries that the whole charade undermines the image of the EU.

And with all those new presidents, it also gives plenty of scope, one assumes, for an update of the famous Nigel Farage 'who are you' speech.

I wonder how many low-grade bank clerk types are in there?

Sources:

https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-party-meps-turn-their-backs-on-eus-ode-to-joy-anthem-in-european-parliament-11754995

https://www.euronews.com/2019/06/07/elected-spanish-meps-denied-full-access-to-eu-parliament

https://www.euronews.com/2019/06/07/elected-spanish-meps-denied-full-access-to-eu-parliament

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-summit/eu-leaders-enter-third-day-of-summit-to-carve-up-top-posts-idUKKCN1TW3XK

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