UPDATE: Tory spinners have been in touch to clarify: “The Votewatch listing that you cite refers to a recorded vote on Paragraph 2, part 3 of the resolution only. Therefore, the part of the resolution that Conservative MEPs voted against was this particular element”. However the Tories still abstained in the final vote — refusing to back the the measures outlined below.
While David Cameron and Nigel Farage were falling over themselves (almost literally) for a good photo op in the south west this week, perhaps they should have told the good people of the Somerset Levels that both their parties refused to back flood prevention in a European Parliament vote. Farage didn’t even bother turning up.
Tory and UKIP groups abstained on a 2012 motion on the implementation of EU water legislation designed to tackle the “rise in the frequency and intensity of floods” with “adaptation and mitigation policies”. The vote emphasised “the importance of risk prevention, mitigation and response strategies to prevent water-related extreme phenomena”.
As if the relevance to flood-hit parts of the UK wasn’t clear enough it continues:
“some countries do not suffer from shortages of water but are having difficulty in managing the excess of water resulting from regular or heavy rainfall, flooding, river erosion and pollution affecting river basins and coastal areas, as well as the effects of these phenomena on the local population”
“Calls on the Commission to conduct a relevant analysis of the ways to prevent the effects of flooding, given the noticeable increase in the flood risk in Member States in recent years”
This could be particularly awkward for their sitting south west MEPs.