Tuesday 20 August 2019

Pay for 'cold-storage' MEPs won't be discussed until July

General view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Photo: REUTERS
General view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Photo: REUTERS
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Ireland's two 'cold-storage' MEPs won't learn whether they will get salaries, staff or offices until July at the earliest.

They will have to wait for a debate in the European Parliament that month, which is set to consider arrangements for the MEPs who can't take their seats until after Brexit happens.

Ireland had 11 MEPs in the last European Parliament, but is to get two more after the UK leaves the EU.

The extra seats have been assigned to Dublin and Ireland South. The candidate that wins the battle for the last seats in both constituencies will find themselves in so-called 'cold storage'.

The UK's failure to depart the EU meant European elections have been held there so the allocation of the additional seats to Ireland and other member states has been delayed.

Irish MEPs get a salary of around €100,000, as well as expenses and a monthly allowance to pay staff.

However, the European Parliament could not say if the two MEPs who end up on ice will get salaries, expenses or staff and office facilities while they wait to take their seats.

The MEPs won't have "official status" until Brexit happens, and a spokesperson said: "Unfortunately they are questions we will not yet be able to answer."

A statement said there was "no precedent" for the situation and that the issue of 'cold-storage' MEPs and their status won't be discussed until the plenary meeting of the parliament in July.

Irish Independent

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