I WOULD like to take this
opportunity to thank those
who voted to re-elect me to
the European Parliament. I
am delighted and you have
my word I will continue to
work tirelessly to represent
your views and interests.

Of course the results overall
were disappointing for
my party but I am immensely
proud of the campaign the
Liberal Democrats fought.
We stood up for what we
truly believe in and made
our argument unashamedly
pro-European where others
faltered and floundered.

However, the real losers of
these elections are the
British public because
Britain’s voice is now weakened
in the EU.

If the 24 Ukip MEPs do
decide to turn up, which
they do not have a trackrecord
of doing so, and if, as
they say they will, they only
vote ‘no’ on legislation,
regardless of whether it’s in
Britain’s interests or not,
will be unspoken.

Those seats should have
gone to hard-working MEPs
who would have put forward
the British argument. Now
many important decisions
will be being taken by other
countries’ MEPs in the
interests of those countries.

The UK has the third
largest number of MEPs and
before we have had huge
sway in EU policy. Our new
weakened status saddens me
as it will the businesses,
trades, charities and those
that recognise the benefits
our EU membership brings.

Thankfully the south east
has six other hard-working
MEPs who will do the work
they have been elected to do
and I look forward to getting
stuck in with them in our
next term.

I wanted to say once again
how grateful I am to all
those who helped get me reelected
and all those who
voted for me. I will not let
you down.

Catherine Bearder MEP