Brexit Party and Tory MEPs have today abstained on a resolution condemning a proposed Polish law banning sex education and teaching anti-abortion principles in schools, Scram News can reveal.
According to a European Parliament source, Brexit Party and Conservative MEPs were among 57 members who failed to vote to condemn the controversial law, which could put teachers who provide sex education in prison.
The EU resolution came in reaction to legislation tabled by the right-wing Polish government in October, known as the “Stop Pedophilia” law. The legislation would ban sex education, and according to Deutsche Welle it would see anti-abortion and anti-contraception taught in Polish schools. Teachers who flout the law could see five years in prison.
The law has been harshly criticised, sparking protests in Warsaw and a change.org petition with 35,000 signatures. Anna Blus, a researcher with Amnesty International, said the law was “outrageous” and “extremely vague and broad”.
But today, 11 Brexit Party MEPs (the party’s full delegation in European Parliament today) abstained from condemning the measure. Conservative Brexiteer Daniel Hannan voted against it, while all other Tories abstained.
This is despite the fact that MEPs argued that age appropriate sex education can help students learn abut gender equality, consent, and help prevent homophobia.
Caroline Voaden MEP, leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament said: “It is astonishing that Tory and Brexit Party MEPs today refused to support this resolution. Access to health, including sexual and reproductive health is a human right.”
It is not the first time the Brexit Party’s MEPs have controversially abstained on key issues. In September, Farage’s MEPs abstained on a resolution calling for Iran to release imprisoned dual EU- Iranian nationals, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, stirring up controversy.
And when they have used their votes, they have voted against a resolution calling for action to counter election meddling and Russian disinformation.
Despite the Brexit Party dragging their heels, the motion passed with 471 votes in favour and 128 against.
Brexit Party MEPs argue that they do not want to be in the Parliament so they should not be expected to play a role in its proceedings. But they are there, and they are failing to use their powerful votes to change Europe for the better. Although I guess at least they turned up to Parliament, for once.