The Brexit Party have voted against a new European Parliament resolution, which calls for stronger EU action to counter election meddling and Russian disinformation.
The resolution, put to the European Parliament earlier today, expressed “deep concern” about foreign election meddling and Russian interference in particular – calling on EU bodies to put in place a detailed plan to counter disinformation in future elections.
The resolution also noted that, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the EU had called for Facebook to implement measures to make it harder for the platform to be used for election meddling, most of which Facebook have ignored.
However, the Brexit Party clearly doesn’t approve of EU efforts to stop Russian fake news farms from swinging elections, as it voted overwhelmingly against the resolution. The European Parliament record shows that every Brexit Party MEP in attendance voted against the policy, including party leader Nigel Farage.
The issue of election interference is a bit of a sticky issue for the Brexit Party, given that one of its MEPs used to work for disgraced data firm Cambridge Analytica, while one of its MP candidates worked for the company as a lawyer.
What’s more, there have been suggestions (not least from Parliament’s DCMS committee) that Russian interference helped to swing a number of big elections in recent years, not least the EU referendum, and the election of Nigel Farage’s best pal, Donald Trump.
Needless to say, Farage has repeatedly downplayed any suggestion that legions of Russian bots influenced either result.
Fortunately, while Brexit Party MEPs like to shout a lot, their influence in European Parliament is limited, and the EU resolution passed by a comfortable margin.
This is of course the second time in recent weeks that the Brexit Party has caused a stir after voting against a patently sensible EU policy, following the party’s decision to abstain on a motion about jailed Brit Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
And so, if (like us) you think Brexit Party MEPs are a national embarrassment, call on them to give up their salaries to people who will suffer because of Brexit.