STRASBOURG (Reuters) – Britain’s 73 EU lawmakers packed up their offices in Strasbourg on Thursday: for some a moment of triumph, for others, disaster.
FILE PHOTO: A British Union Jack flag is seen on the desk of Nigel Farage (not pictured), leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and Member of the European Parliament, ahead of a debate on the outcome of last EU-Turkey summit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
This week marked the last sitting of the European Parliament in the eastern French town before Brexit Britain leaves the bloc on Jan. 31 and all those lawmakers lose their jobs.
There is one more session to go in the assembly’s main base in Brussels. But for the British MEPs, from Thursday, there will be no more first-class train journeys trips across the Ardennes to their regular sessions in Strasbourg, and no more dining out on its Alsatian wine, choucroute and tarte flambee.
The Brexit Party’s Ann Widdecombe, for one, said she was “delighted” to be winding up her near eight-month career as a Member of the European Parliament.
“I came here to get Brexit done, she told Reuters. “That’s why I came and we’ve been pretty successful.”
Her possessions in Strasbourg, she said, fitted into one cardboard box. She was looking forward to returning to her home in southwest England, to writing, to giving speeches on cruise ships and to getting involved in pantomimes.
The 751 members of parliament (MEPs) convene in Strasbourg four days a month and in Brussels for the remainder, an upheaval that costs millions of euros a year – something that Brex