British MEPs say goodbye to the European Parliament

The British flag stands on a table at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER

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With the U.K. all but certain to leave the European Union on January 31, this week was the last plenary session in Strasbourg for the 72 British MEPs.

They spent it clearing out their offices, being briefed on what happens when you stop being a MEP, and voting on legislation that will likely not affect them (including on setting up a Conference on the Future of Europe).

The hardest hit by the British departure will be the Renew Europe as 17 of its 108 MEPs are British.

On Monday, Parliament officials gave all British MEPs a PowerPoint presentation laying out their rights as former members of the assembly, including on pension schemes, transitional allowances, the end of contracts for assistants, as well as the number of boxes they are allowed to ship back to the U.K. at the EU’s expense. They have until Thursday to clear out their stuff from Strasbourg.

The Parliament plans to bid farewell to British MEPs on January 29 in Brussels, a spokesperson said, adding that the format of the gathering would be decided by senior MEPs on Thursday.

A Greens group official said they would host a “reception” on January 29, while the Socialists and Democrats said they would host a “farewell event” on the same day.

Read more via Politico

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