Tim Congdon has written a very interesting piece over at Standpoint, concluding with the following paragraph:
"Second, the civil servants invent structures that encourage politicians to approve further integration. For example, the European Parliament now offers subsidies (ostensibly to pay for "research" and such like) to MEPs who form "pan-European groupings" and "pan-European parties". So subsidies to promote European integration are now being offered to MEPs of separatist parties — including Ukip — that are supposed to oppose it. If the Virginia School is right, these MEPs might even accept the money that is being dangled in front of them."
The issue of pan-European parties is a very interesting one. Yes, the EU wants pan-European parties. But it also wants MEPs and a European Parliament and UKIP taking seats here (and the EU's cash) has led to the Party steadily increasing its vote share where it counts, gaining local Councillors and votes at the General Election.
The EU is offering a set pot of money to British political parties that form pan-European parties. If UKIP does not become part of a pan-European Party, more money will go to fund the pro-EU agendas of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. If UKIP joins a pan-European Party, it will have money to invest in making the anti-EU argument and will deprive the pro-EU parties of money to make their case. Does exploiting the EU's own system really constitute legitimising it, or is it merely a means to an end?
This is all about playing the EU at its own game, and using the money it has sucked away from British taxpayer's against it. If you don't believe UKIP should form a pan-European Party because it will legitimatise the process and help integration, then why would you believe UKIP should have MEPs standing up in the European Parliament and giving speeches?