South West MEP Sir Graham Watson named one of the most influential Brits in EU policy making - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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South West MEP Sir Graham Watson named one of the most influential Brits in EU policy making

Wednesday, 14 November 2012
A survey conducted as Britain approaches 40 years of European Union membership (1973-2013) has named South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson amongst the 20 most influential Brits in European policy making.

Sir Graham, who has been an MEP for the South West for over 18 years and is currently President of the recently-renamed pan-European Liberal Democrat party, has been named at number 16 just behind former MEP and current Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. He is however ranked ahead of David Lidington, the current Government minister with responsibility for Europe.

None of the region’s other MEPs feature in the list.

The most influential – defined from a wide-ranging ‘longlist’ of more than 170 names sent in by EurActiv readers by an expert panel of 15 UK-EU affairs specialists located in London or Brussels - is Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles (South East), who is currently the Chair of the European Parliament’s influential Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and today was revealed to be on the shortlist to be the next Governor of the Bank of England.

Foreign Secretary William Hague is ranked at number eight, while Prime Minister David Cameron is at number nine and UKIP leader Nigel Farage is at number 34.

At a time when a Brit seen to be 'pro-European' and engaging ‘with Europe’ is viewed with scepticism and suspicion, I am pleased to know that at least through one of my elected representatives in the South West we have an influential voice working hard for us at the heart of the European Union.

The full list can be seen at: www.euractiv.com/uk40.

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