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Tory and Brexit MEPs refuse to back EU resolution condemning the criminalisation of sex education in Poland

Josh Milton November 14, 2019
Members of Brexit Party, Rupert Lowe (776), Nathan Gill (777), Richard Tice (689) and Nigel Farage attend a debate on Brexit at the European Parliament. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Members of Brexit Party, Rupert Lowe (776), Nathan Gill (777), Richard Tice (689) and Nigel Farage attend a debate on Brexit at the European Parliament. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

As Polish lawmakers draft up a bill that will blanket-ban sex education across the country, British Tory and Brexit MEPs are refusing to back an EU resolution condemning it.

European Parliament members scrambled during a vote today to stonewall Poland’s anti-sex provision, the latest salvos in the EU state’s coordinated attacks against the LGBT+ community.

Coming off the back of a re-election campaign slanted by the Law and Justice party leader as an “ideological war” against LGBT+ people.

Conservative and Brexit MEPs part of 57 lawmakers who did not back pro-sex education resolution. 

If adopted, the criminalisation of sex education would harshly go against the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, diplomats warned, alongside putting young people in danger.

However, while MEPs overwhelmingly and swiftly condemned the potential policy, Conservative and Brexit Party politicians were among the 57 members who failed to condemn the law.

This standing as a stark contrast against the 417 votes in favour, voting records showed.

Around 11 Brexit Party members abstained on the resolution, according to an EU Parliament source.

The resolution rallied for all EU states to provide comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education in schools.

Teaching young people about gender equality and consent can combat harmful attitudes and anti-LGB and gender-based violence, MEPs said.

Moreover, MEPs stressed that the severe lack of information makes young people vulnerable to not only sexual exploitation, but abuse, violence and online harassment.

The British MEP Brexit Party bloc turn their backs during the European anthem. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images)
The British MEP Brexit Party bloc turn their backs during the European anthem. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

But the Brexit Party’s full delegation abstained from condemning the measure, the source said.

Conservative Daniel Hannan voted against it, while all other Tories abstained.

Despite such lawmakers dragging their heels, the resolution passed – 417 in favour and 128 against.

Caroline Voaden MEP, leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament denounced the Brexit party’s passivity on the vote.

“It is astonishing that Tory and Brexit Party MEPs today refused to support this resolution. Access to health, including sexual and reproductive health is a human right,” she said in a statement.

“The alliance of Conservative MEPs with right – wing populists from Poland’s governing PiS party is shameful and has tarnished Britain’s reputation across Europe.”

What exactly is the Polish government planning to do?

The legislation would ban sex education, according to Deutsche Welle.

Members of Poland’s Law and Justice ruling party watch their Chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski speech. (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It would see anti-abortion and anti-contraception taught in Polish schools.

Teachers who flout the law could see five years in prison.

The pitched legislation was tabled back in October, sparking widespread protests from activists up and down Poland.

More: abortion, Brexit Party, Conservative Party, Education, EU, European Parliament, Poland, sex education

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