The European Union is in “violation of international law” as it has failed to take steps to tackle corruption under the UN convention, Dominic Raab, a UK junior justice minister, said.
Raab, who is a prominent pro-Brexit campaigner, cited a Transparency International report, which indicates that the European Union has failed to start implementing the UN convention against corruption eight years after approving it, which constitutes a “baffling delay.”
“We are pouring huge amounts of money into the EU, huge sums that could be spent on schools and hospitals and whatever else British elected lawmakers decide. People ask, understandably, why are you pouring it into the EU, which has got these rising reports of fraud?” the minister said, as quoted by The Guardian newspaper.
According to Raab, in 2015, there have been record 1,417 fraud allegations across the European Union, amid “systemic fraud” in the bloc.
A spokesperson for the Transparency International later reportedly said the fact that the European Union had failed to implement the first step stipulated in the UN convention – an assessment of its own anti-corruption rules and capacities – was an “embarrassment rather than an issue of overwhelming significance.”
UK citizens are set to vote on June 23 in a referendum on the country’s EU membership, after Prime Minister David Cameron and the leaders of the 27 other EU member states reached a deal in February to grant the United Kingdom a special status within the bloc.