Your weekly profile on an influential EU Parliamentarian
Elected in 2014, MEP Dance is one of eight elected representatives for London at the EU Parliament, who, despite his is relatively short tenure so far, has already made quite a media splash. Perhaps what Dance is most famous for was his “HE’S LYING TO YOU” makeshift sign held up during session in direct response to Europhobe British MEP Nigel Farage’s praise of recently-elected President Donald Trump. (You can gleefully watch that clip here) However, there is much more to Seb Dance than a witty sign – from uncovering truths during the Volkswagen scandal to defending British continued membership in the EU.
Dance sits on 2 important committees: the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI), and the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE). His role in ENVI allows Dance to advocate for an increased awareness and European response to climate change and well as for clean air and water, an important issue for constituencies that include large cities, like London. On the EMIS committee, dedicated to the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” scandal, Dance was the head S&D spokesperson, arguing for higher levels of transparency and the quest for the facts on what was truly going on. (Watch a clip of one of his mid-committee statements here)
To address “the sign:” as Farage was defending the immigrant bans put in place with Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric, Dance, as he later explained, felt compelled to scribble down the phrase and not let another defense of Trump and xenophobia go unchallenged. Dance was reprimanded for his behavior later on but remains in the eyes of many as a “social justice warrior,” looking out for those unable to protest MEP Farage themselves.
Personally, Dance represents both the LGBTQ+ and youth populations of his constituency in Brussels. Born in 1981, he is technically a millennial, and having been with to his husband/partner for over a decade, lends an important voice to the gay communities all across Europe.
As was touched on in the campaign trail update from yesterday, Dance has affirmed his position that the British people need another referendum as a “Final Say,” just not with the same disjuncture and problematic methods as the Brexit vote was carried out with. Dance sees that the only way to a sustainable future of coexistence between the UK and EU is through another public vote on the matter, with (1) a more solidified set of policy proposals on both sides of the debate, and (2) an end result that, whichever way the vote goes, receives some form of cross-party support in the UK Parliament.