Sounds about right

Two thirds of Britain’s laws are either made or influenced by the European Union amid concerns that red tape is damaging businesses, it has been claimed.

An analysis by Business for Britain, a group campaigning for reform of Britain’s relationship with the EU, found that 64.7 per cent of all laws in this country are related to EU regulations and directives.

That means that twats like Sven Giegold (a particularly stupid Greem MEP from Germany) get to determine two thirds of our laws.

Haven’t we been asked, several times, whether we’d like to be ruled by Germans? First time around, under the Hanovers, we said yes, but then took most of their powers away. Second time we said no to the Kaiser and the third time around is the only bit of History anyone ever studies these days.

Shouldn’t we be asked again?

20 thoughts on “Sounds about right”

  1. We’ve had a number of discussions about this over at the Libertarian Alliance blog, and the general consensus is that it is always worth noting that while it’s wrong to have the EU making our laws, we should all be very clear that laws made in Westminster are not, and will not in a sovereign Britain be, any better than the EU’s, and are likely to be worse.

    Most people for various reasons feel more comfortable with being tyrranised by members of their own nation, ethnos, community, religion etc. But nobody should delude themselves that a Britain out of the EU will be any more free in a liberal or libertarian sense, and will probably be even less free. A vote to leave the EU is also a vote to have the price of alcoholic drinks skyrocket under Temperance Movement pandering, for instance. The destruction of liberty is very much a domestic project.

    Indeed, it seems to be often the case that localism is inversely proportional to liberty. Independence for Scotland would seem to mean Scots living under the Scottish Nazi Party, for example.

  2. bloke (not) in spain

    Ian’s right. I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with UKIP as it becomes increasingly obvious they’re in favour of much the same State interference as the other parties.
    Whatever happened to the libertarian stuff?

  3. Ian B, You may well be right, but for this : At least wwe can vote for or against British governments, or deselect them, once every five years. Thus we have hope (a tiny one admittedly) of improvement. Keeps us going.

  4. Ian B


    The fundamental difference is that although they are still cunts, they are our cunts, and our political culture such as it is is still less cuntish than the french, the Austrian the Belgian and all the other tinpot dictators that get to influence these matters at present.

    However, the return of power to westminster is only the first part of a wider and more fundamental struggle as you rightly point out.

  5. It’s an interesting one. Does one trust the EU electorate / politicians to be more enlightened than our own UK equivalent, and on a whole range of different issues.

    And which could easily change over time.

    Doesn’t this, at a quite basic level come, back to demos. And notions such as “our” idiots, rather than “any old”…

  6. What fraction of those EU laws are the result of international agreements? For these the entire EU will have a seat at the table, just as say Canada or Norway has. So our say in those laws in even more diluted than our say on EU originated legislation.

  7. I agree with Ian B here. The EU legislation is a monster pain in the arse, but if you have spent the time and effort to get your ducks in a row, the “valid across the whole EU” thing does work. Being a Brit living in France, being part of the EU has helped a lot in terms of documentation and rights being recognised. If it was a choice between living free of regulations and the EU system, then probably I’d go for the former. But in reality, we’d end up having to comply with mountains of bullshit which – unlike the current EU system – wouldn’t come with the advantage of being recognised across the whole continent.

  8. “[WW2] is the only bit of History anyone ever studies these days.”

    No Timmy, that would be the US Civil Rights movement. At least if you’re talking about schools in the UK.

  9. I’m looking forward to the reaction to the forthcoming Labour/SNP coalition government.

  10. Indeed. Devo Max combined with Scots MPs as cabinet ministers at Westminster is going to be interesting indeed.

  11. As Richard North is wont to argue, a lot of the EU law is actually caused by trans-national agreements above the EU. eg. Aviation rules. It unlikely that a UK out of the EU would avoid those rules.

    The objection to the EU is not that it makes laws that we have to follow – it’s a fundamental feature of democracy that you accept the majority decision whether the tosspot is a German Green or a Liberal from the home counties. In fact pointing out the nationality of the tosspot actually makes the case harder because there is nothing unique about Germans that makes them more likely to vote for stupid parties than us voting for any of our three major parties. The problem is that we have accepted that the answer to any issue is more government.

    I vote to leave the EU on one basis alone: the political class is dominated by people who think like this, think that they should have a career deciding matters and arrange things such that the ballot box does not end their career. If we can stop the procession of rejected UK politicians gaining promotion via the EU then that’s a win enough.

  12. An example of what Ian B is talking about would be the Climate Change Act, a piece of suicidally hubristic legislation which even the EU in all its tyrannical lunacy has not yet attempted to impose on the rest of europe.

    Of course, the only party which promises to repeal the CCA, (as well as abolish DECC), is UKIP, so there is that.

    BTW, Nigel, renege on that promise and I will cast my vote for the Monster Raving Loonies and urge everyone I know to do the same.

  13. I’m dubious about measurement here. If “Two thirds of Britain’s laws are either made or influenced by the European Union “, then someone must be able to say (a) how much law we have, and (b) how much is “made or influenced by the European Union.”

    Starting with (a), can anyone tell me how much law we have? What units of measurement are you using? Are you weighing law? Counting laws? How do you count case law? How do you count statute law? Does the Law of Property Act 1925 get the same weighting as some EU directive on bananas?

    And the single most restrictive legislation affecting the UK (for good or ill) is the Town and Country Planning Act 1947. Nowt to do with the EU.

  14. @ Luke
    They mean *new* laws.
    And you arew very right to point oiut the difference between total laws and newc laws.
    But the difference is shrinking – Brown more than doubled tax legislation: the growth in worthless new laws is so great that the number of useful ancient laws is already less than 1% of the totaL.

  15. “the number of useful ancient laws”

    And what is that number?

    I’m not arguing about whether or not the EU sticks its oar in. Just the daft measurement of “2/3 of our law” or whatever.

    Criminal law, property law, planning law, tort law, trust law, contract law, company law, probate law, partnership law, insurance law, for example, remain (largely, though not wholly) unaffected by EU law or directives. The Human Rights Act was a UK idea, as was devolution, so even constitutional law has been more changed by UK govts than the EU in recent years.

    I have no position on whether the EU is sticking its nose where it’s not needed (well, probably) – just annoyed about people making up meaningless and untestable statistics, and ignoring that we are a common law country.

  16. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “we should all be very clear that laws made in Westminster are not, and will not in a sovereign Britain be, any better than the EU’s, and are likely to be worse.”

    Actually I don’t think that is true. Britain used to be a high trust society. We were one community. Things like One Nation Tories made sense – even though they were stupid – because we were one nation or close to it. When our laws are made by people who have no reason to like us, indeed often have long standing historic grudges against us, we can reasonably expect those laws to be worse. As you can see with immigration. Most of Europe has a simple policy to deal with illegals – they point them in the direction of London. Why not? Not their problem.

    Not that our own politicians are not scum. They are. George Galloway is apparently threatening to sue anyone who calls him an anti-Semite and build a monument to Saddam with the proceeds. George, if you’re reading, you are scum. But then George long since decided he wished he belonged to another community anyway.

  17. As Richard North is wont to argue, a lot of the EU law is actually caused by trans-national agreements above the EU. eg. Aviation rules. It unlikely that a UK out of the EU would avoid those rules.

    The UK is behind a lot of such rules in the first place! It’s called ‘policy laundering’ – when a national gov uses international entities such as the ICAO, G8, EU etc to circumvent the national legislature. For example, the UK Home Office behind a lot of the mass surveillance stuff that’s imposed downward from these international entities.

  18. @Luke,


    All measurements have their problems and it is possible to justify any measure between 15% and 55% or thereabouts, depending on what is included in or excluded from the calculation. To exclude EU regulations from the calculation is likely to give an underestimate (see table on page 20 of research paper), while to include all EU regulations will probably give an overestimate (see table above).

    The answer in numerical terms lies somewhere in between the two approaches, but the limitations of data make it impossible to achieve an accurate measure. We do not know, for example, how many regulations have direct application in the UK – olive and tobacco growing regulations are unlikely to have much impact here, but the UK implements such regulations along with olive and tobacco-growing Member States. The possibility of this happening increases as the EU expands to include more, and more diverse, Member States.

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