This might be the only serious plea for a government job I might ever make

There is a unit, somewhere in that Whitehall jungle, which is supposed to comb the law books for laws that are just no longer relevant. Things we can strike off the books. Things like being allowed to kill a Welshman in Chester after dark if he’s carrying a bow, that sort of thing (although to be honest that might be one we should keep).

I want to be in charge of that post-Brexit.

And I’d do the job seriously. All 70,000 of those EU regulations. Which can be simply and easily replaced with the basic Common Law rules? Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t harm people. Rather than, you know, 6 months in pokey for selling a banana of excessive curvature? Or for making tomato marmalade, selling an incandescent light bulb for domestic use (or is it advertising?), a kettle that uses “too much” electricity per second.

Yes, I would, I’d take a pay cut to go and do that.

Any offers?

43 thoughts on “This might be the only serious plea for a government job I might ever make”

  1. Assemble a team and write a proposal, Tim. Then send it to Oliver Letwin and many others. It could be very interesting.

  2. You need more than that. The right PM right now will realise that this is the once-in-a-generation opportunity, like 1945 and 1979, for a structural revolution.

    The progressive structure is what needs a scythe taking to it, that which was already well in development but was made into a coherent bloc by Tony Blair, of quangos, agencies, contractors, etc. It was designed to harmonise with the EU and become a persistent government outside government, which continues regardless of which party is in power.

    Now is the time to smash it. Never has there been such a ripe moment. If there is a weird love of the BBC in the general population that makes it hard to abolish, there is no such affection for OFCOM, the Food Standards Agency or Public Health England and NICE.

    Do that, and you’ve destroyed the structure that generates the regulations and demands for laws, and the power base of thousands of Progressives. It’s all about structure; they understand it, our side never seems to get that that’s what matters. Even Maggie never understood it, hence being led into creating the regulators and the National Curriculum and so on.

    Boris and the risible Theresa May are clearly not fit for this task. We need someone who is.

  3. Sod off. Welsh bowman were very handy when the English needed them especially at the battle of Agincourt,

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    We need to abolish the Supreme Court and send them back to the House of Lords too.

  5. We need to abolish the Supreme Court and send them back to the House of Lords too.

    Yes, that is another structural example.

  6. The Meissen Bison

    Boris and the risible Theresa May are clearly not fit for this task. We need someone who is.

    Michael Gove now on the menu.

  7. No fine-toothcombing needed. The doctrine of implied repeal means you need a single statute, with a section, stating that any law which came into force after our accession and consequent on the acquis communitaire no longer applies. In fact, it’s perhaps not even implied repeal, just a reassertion of parliamentary sovereignty.

  8. Time for the purge to begin.

    But that is not enough.

    Look at these morons:

    The harsh blows of life will knock some of the shit out of them. But imagine the disaster if large numbers of these evil little scrotes infest UK political and bureaucratic structures like woodworm.

    The purge will prevent the youth of tomorrow being poisoned with CM evil.

    But we already have a generation trained to be both deeply stupid and as arrogant as a soviet commissar.

    They must be neutralised. QuarenTEENed so to speak. Prevented from getting into media/law/politics local or national.

    If the structures that they might infest have also been destroyed then so much the better.

    The left will have been effectively smashed for good.

    New evil will eventually arise from a future source as yet unknown because that seems to be the human condition.

    But–as some bloke said–“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”.

  9. Mildly O/T: Remain family member just sent me this:

    Good points in there. Also makes me wonder whether another Leave/Remain difference is people’s perception of UK/EU relative punching power. Remainers seem to be convinced that we will have to go to EU cap in hand and beg for favours, because we’re an ex-empire and too big for our boots. Leavers more likely to believe we’ve got more weight than the EU would like to admit, and that we’ve got plenty of cards to play (though possibly not any decent players – which is a worry!).

    I guess we’re going to find out who’s right in the coming months and years… I just wish the media and panickers would stop talking us down before the negotiations have even started!

    I must admit that the Tory mayhem is a bit disconcerting and makes it look like that they didn’t have any plan in case they won. Really feels a bit like squabbling while Rome burns…

  10. Ian B,

    “Now is the time to smash it. Never has there been such a ripe moment. If there is a weird love of the BBC in the general population that makes it hard to abolish, there is no such affection for OFCOM, the Food Standards Agency or Public Health England and NICE.”

    Actually, there’s plenty of polling that shows the public would rather the BBC went subscription.

    I’ve said for years that the BBC is the first thing you have to knock out. It’s Fortress Proggy. You just have to look at their opinions when they’re expressed privately on Twitter, or when they leave the organisation. You want to tell me that the sort of hard-left bias doesn’t in any way bleed over into their work? That even if it doesn’t change the bias of reports, that it doesn’t maybe change what gets reported?

  11. Ben

    Came to the conclusion in the few remaining days before last Thursday that almost any result would result in party political infighting, with Labour having the most to lose, because, Corbyn.

    Which leads to the thought that the Coward Cameron, basically a bottom feeding, mouth breathing, window licker, held the vote for at least that precise reason, on the peculiar assumption that the result would be a Remain win, and he could finesse the Conservatives.

  12. I agree about the BBC. I just don’t know if it’s do-able in the first tranche of structure smashing. The Quangocracy is a softer target.

  13. If this happens by some miracle, you can jsut imagine the sound of indignant smashing of keyboards/ipads that will erupt from a certain residence in Ely…

  14. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Not only that reason, SE

    I’ve been trying to compile a list of myths for some Austrian friends about Brexit and how it’s portaryed in the media. Funnily enough the Irish border was top of the list, because as any fule kno, it is regulated by the Anglo Irish treaty of 1922. British and Irish do not and will never need passports to travel between the two countries.

    The other big lie of course is Jockshire. I assume that the BBC etc are just following their agenda and ignoring the elephants in the room.
    If the Jocks stay in the UK, they will leave the EU, because Brexit is an UK event and all decisions reside with Westminster.
    If the Jocks leave the UK, then they will automatically be err… expelled from the EU and will have to apply for membership alongside Albania and Bosnia. With oil still at 50USD, the likelihood of fulfilling any economic criteria are a bit slim.
    The JockNats live in a fantasy world where legal and economic realities never seem to intrude.

    OK, I have a queation. This was seriously being touted a few years ago. Should Britain join NAFTA ? Are there any advantages ?

  15. Simple answer, dump all of it apart from the core constitutional bills (Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, etc.) and start again from scratch.

    We talked about this over at Samizdata and came to the conclusion that you’d need about 7 parliamentary acts and that was it (that probably included the European bullshit which we can also dump now).

    Reinforce the common law stuff, dump all victimless crimes and the job is done.

    You might want an additional constitutional bill to prevent a new parliament recreating the victimless crime stuff, but it would be worthwhile setting down a constitutional scope on government anyway.

  16. I can’t say I really care about people who “genuinely consider themselves Europeans and are upset”. Why on earth should they be allowed to reduce Westminster to a provincial council chamber because it makes them feel more progressive and happy-clappy?

    The financial impact of Brexit is significant though. While my opinions make those of the editor of the Skibbereen Eagle look significant, I think a lot of people on this blog are being wildly optimistic about how strong our position is.

  17. BnLiA,

    EFTA and NAFTA. That will do us for a while.


    Sod off. Welsh bowman were very handy when the English needed them especially at the battle of Agincourt

    Which is why we _want_ to repeal the law allowing you to shoot them.

  18. “Boris and the risible Theresa May are clearly not fit for this task. We need someone who is.”

    You could tell by the hypersonic whining of the teaching establishment that he was actually effective…

  19. Simple answer, dump all of it apart from the core constitutional bills (Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, etc.) and start again from scratch.

    Just which clauses of Magna Carta do you think are still in force?

  20. The financial impact of Brexit is significant though. While my opinions make those of the editor of the Skibbereen Eagle look significant, I think a lot of people on this blog are being wildly optimistic about how strong our position is.

    …and quite a few people seem keen to undermine our strong position for the sake of it.


  21. Apropos the BBC, just spread the word about how easy it is to cancel your annual licence payment. Search for ‘withhold right of implied access’ and lots of useful how-to comes up.

    I cancelled in 2005 and am actually the fellow who first posted about that common law right on the (now defunct) BBC Resistance forum. That was in 2006; since then the knowledge has become mainstream and many, many thousands must have stopped paying as a result. I understand the BBC has even set up a special unit at Wood Green to deal with the avalanche of instructions! This is part of the reason for the BBC’s pressure on the government to make viewers pay for access to iPlayer – even though this is a fatal step onto the slippery slope of the subscription model. The BBC knows very well how poorly regarded it is by the majority, and if it goes full-subscription it will probably collapse or be reduced to an ineffectual rump (rather like our new, improved Labour Party).

    In passing, I wonder if the BBC will continue to receive an annual bung from the EU to push its filthy NWO agenda.

  22. The JockNats live in a fantasy world where legal and economic realities never seem to intrude.

    Like the one where their joining the EU won’t require us to convert to the bloody Euro.

  23. Well to go back to the blog topic, the record of the Office of Tax Simplification indicates that such a laudable aim may not so simple in terms of practical effects.

  24. Ben S–Good points?

    It is a pile of evil shite.

    “You argue that we all have to ‘get real’ and imply that much of the reaction among the 48% who voted remain has been hysterical and smacks of being sore losers:”

    Damn right it was.

    “I have had scores of conversations with Remain voters in the last four days in three very different locations – West Dorset, Oxford and the LSE and City of London – and several features are striking:

    (a) Large numbers of normally balanced, sensible and professional people from a great variety of walks of life tell me that they have indeed been in tears, felt sick or have hardly slept for days and are deeply afraid.”

    What cowardly shite this country now produces.

    ” This should not be put down glibly to their being on the losing side in a battle of interests.”

    Definitely not–I would put it down to them being cowardly shite.

    ” The genuine fear and anguish comes from four concerns:

    •First, a loss of identity: many Remain voters in our great cities, universities and beyond genuinely identified with being European, with being outward looking and tolerant. They deeply value two-way migration for cultural as well as economic reasons. And many of them – me included – are in profound shock at waking up to find it is suddenly acceptable in broad swathes of the country (and among leading Leave campaigners) to blame the other, the foreigner, those of other religions for social ills that are almost entirely home grown.”

    So basically you are a bunch of fucking traitors–snob pricks who regard the UK as something that no longer exists. If they were saying this as individualists–that the idea of ALL nations had had its day it might have some merit. But these lads aren’t against all nations and for personal freedom. They are quite happy to kiss the arse of uncontrollable and unaccountable tyranny if it is run by the same clever, clever “we know best” CM pricks to which class the writer and his buddies belong.

    “•Secondly, a feeling of bewilderment since the whole tenor of their professional and social lives involves integration with the continent, and this is now under threat. Of the four families I know well in West Dorset with children in their early twenties, every one of them have sons or daughters who either work in other EU countries or live here with Continental partners. At the same time, university departments frequently have up to a third of their staff and many of their brightest PhD students from the continent, and they know that, without EU framework funding and EU students being able to work here while studying, all these links are under threat. Our great universities are European centres of excellence, rather than narrowly British.”

    Oh no –my fucking wallet–not to mention the prestige of being a big cheese uni hack respected by other Uni big cheesii on the Continent.

    The money will have no long term effects that are not countered by massively increased prosperity from increased freedom.

    As for your status-seeking–go fuck yourself. What do I care?

    “•Third, there is a genuine fear about the social fabric and upsurge of naked racism. It is not just well reported cases of Polish centres daubed with graffiti or the terrible murder of Jo Cox. It is much more widespread. For example, my son campaigning in Central London was told ‘I am voting leave so that we can get these immigrant c**** out’; my wife campaigning in Lyme Regis was accused of ‘wanting a bloody mosque in Lyme Regis’; and a London cabbie told me he had voted out because he wanted to hear his own language spoken in his East End street.”

    So do I mate –do you get many rapey imported yobbos in the halls of Academia? or in the nice middle-class, predominantly white area you most likely live within?

    ” A Jewish friend with a parent who survived the holocaust says it all reminds her of Germany in the early 1930s.”

    Which shows how fucking stupid your chum is. Voting to tell a dictatorial, unaccountable superstate run by Germans to fuck off (again) makes us Nazis?

    You are a Quisling pal. You and you fancy well-off friends.

    “Do you remember the collective determination of all parties and institutions to stamp out Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood narrative?”

    I use the word “narrative” because it has been spotted as part of CM jargon. This cunt uses it because he IS a cultural Marxist.

    As for “suppressing the Enoch Powell narrative” the arrogant
    bastard means denying a voice to millions of Britons who don’t like his multi-culti paradise because they have to live in the shithole. Which this prick most certainly does not. Decades of silencing those voices using PC tyranny–speak out lose your job and have media shit heaped on you– is doubtless the real cause of the very few so called racist incidents he refers to above–anger and steam being triumphantly vented–as if his gang wouldn’t have been crowing should they have won.

    See this link from Raedwald:

    ” Well now, thanks to the poison of the Farage narrative – echoed and exploited none too subtly by Boris and his friends – it is considered widely acceptable to demonise foreigners even if they are hardworking citizens of our closest allies. ”

    Bullshit–the only people demonized are arrogant and dictatorial scum in Brussels–and while I have no doubt they are YOUR closest friends and allies, they are no friends to the rest of us.

    “•Fourth, the Gove narrative that ‘we are tired of experts’ – and the implication that facts are irrelevant and all that matters is the passion and simplicity of your narrative – is deeply corrosive of public discourseand decision-making. It also effectively downgrades the esteem in which our educated young and older professionals are held. No wonder they are profoundly depressed.”

    A big cheese who thinks he’s the Bee’s Knee’s doesn’t like his invisible suit being pointed out.

    Oh shit. All them wretched little oiks might start thinking for themselves instead of being told what to do by clever people whose inflated Uni wages they pay.

    “(b) Among the businessmen and women I have spoken to, the common theme is this: they can only see uncertainty and policy instability stretching out for years and they expect immediate delays to investment and an imminent loss of jobs”

    Absolutely deceitful bullshit.

    “. For me, the most shocking thing about Friday was watching Andrea Leadsom faced with victory calling for ‘a period of quiet reflection’ while she and her colleagues worked out what to do. Ruth Davidson was right the Tuesday before to warn that these were revolutionaries without a plan. ”

    So much lying propaganda had turds like you put in the air you had everybody buffalo’d that victory was hopeless. Tough shit.

    As for plans –fuck off. If slavery could only be abolished after a plan existed for how every jot of work done by slaves was going to be done when the slaves were freed, the slaves would still be picking cotton.

    We’ll work it out.

    “The Brexiteers are mostly so divorced from the real world that – having put a bomb under the post-war order – they think they have the luxury of talking among themselves for months while the country sinks into recession”

    More bullshit.

    ” our continent into turmoil they have inflicted.”

    The whole fucking continent is going to sink into the sea eh?
    Wait till the Italian banks have their “oh shit” moment you wanker.

    “You ask me to get real. Well, Tory politicians on the Leave side need to get real. And getting real involves understanding the following:
    •Our business and diplomatic partners abroad now see us as a regrettable source of instability”

    We are a source of instability say those who gave Europe the Euro!!

    “, as unreliable partners, and as prone to sudden lurches in policy and naked national opportunism.”

    Yeah –we are off the timetable for tyranny so:

    “•Article 50’s two-year time horizon only covers the divorce with the EU, while the negotiating of the trade deals that must replace our membership will take much longer. Trade deals always take many years to negotiate, even if as a country you have more than a handful of negotiators with any experience.”

    Trade deals are political/bureaucratic shite that get in the way of trade. The longer the porkers spend jawing the better. And best of all if traders and business people ignore the shite after they have finished talking.

    ” Moreover, in the case of the EU, any new association agreement or trade deal will have to be decided on by unanimity (so that, for example, Spain can insist on Gibraltar in return) ”

    None to rapt with the Gibbo’s anyway–but nobody’s handing anything over for a trade deal .

    This bloke is either a total coward or an actual CM agent working to spread alarm among the hard of thinking.

    “and often with national referenda and the consent of the European parliament.”

    There are a few referenda on the cards I think. And the scum of the EU will have far more to worry about than a few witless fucking trade deals.

    “Contrary to popular opinion, the EU does not consist of ‘unelected bureaucrats’ able to force through measures. ”

    Yes it does you lying twat.

    “The EU with whom we will be negotiating is a collection of elected governments with vetoes in key areas, and a directly elected parliament. ”

    Which is a powerless rubber stamp filled with well paid traitors to their own countries who never saw a piece of dictatorial bullshit they didn’t like.

    “(Incidentally it is on our side that terms will be mostly decided by unelected special advisers and lawyers behind closed doors and by a new Tory prime minister elected by a few tens of thousands of Tory party members.)”

    Terms that had best accord with the wishes of the majority of British people or Blojo’s blond mop will be floating down the Thames without the rest of him being under it.

    “•Foreign direct investment and investment at home is already drying up much faster than you and your colleagues realise.”

    In a week?–Oh shit!!

    “Many companies are already planning to relocate some operations to Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt or elsewhere; and many more to cut investment and jobs at home.”

    Standard leftist lies

    ” I know personally of several local companies in the South West whose directors on 24 June felt they must begin planning redundancies in the coming weeks.”

    Names please–we wouldn’t want to be left with the impression that you were a lying cunt.

    And of course successful business men –having spent years building a business–just rush out to tell their cultural Marxist friends about how they are going to pack it in because they are about to get a load of costly fucking regulations off their backs. Enough to make anyone despair that is.

    ” More generally, universities, property and construction companies, and many other firms in the process of rapid expansion, are left dangerously exposed by the Brexit downturn and any disruption of free movement.”

    Because low paying shit jobs done by imports is how me and my Marxist buddies can still afford to enjoy our nice lifestyle. Even when socialist bungling would otherwise have flushed the economy down the bog. That these imports cause lots of trouble for the oiks is none of my concern.

    “•Relying on a low oil price to deter Scottish independence may be foolish since, if Scotland became independent, it could be the recipient of large amounts of foreign direct investment and a pool of young mobile talent now likely to shun England.”

    Cos insolvent, debt-ridden countries with a tiny and quite surly population well-soaked in a socialistic sense of entitlement are the new investment hotspots of the world.

    “•You may dismiss credit rating downgrades, and a slump in sterling in the face of Brexit as overdone reactions. But, like many other people much more qualified than me, I would be genuinely surprised if we do not find out within weeks that ‘project fear’ was ‘project understated warning’.”

    Brazen lies and CM wish fulfilment. But if a new poverty does fall on us–here’s hoping it starts with the LSE.

    “2.You suggested that highlighting how the views of the young have been swamped by the votes of the elderly is tantamount to accusing the elderly of being selfish. And you also implied that there is something unseemly in the young and cities not accepting with grace that they have been outvoted by those with identities and interests different from (and at odds with) their own. On both counts I think you are profoundly mistaken:”

    Boo Hoo: 64% of 18-24s didn’t vote at all –so seized were they by the arguments.

    “(a) First, I found the generational divide was an effective campaigning tool because – when pointed out – many elderly voters were very receptive to considering what their children were telling them. ”

    So people listen to their snot nosed kids. Having wiped the shite off those kids arses I doubt many older people were listening out of more than politeness.

    “That’s Nice Son/Dear”

    “And the key thing is this: this is not a clash of interests between the young and old. It is a clash of world view and a lack of knowledge (on the part of most of us over fifty) about how the modern world works. The world has changed so fast that the Platonic idea of respecting the greater wisdom of the elderly is out of date.”

    Get down wiv daYoof cos they is happening and you is old fartz.

    How desperate this CM fuck must be.

    “One of our 25-year-old campaigners in Dorset was yelled at several times: ‘You don’t know what you are talking about’. But, in fact, it is most of us over fifty who have no idea how social and economic life really operates in the interdependent, fluid and digital age in which our children live.”

    Some skill in working a computer etc does not endow wisdom to evaluate what comes over it.

    I do accept that he is a shithead who would be better taking advice. From 5 year olds. He would do better than keep soaking up the CM crap.

    “(b) Secondly, it is overwhelmingly students, young people and our great cities that vote for parties of the centre left that advocate, unlike your party, increased redistribution and investment into the UKIP voting areas that have suffered the ill-effects of globalisation.”

    Stand with the thieves who want to steal your money as well as your country.

    ” What the young and cities do not take kindly to”

    Is that a threat Junior?

    Leaving aside that quite a few cities took very nicely to leave. Possibly because they have to suffer your multi-culti regime as well as your economic socialistic bungling.

    Of course it is all down to Globalisation. Which is what the EU is all about. From a clown who started out inveighing against wicked nationalism.

    And is a well-paid hack at a Uni. I could teach a better course than him.

    ” is populist politicians stirring up the mistaken view that social ills in the forgotten towns and villages are the fault of immigration or European integration or London ignoring them. They know that the fault lies with our own policy makers. And they know that the negative effects of globalisation for those in the East and North will only get worse if Brexiteers deregulate further and we suffer an unnecessary recession.”

    Are you a marxist Ben S to call this garbage “good points”?

    “(c) The danger now”

    Is dying of boredom

    “is that a cry of despair in this vote from those in the North and East whose identity and interests have been eroded by globalisation will now lead to a policy lurch that will damage the identity and interests of our young and our great cities, while at the same time inflicting further dislocation and hardship on our forgotten communities. Far from being a positive or zero sum game, Brexit is likely to be negative sum game.”

    Getting your nation back and kicking CM scum like this bloke in the teeth hasn’t caused me any despair. Haven’t felt this good in years.

    “3.Finally, many have implied that Remain campaigners have only themselves to blame for defeat since they lowered the tone of debate by accusing some of the leaders of the Leave campaign of lying. This view is based on an outdated view of civility among honourable gentlemen:”

    So good behaviour is passé too.

    “(a) I used to respect the House of Commons rule of not calling another MP a ‘liar’ in the days when MPs behaved honourably and in a gentlemanly like manner. But it has been widely reported that Boris Johnson has in the past been sacked by both The Times and Michael Howard for allegedly lying. More importantly, his whole Leave campaign was built on lies and innuendo. He knew the £350m a week for the NHS was a lie because it was not the net contribution and did not take account of the lost revenue from Brexit dislocation, but still he had it on his battle bus. He knew that Cameron could not explicitly rule out Turkish membership of the EU without doing irreparable damage to relations with a major NATO ally; and he knew full well that, even if the UK government did decide not to veto Turkish accession at some far distant point, every nation (including the French with a referendum, Cyprus and Greece) would have to agree, which made it almost inconceivable. The Turkish lie did great things on the doorstep for the Leave campaign and it was a deeply dishonourable tactic.”

    Blah,blah, fucking Blah.

    Leave told lies.?? When you matched them 20 for one and are still at it. It isn’t our fault that you are so fucking stupid you couldn’t find any credible lies.

    “(b) So, like most Remain campaigners, I applauded John Major for calling a spade a spade, a lie a lie. If we are not to be ruled permanently in future by demagogues willing to lie their way to power, we have to confront lies with resolute condemnation even if it offends the sense of propriety of some.”

    Fantasy born of absolute lack of self awareness. They accuse us of what they have done a thousand times over

    “(c) And it is not only lies that matter – it is the use of jokey asides, verbal references and innuendo that suggest what you can then disclaim:”

    Perish the thought that the po-faced Marxist cunts of the world should allow anybody to have a laugh.

    ” Boris Johnson repeatedly used the Farage line about ‘independence day’ (usually in combination with fatuous references to ‘glorious futures’) thereby subliminally adding his weight to the viciously racist undertones of the UKIP campaign;”

    Sorry–and the link there is what? Outside of your “brain”pan.

    ” and when he explained President Obama’s opposition to Brexit with a reference to his part-Kenyan ancestry, he shamed himself, his party, and our country.”

    No he didn’t. Obama is a scrawny jug-eared Marxist cunt who should have kept his nose out of our business. Not been over here shilling for his EU buddies.

    “I remain, I hope, your friend, and a colleague in the task of reuniting our country.

    Best wishes,”

    Deleted–and he should be

    This git is another London bubbler who is worried about the money and ego trip he is on being disrupted.

    See these threads for more from London Bubblers (these ones supposed libertarians) concerned only for themselves.

    The letter-writer is a member of the leftist gang as well as a London Bubbler. Hence the extra venom he spews.

    Sorry about the length of this piece

  25. ‘6 months in pokey for selling a banana of excessive curvature? Or for making tomato marmalade, selling an incandescent light bulb for domestic use (or is it advertising?), a kettle that uses “too much” electricity per second.’

    The pitfall will be arguing whether the restrictions are a good idea or not. That is 1 level removed from the real issue: bananas, tomatoes, light bulbs and kettles are none of the damn governments’ business. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good idea, it’s not their job.

  26. EU regulations are implemented in the UK by means of the European Communities Act. Repealing that act would abolish all the regulations (you might include a one-line clause to make that clear).

    Can you tell us whether anyone has ever been imprisoned in the UK for breach of EU agricultural regulations?

  27. Ben;

    Ta. Gave it a quick skim, she doesn’t seem to get much beyond the fairly common view that the referendum was solely intended to resolve a purely Tory problem.

    Didn’t read Mr Ecks’ piece.

    The cavalier aspect of it is extremely worrying. It’s one of my suspicions about the effects of EU membership, given its current structure.

    Roughly speaking, national governments have given away responsibility for regulations on what are fairly trivial things on the face of it. Building regs, electrical safety standards, banana curvatures, that sort of thing. Tedious committee stuff.

    But those are the sort of things that you can let junior MPs and civil servants cut their teeth on. Part of the learning curve of government. Lots of details, limited downsides to getting it wrong. But still fairly easy to put right later.

    But if they can’t train on this stuff, they’re clueless on the more important stuff. There are some serious downsides to getting those things wrong.

    At a guess, if the UK government is hitting this, so are the French. Maybe the Dutch. The other members might be a few years behind.

    Second effect; power within the EU system is exercised by national politicians within the Council. Actual execution of Council decisions is by the Commission. At national level, the temptation is increasingly to simply lay traps in domestic policy for the other side, regardless of the effects on the electorate. The UK might be more prone to this due to FPTP, but it will start in the other members soon enough.

  28. “Can you tell us whether anyone has ever been imprisoned in the UK for breach of EU agricultural regulations?”

    No, because DEFRA prefer to be their own police force, jury and judge when dealing with breaches of EU CAP and other farming regulations. Because farmers sign a legal undertaking to abide by all the rules when they apply for CAP subsidies, this gives the body administering those subsidies massive power to withhold them for breaches of regulations. All farmers are subject to DEFRA inspections of their farms, and if found to be in breach of some rule of other by the inspector (who is not bound by any rules on evidence or impartiality) then the farmer will be automatically fined a % of his farm subsidy for that (and maybe previous) years. There is no court case, no independent examination of the evidence, or any mitigation allowed, DEFRA are the sole decider of who gets fined what. The only way to fight their decision would be to seek judicial review, and as most farmers do not have the money to do this (especially if they’ve just been fined part of their payments) its almost unheard of for anyone to fight them.

    The very last thing DEFRA want to do is expose their inspectors and work practices to the courts – they would then have to prove breaches of the law beyond reasonable doubt, and ensure that inspections were done in an evenhanded manner and that evidence was collected, managed and maintained in a legally watertight way. All of which would be very difficult to do.

    Its one of the reasons why I’m convinced farm subsidies will survive Brexit – the civil servants will not want to give them up as an easy way of controlling farmers – without subsidies they would only have the courts to threaten farmers with, and thats the last thing they want, to give an independent outside body the final say in what they do.

  29. You’re saying that these regulations are so draconian in practice that sometimes farmers have their subsidies reduced if they don’t abide by the conditions for receiving them? The tyranny.

  30. sometimes farmers have their subsidies reduced if they don’t abide by the conditions for receiving them? The tyranny.

    There are two conclusions that can be drawn here:

    1) You didn’t bother to read the comment and just sounded off about farmers complaining about losing subsidies even when they don’t follow the rules.

    or, 2) You are all in favour of overpaid, secure-in-their-job-whatever-happens civil “servants” being judge, jury and executioner and the victims of their capriciousness having no practical recourse to any form of oversight.

  31. “You’re saying that these regulations are so draconian in practice that sometimes farmers have their subsidies reduced if they don’t abide by the conditions for receiving them? The tyranny.”

    Did you actually read what I wrote? I made no comment as to the severity and/or usefulness of the rules that are in place. I merely pointed out that the fact that there have been no or very few prosecutions under such laws does not mean they are not being continually enforced, and in a very unregulated manner. Given the leniency of the courts to criminals in other areas, I think farmers would welcome the courts being the sole enforcer of agricultural and environmental legislation, rather than having to suffer the high handed manner in which DEFRA operates today.

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