MEP Richard Corbett says only 10% of UK laws
come from EU. German President says 84%.
Who do you think is talking piffle?
So, how many laws do originate
eurofacts 25th April,2008
Prospect magazine has
suggested that less than one in ten of our laws are EU-made but
the official figures on which its claim is based demonstrates
NO SUCH THING!
An example of sloppy and biased
journalism at its worst can be found in the April edition of the
monthly magazine Prospect. Its "News and Curiosities"
column reports that
" one of the most enduring
myths about the EU is that it enables meddlesome technocrats to
burden us with pointless rules and regulations".
Prospect ridicules this
obviously absurd and exaggerated claim. In support it cites the
"neutral" House of Commons library which , it says, has shown
that the proportion of all UK legislation originating in
Brussels is less than 10 per cent. Mr Richard Corbett, the
deputy leader of the Labour group in the European Parliament,
has made similar claims, citing the same impeccable source
A telephone call to the House
of Commons library reveals that the basis for this claim is
EU legislation is Standard Note SN1A/288 written by Vaughan
Miller of the Library's International Affairs Section: this was
last updated in 2007.
THIS, however, shows
NO SUCH THING. What it does show is that over the previous
seven parliamentary sessions the number of statutory instruments
laid under the
European Communities Act
represents about nine per cent
of the total number of statutory instruments laid before
Parliament during the period.
THIS HOWEVER IS A RELATIVELY
SMALL PART OF THE PICTURE
EU Directives have to be
transposed into national law, and in the UK that is DONE by
means of STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS
EU Regulations, however, are
directly applicable, automatically becoming new laws in the UK.
Sometimes it is necessary to amend existing law, but often the
EU Parliament does not even see them.
According to the briefing note,
in 2006, the EU issued 177 Directives but very many more
Regulations -2,033 (see table below.)
In addition there were more
than one thousand Decisions; these would also have shaped
British policy and legislation.
Mr Miller says that is
impossible to give an accurate answer to the question of how
many laws originate in Brussels because such laws might have
been introduced by the UK on its own account and because
existing EU LAW might adequately cover all or parts of EU LAW.
This explanation, which repeats
similar intellectual sophistry [The 'noble lie' no
doubt] by the former Europe minister Denis MacShane, is
unconvincing. Complex matters such as legislation can often be
measured in different ways and different methods will yield
slightly different results - but providing the assumptions
behind the calculations are clearly stated there is no reason
why meaningful and often revealing data cannot be provided.
Reputable sources in Germany,
France and Finland have suggested that the proportion of their
laws which began their life in Brussels is around
The German President Roman
Herzog has said statistics from the German Ministry of Justice
show that the precise figure is
There is no particular
reason for thinking that the figure would be significantly lower
in the UK.
In declining to answer the
question the House of Commons Library Staff has evidently
decided that obfuscation is the better part of valour. However,
we are very much indebted to it, for listing the total number of
passed by the Council and
Commission since 1980.
A cursory gl;ance at the statistics, the most
recent of which are published below is sufficient to conclude
MEP RICHARD CORBET
owes his constituents an
FOR HAVING SERIOUSLY
43 Directives (inc. 18 with EP)
182 Regulations (inc. 34 with EP)
24 Decisions (inc. 4 with EP)
45 Directives (inc. 15 with EP)
152 Regulations (inc. 3 with EP)
30 Decisions (inc. 3 with EP)
TO BE COMPLETED
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