The independent London newspaper

What’s the EU done for us with laws…

07 November, 2019

• A FEW weeks ago Michael Romberg asked for examples of European Union laws which may have an impact on an individual’s freedom to do what they would like to do, (A question for all you Brexit supporters, October 17).

The EU Commission issues regulations and directives. The former are, in effect laws all member states have to obey. Directives are similar but countries are allowed to work out for themselves how they may put the directives into effect.

Each year scores of these strictures which are in effect, laws emerge from the Brussels machine. The European Court of Justice is there to make sure that member states comply with regulations and directives.

Here are just two examples:

In the late 1990s the EU decided to “open the (postal services) sector to competition”. This led, in the United Kingdom, to privatisation of the Royal Mail.

Some of us may have approved this. Others were and still are opposed. The point is, though, that the legislation did not emerge from a UK government but from Brussels, and with which the UK had to comply.

In 2007 the EU required meat which had been reared organically, but then killed by Halal or Kosher methods, not to be described as “organic halal” or “organic kosher”. Again, the procedures to be adopted sprang from Brussels and not from the Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff or Stormont.

By trying to emerge from the Brussels set up, the UK government has wanted to return powers to the UK legislatures, a move which Westminster in particular has ironically tried its best to prevent.



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